What does it take to manage a small business?
A small business owner needs to manage supplies and products. They need to manage how they hire and organize employees. Small business owners must also manage how they collect money and pay suppliers. Each of these areas of managing a business uses a process. A process is the actions you need to do to get something done. Managing supplies and products uses an Inventory Process. Hiring and organizing employees uses a Human Resources Process. Collecting money and paying suppliers uses a Financial Process.
Finding potential customers is a process too.
Trying to find potential customers is a Marketing Process.
- Marketing means understanding who your customer is and why they want to buy from you.
- The Marketing Process is a strategy. This process has a number of steps that will lead to getting customers to use and pay for your product or service.
In this section, you will learn:
- What the marketing process looks like
- How to write S.M.A.R.T marketing goals
What the Marketing Process Looks Like
The marketing process can be pictured as a Marketing Funnel. The example below shows the steps in the process. The marketing process starts at the top of a funnel and moves downward.
KNOW: In this step, many potential customers may learn about your business through marketing efforts such as flyers, brochures, radio advertising, and Google Ads.
LIKE: During this step you may see “likes” and comments in your social media posts or receive an inquiry over the phone for more information about your product or service
TRUST: This phase of marketing is about your customer relationships. It also shows the value you provide. Some ways to build trust are by sending out newsletters, giving tutorials, or posting testimonials from customers on your website or social media.
TRY: Have ever sampled a food item from a taste testing booth at a supermarket? This is one example of the “try” phase of the marketing funnel.
BUY: Here is where the customer is giving you money for your product or service. This is an important and overlooked step. During this step you have an opportunity to create a memorable experience so your customer will return. They may even refer their friends and family.
You should think carefully about all of your marketing efforts. Planning helps you spend your money wisely and achieve your goals. What are your marketing goals? How much money can you spend on marketing your business? Complete the following activities to start planning for your marketing process.
S.M.A.R.T. Goals It is important to create clear goals. Goals are something you are trying to do. When you write down a goal, it is more likely to happen. A S.M.A.R.T. goal is one way to organize your goals. When you write a S.M.A.R.T. goal, you will use a framework to clearly define your goal.
S – Specific Your goal must focus on one clear outcome.
M – Measurable You need to be able to measure that outcome.
A – Actionable Set a goal that will be challenging, but you will be able to do it.
R – Realistic Is it possible to achieve your goals with the time and money you have?
T – Timely Every goal needs a deadline. It might be one year or several months.
Watch this short video from Khan Academy explaining S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Create 3 S.M.A.R.T. marketing goals and write them down. You can use this information later to help you build your marketing plan. An example would be: “I would like to increase the number of visitors to my retail store from 20 per day to 30 per day by July 1st, 2021.
Decide on a budget for how much money you wish to spend: I can spend $_________________ per year on my marketing efforts.
Before you start a marketing process to sell your products or services to customers, it is a good idea to understand how other businesses market to you.