Here, we’ll look at the components you should include in your marketing plan and how your method of accepting payment can impact your business.
Let’s get started:
Developing a Marketing plan
Effective marketing requires time, money, and preparation. To stay on a budget and schedule when marketing your business, you need to have a marketing plan. A marketing plan involves the steps you’ll take to market your business to potential customers.
Your Business plan needs to include the basic essential elements of your marketing strategy.
Essential Sections of a Marketing Plan
Most marketing plans include these components. As usual, only use what works best for your business.
Research is a key component of a marketing plan. You can start by checking with your local library offering market reports. You can even access some library cards online.
Study the size of the market in the industry, customer buying habits, market growth or decline, and other current trends.
A detailed market description can help identify your potential buyers. Consider the market size, unique traits, demographics, and demand trends.
Describe what puts your products or services ahead of other products. It could be a lower price, a better product, or excellent customer service. Having eco-friendly certification, or “made in the USA” label, can mean a lot to customers.
How will you sell your product or service to your customers? List the sales methods you plan to use, for instance, retail, wholesale, or online. Let your customers know each step to take when they decide to buy.
Your marketing strategy will determine whether you’ll reach your sales goal or not. Ask yourself, “how do I find and attract potential buyers?”
Look at the entire market and then come up with specific tactics to use, such as events, email, direct mail, content strategy, social media, couponing, street teams, seminars, webinars, partnerships, and any activity that can help reach potential customers.
How much do you want to spend on your marketing plan? Here try to be as accurate as possible. You’ll need to track your costs when executing your plan.
Measure and Update Your Plan
Be sure to check how marketing costs compare with generated revenue. You’ll want to ensure you’re getting a good return on investment.
Some tactics, such as word-of-mouth, are hard to measure. So get creative and get advice from other people. The key thing here is to be consistent in measuring the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Selecting Payment Methods
Do you know the kind of payments you accept can affect your marketing and sales? Be sure to choose secure, cost-effective forms of payments. Such payments offer a positive experience for your customers. No matter what payment methods you accept, you’ll require a business bank account.
No matter what payment methods you accept,
you’ll require a business bank account.
To accept debit and credit cards, you’ll need either an account with a third-party payment processing company or a merchant services with your bank.
In addition to the cost of setting the required equipment, you’ll be charged a processing fee for each debit or credit card transaction.
Accepting debit and credit cards can expose you to fraud risk, but most providers offer a certain degree of protection for your business.
To accept checks, you need to have a business bank account.
To avoid fraudulent or bad checks, you need to develop a policy for accepting checks. For instance, you can decide to only accept checks from in-state banks. Or require checks to include only the validity of given checks by taking a photo of them using mobile banking apps (some banks allow instant check clearance using mobile apps) making the transaction much more fluid.
Checks can not only be used to receive payments from customers, but they are a nifty financial tool for making business payments. The best thing is that you can buy your checks online, thus saving money when reordering business checks. You just need to google online and choose a vendor that matches your needs.
Some small businesses only accept cash because it’s easy, fast, and inexpensive.
However, this option increases the accounting time and security risk. Be sure to develop a secure way to hold your cash, like a safe and register.
If you run an online business, you have the option of using an online payment service to accept payment through your website.
Typically, online payment services accept debit and credit cards. You’ll be charged a small fee to accept payment online.