Entrepreneurship For Dummies
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For entrepreneurs, an effective marketing plan is crucial. Entrepreneurs need to determine who's going to buy the product and how to let those customers know that you have what they want. Creating a marketing plan is manageable with these steps:

  1. List your options.

    Brainstorm all the possible ways you can make customers aware of your business and what you're offering. Get ideas from customers, suppliers, other business owners, books, magazines, and Web sites.

  2. Think like a customer.

    Put yourself in the customer's position. What does the customer want to see in your business?

  3. Scrutinize the competition.

    What makes your competitors successful? What are their marketing strategies, and how can you improve on them? Where do your competitors fail to satisfy customers? (That's your niche.)

  4. Analyze your options and rank them.

    Scratch options that don't meet your customers' needs or are not feasible at this time. Rank your choices and start writing your plan.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Kathleen Allen, Ph.D., is a professor of entrepreneurship at USC. Her books include The Complete MBA For Dummies?? and eBusiness Technology Kit For Dummies??.

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