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How Is Your Business Different?

Creating a marketing and business plan for a small business can at times seem like an overwhelming task for a new business owner. Yet, it need not be. A business plan is simply a formal statement that contains a set of business goals; and a marketing plan outlines the necessary actions which the business needs to take in order to achieve its marketing objectives.

In order to properly construct a marketing or business plan, small business owners should ask themselves some simple questions: How is your business different? What value do you provide? In what areas does your company excel? What is your expertise, or the expertise of your staff? What are your strengths? And equally important, what are your businesses weaknesses? What image does your company portray? Is the image truly reflective of your strengths?

Honestly answering such critical questions will help a business owner understand their business strengths and allow them to develop a business and marketing plan. Invariably, attempting to be everything to everyone is bound to fail. A component of a solid marketing plan is building brand and corporate identity. When creating a brand and company identity, consider how the business is different from others. A business should not try to portray itself as something that it is not -- highlight the business strengths, and emphasize those strengths while building your business brand. A company identity will help consumers define your brand, which is how the company is perceived by consumers. In order to help influence the company image, it is a business owners job to convey how their business is different. This can be referred to as a unique selling proposition.

It is a business owners job to make their customers aware of the benefits to working with their company. In effect, it is their job to help customers make an educated purchasing decision. Provide information on all aspects of your expertise, from company background to return policies. Small businesses can build consumer confidence by providing information related to all aspects of the small business. This information will help potential customers recognize your company as a serious business.

It is also a small business owners job to reassure customers and to make them aware of any advantages to working with the company. For example, if a small business excels at customer service, add an email tagline that conveys the business' commitment to customer satisfaction. Likewise, if all the businesses products are handmade, add a slogan to the logo that indicates that.

Just as each individual person is unique, so is each and every small business. Some businesses are defined by their unique differences. When developing a business and marketing plan, it is important to have a clear understanding of the businesses focus and how the business differs from its competitors. Once a small business owner has assessed the strengths and weaknesses of their business, they can then begin to construct a plan of action that will establish and build on their corporate identity.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com audio recording and editing software.

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This article may be used freely in opt-in publications and websites, provided that the resource box is included and the links are active. A courtesy copy of the issue or a link to any online posting would be greatly appreciated send an email to sharon@notepage.net .

Additional articles available for publication available at http://www.small-business-software.net/free-website-content.htm

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