Importance of Small Business Strategic Planning

Although most business owners understand the importance of having a business plan, they often overlook their marketing and intellectual property protection strategies. In order to conduct business development in the most efficient and effective way, it is important to target prospects strategically. Therefore, it is imperative to have a marketing strategic plan. If a small business is seeking to serve as a government contractor, then a government contracting strategic plan is necessary. Further, once a business begins to brand itself in the marketplace and create new products and business processes, it is important to protect the intellectual property assets that the business owns.

Marketing Strategic Action Plans

In the business to business market, the key to developing a strong marketing strategy is to fully understand what products and services you want to sell; to whom; and where. First list what products and services you want to sell. Next, ask yourself who is likely to buy these products and services. Think about this in terms of demographics: gender, race, income. Write the pain points down. What pains these folks and why would they buy your products and services in order to alleviate their pain.

Before you move on to where you want to sell your products and/or services, research the market. Find out who your competitors are and find out as much as you can about the competition’s pricing and sales revenues. Marketing research is an extremely important portion of a marketing strategic action plan.

Now, decide on your geographic market. It is recommended that you begin close to home and then branch out. Start with the city your business is located in. Venture out into your county. Next, consider adjacent counties and counties in your region. After you research and market to prospects in your region, continue to venture out throughout your state. Know your demographics and where your prospects are centralized.

Begin to create and acquire lists of prospects. This will be the beginning of the sales plan subset to your marketing plan. Once you have your targets listed out, begin to use email marketing, social media marketing, direct mail, and calls for appointments.

Intellectual Property Strategic Action Plans

As businesses develop their brand in the marketplace and create new products and business processes, it is important to protect their intellectual property. As a registered patent attorney and former technology transfer specialist for research universities and federal labs, I can attest that intellectual property protection can be very costly. Therefore, businesses need to have a strategy to make sure they do not waste time and money.

An intellectual property (IP) strategy requires an IP audit. The business name, logo, website, employee manual, employment agreements, consulting agreements, sales agreements, nondisclosure agreements, copyrightable work, products, and business processes should be audited to determine the type of protections that need to be put in place. IP protection can come in the form of trade secret, trademarks, service marks, copyrights, and patents.

In conclusion, using the shot gun approach to marketing and intellectual property protection can be very costly. In these economic times, that can be catastrophic. Small businesses in particular simply cannot afford to waste time and money.

By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.
Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Contact Clovia at http://tinyurl.com/32cqcj9 or follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans

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One Response to “Importance of Small Business Strategic Planning”

  1. pursuenaturalny2008 Says:

    Very strong and practical advice!

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