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How to write your small business marketing plan

Updated: Mar 15

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how to write a small business marketing plan. What matters is that it’s useful to you. But getting started can be bewildering, so how do you do it?



Step 1: Where are you now?

Take a look at the business as it is today and take stock. It’s a great time to roll out a SWOT analysis. This is your route to objectivity when creating your plan.

Step 2: What’s your budget?

Marketing costs money and it is hard money to spend because you never really know if it will pay off. But the very premise of marketing is that you need to spend money to make money. So, identify your budget and maximise it as much as you can. Remember, this is the way to bring in the pennies. A good ball park for new businesses is 15-20% of your total business budget and around 10% for established businesses.

Budgets aren’t just about money. What time have you got to invest in marketing?

Step 3: What are your goals?

Goals matter in marketing because otherwise there are oh-so-many tangents that can be gone down. Do you want to increase your online presence? Do you want to get your brand name more recognised? Do you want to break into a new market? Do you want to generate leads?

Step 4: Who are your audience?

Your goals can then help you define your audience. It’s time to identify who you are targeting and, therefore, how best to target them. For example, your strategy for marketing to 18-25 year olds in a local area will radically differ from your strategy for marketing to the grey pound nationally.

Step 5: How can you do it?

You’re laden with the relevant information, now the question is how to go about it. It’s time to identify each overarching task or channel and then define the responsibilities around this. Yes, we’re talking tactics.

So take each goal, work out how you’re going to reach it in the way that will work for that audience, and then check that fits the budget. You then need to determine who is taking charge i.e. are you outsourcing, delegating, or going DIY?


All that’s left now is for you to actually write it all down and get cracking.


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