Creating a Marketing Plan for your home based business
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Formulating a Marketing Plan for your
At Home Business

by Helene Zemel

One of your main responsibilities, as a team leader, is to see that your new Independent Business Owners  or affiliates get off to a good start.  Whether you have a brick and mortar store, an online store or business, have purchased a franchise, own a business creating crafts and handmade items, or your business is an MLM or network marketing company, it is important to create a marketing plan.  This marketing plan should be fluid and dynamic, and you should update it with some regularity.

Here are some steps that you can follow to create a successful marketing plan.

1)        Learn all you can about your new business.  Read all you can about the business and talk to people who have been successful in the industry.  If you are with a network marketing company, attend meetings and work closely with your enroller.  Review all company literature.  Franchise businesses usually have very specific training for their franchisees. 

2)        Do some brainstorming and free association.  Put down as many ideas that you can think up for marketing your new business.  Do not censor any ideas.  Think of all the ways that you can advertise or promote your business and do this over the course of several days.  Even write down some wish list marketing ideas.  In other words, if I had an extra $500 or $1000 or even more to spend on marketing, how would I use it for advertising and promotion?

3)        Research all of the marketing ideas that you wrote down in step 2.  Locate various advertising sources and find out how much each will cost.  For example with magazine advertising, you will want to determine not only the price for various types of ads, but what is the circulation?  What are the demographics for that magazine (income level, age of reader, interests and hobbies of the reader, etc.)?  In other words, who does this magazine target?  Are your competitors in that magazine?  Also speak to people who might have done this type of advertising before.

4)        Choose your best ideas and come up with a marketing plan.  Review your list of marketing ideas and select the 4 or 5 best ideas.  (It is always good to have more than one type of marketing or advertising going on at one time.  I am a strong believer in not putting "all of my eggs in one basket."  By participating in a number of different marketing activities, your odds of being successful will definitely increase. The ideas that you select become your marketing plan.  Write this plan up and keep it in a safe place.

5)        Develop your marketing ideas.  For each of the ideas that you have selected, write down a course of action to implement each activity.  For example, if you are planning to purchase some leads.  Your course of action might include the following: 

-        Research various lead companies
-        Compare prices
-        Seek testimonials from people who have used this lead service previously.
-        Purchase the leads
-        Decide whether you will use auto-responders, telemarketing, direct mail, etc. to reach these leads.
-        Will you call these leads yourself or outsource the calls. 
-        Set up a schedule for mailing and calling the leads.

6)        Keep notes and statistics on results.  This is one of the most important things for you to do.  Always keep careful notes on all of the ads and promotional activities that you do.  It is best to set up tracking codes, so that you can track which ads are getting the most response.  Don't make too large an advertising purchase until you have sampled this marketing technique and know that it will get you the results that you want.

7)        Visit your marketing plans from time to time.  Make changes as necessary.  As I mentioned above, the marketing plan should be fluid and dynamic and adjust to changes in your business.  Check each marketing technique for effectiveness.  Add some new activities from time to time, and discard any activities that are ineffective.

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