PLANNING FOR PERSONAL MARKETING OUTLET
Marketing is critical for organic growth of a business and its central role is creating, communicating, capturing and sustaining value for an organization. Marketing helps organisations in creating value for better understanding of the needs of its customers and providing them with innovative products and services. This value is communicated through a variety of channels as well as through the organisation’s branding strategy.
Marketing outlet is responsible for making sure that businesses and service providers receive the exposure they need to attract clients, among other things. A marketing agency helps companies to create and release advertisements.
SOURCES OF FUND
Often the hardest part of starting a business is raising the money to get going. The entrepreneur might have a great idea and clear idea of how to turn it into a successful business. However, if sufficient finance cannot be raised, it is unlikely that the business will get off the ground.
Raising finance for start-up a marketing outlet requires careful planning. The entrepreneur needs to decide:
- How much finance is required.
- When and how long the finance is needed for the business.
- What security (if any) can be provided.
The finance needed for a start-up should take into account these key areas:
- Set-up costs (the costs that are incurred before the business starts to trade)
- Starting investment in capacity (the fixed assets that the business needs before it can begin to trade).
- Growth and development (e.g. extra investment in capacity).
The following are sources of funds for marketing business:
1) Personal savings: An entrepreneur will often invest personal cash balances into a start-up. This is a cheap form of finance and it is readily available. Investing personal savings maximises the control the entrepreneur has over the business. It is also a strong signal of commitment to outside investors or providers of finance.
2) Loan capital: This can take several forms, but the most common are a bank loan or bank overdraft.
A bank loan provides a longer-term kind of finance for a start-up, with the bank stating the fixed period over which the loan is provided (e.g. 5 years), the rate of interest, the timing and amount of repayments.
A bank overdraft is a more short-term kind of finance which is also used to start-up a marketing outlet. An overdraft is really a loan facility – the bank lets the business “owe it money” when the bank balance goes below zero, in return for charging a high rate of interest. As a result, an overdraft is a flexible source of finance, in the sense that it is only used when needed. Bank overdrafts are excellent for helping a business handle seasonal fluctuations in cash flow or when the business runs into short-term cash flow problems (e.g. a major customer fails to pay on time).
3) Financing with the Help of Family and Friends: A lot of start ups get their first funding from friends and family. The good thing about financing your start-up business with the help of family and friends is that you can often get fairly lenient repayment terms. That may be important in the initial years of your new business. They may give you a low interest rate and a long time to repay them. On the other hand, they might want a stake in your firm if you are willing.
One problem is that in hard economic times, family and friends may not have access to the capital they could normally access.
- Funding is usually obtainable quickly due to your existing relationship.
- Potential exists for the mutual vested interest in the business to bring you closer with loved ones.
- The investment terms are usually more flexible and potential exists for numerous equity or pay back methods.
- Immense pressure to succeed can strain personal relationships.
- Friends and family frequently have an extremely limited ability to evaluate the potential of your business, though they tend to give advice because of their monetary stake in the company.
- Friends and family usually bring nothing more to the table as an investor besides the initial capital.
4) Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans: The SBA is a government administration dedicated to assisting small businesses succeed. The four primary function of the SBA is to help an entrepreneur in overcoming difficulties (financial) or starting up a business.
- Proper treatment of an SBA loan will increase your chances of receiving a bank loan.
- The SBA acts to improve the relationship between local lenders and local borrowers.
- There are strict guidelines; the SBA looks at data from the previous two to three years, most commonly from the worst of those years, so it is difficult for very young companies to obtain one.
5) Angel Investors: Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will entrepreneur financing in exchange for a share of equity in the company.
- Angels normally have experience in the industry and can offer helpful guidance and introductions to their network.
- Because angels are less rigid, flexible business agreements are common.
- You can be forced to give up some degree of control over your company. Due to the high-risk nature of angel investing, angels rarely make follow up on investments.
IDENTIFYING A GOOD MARKETING LOCATION
Identifying good marketing location is regarded necessary for all companies.
The marketing outlet needs to know as much information as it should about its existing or prospective customers. The more you know about your customers, the better you will be able to make decisions that will enhance your ability to communicate and connect with them.
Who do you consider that will benefit you the most from your products and services?
Think of the people and their most common characteristics and attributes. One of the best ways to identify your target market is to look at your existing customer base. Who are your ideal clients? What do they have in common? If you do not have an existing customer base, or if you are targeting a completely new audience, speculate on who they might be, based on their needs and the benefits they will receive. Investigate competitors or similar businesses in other markets to gain insight.
SETTING UP AND MANAGING MARKETING OUTLET
Being a small business owner comes with challenges unique to the size and function of the business. The small business owner has to handle all the challenges of selling, delivering, financing, managing and growing the business with little or no staff, while trying to make it a success.
Managing a marketing outlet effectively is important because your clients (companies) rely on you to promote their image.
The manager of the outlet dedicate different units to focus on each of the four Ps of marketing – price, place, product and promotion for clients. He/she will have separate units for pricing, distribution, product development and advertising.
Talented individuals with marketing training need to be employed to head each unit of your outlet as project leaders or managers. Schedule weekly meetings with all unit heads to receive or give updates as needed. The manager provides employees with training in important subjects including marketing research, budgeting and project management.
You have to use your own outlet as your first client. Develop a recognizable brand identity for the outlet including logo, motto and company colours and create a full-scale marketing plan that helps you to build a list of clients. Promote your company in marketing and advertising industry publications. Use the same or a similar successful model when creating a marketing plan for future clients.