Marketing Planning For Your Startup Business

So you’re getting ready to start your own business; have you thought about your marketing plan?

Your marketing plan doesn’t need to be 100 pages of graphs and charts; it can be as simple as a one-page snap shot of all the strategies that you plan to implement to get the word out about your business.

Every business needs to have a marketing plan.     Here’s a simple way to put one together that I call the “10 Minute Marketing Plan TM.”

1.          One an Excel spreadsheet, write the 12 months of the year in a column down the left-hand side leaving about 10 spaces between each month.  This will be column 1.

2.         Create a second column to the right of the months, label it “Highlights.”

3.         Create a third column to the right of the highlights; label it “Marketing Activities.”

4.         Create a fourth column to the right of “Marketing Activities” and label it “To Do’s.”

I can make this even easier for you, email me at [email protected] and ask for the “10 Minute Marketing Plan TM spreadsheet.

Marketing Planning

Now it’s time to fill it out.

For this exercise, I’m assuming that you already know who your ideal customer is.  Now you will need to do some research.

  • Highlights: For the “Highlights” column, you need to research events, holidays, or happenings in your industry, and even seasons because these will help you create marketing promotions that will help create excitement and tap into the mindset of your clients.  For example, for January, highlights could include; New Year’s Resolutions, White Sales, certain sporting events, winter, New Year’s Day, etc.
  • Marketing Activities:  In the Marketing Activities column, write down the marketing activities that you plan to implement each month.   Don’t spend all of your marketing budget on just one marketing activity.  You should do a minimum of 3-5 marketing activities monthly because your customers are every where.  Furthermore, it takes time for marketing to work.  The marketing you do this month will pay off next month, next quarter, and even next year!  Always be marketing!
  • Some sample marketing activities could include: email newsletters, daily Twitter and Facebook updates, blogging, website optimization, direct mail, networking groups, newspaper or television advertising, publicity, contests, door-to-door canvassing, etc. (Note:  You don’t need to do each marketing activity every month.  For example, you could decide to send out an email newsletter once every two months.  The idea of the calendar is for you to write it down so you have a schedule of when the activities are going to occur.)
  • To do’s: In this column write down activities you need to do to make your future marketing activities occur.  For example, if you have decided to do a direct mail campaign, then in the “To Do” column you could write down “Contact Direct Mail companies.”


How much should I spend on marketing?

The answer is: It depends.  What are your revenue goals?  What kind of business do you have?  For some companies, it might be appropriate to spend more than others.  The key is to have a budget and use it wisely.  For many smaller companies, low cost and no cost marketing strategies such as networking groups, social media, publicity and direct mail can be very effective.

What marketing strategies should I use?

Again the answer is; it depends.  Strategies will differ based on what your business is, who your customers are, and where they are, and what your revenue goals are.

Survey what other companies in your industry have done that has worked and hasn’t worked.  Ask your CPA to help you with a budget, and then stick to it.  And most importantly, measure the results of your marketing efforts to you can understand what is working and what is not.

For a list of 101 Marketing Strategies, email me at [email protected].

Are you a new startup business?  We would love to hear from you.  Post your business website and your favorite marketing strategy here!


Wendy Kenney is a nationally known Buzz Building Expert and the Founder and CEO of 23 Kazoos, a marketing firm specializing in inexpensive and creative small business marketing strategies.

She has honed her marketing skills through over 26 years of entrepreneurship and business management.  She fell in love with marketing with her first marketing at Showbiz Pizza Place.  Since then she has gained experience marketing for several industries including restaurants, legal, insurance and financial services, independent retail, nonprofits and more.

Wendy is about to release a new book called “Buzz: How to Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business” based on her knowledge of what works and what does not work in small business marketing.  This book features practical and low cost marketing strategies, such as “How to Grow Your Business Using Social Media,” as well as valuable links, resources, and tips.

Wendy frequently speaks to organizations about marketing for small business.  To get more information or to schedule Wendy to speak go to:  Business Marketing Speaker

Claim your free download (no email necessary) on Wendy’s website:  23 Kazoos

How to Build Buzz for your Biz:  23 Creative and Inexpensive Marketing Strategies That Will Get You Noticed

Wendy lives in Mesa with her husband Mike, and three teenage sons.   Her personal goal is to visit all of the Major League Ballparks in the US before she turns 49. So far she has been to 12.

Leave a Reply
Related Posts
Read More

The Ultimate Guide to Continuity Planning for Your Small Business

Businesses face a variety of potential emergencies and threats that can disrupt their operations.   From natural disasters to cybersecurity attacks, it’s pivotal to safeguard your business in case something happens.    Enter: Business continuity...