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Blogging Strategy

A blog or weblog covers a mixture of what is happening in the daily life of your business as well as new and upcoming events. A blogging strategy can be used to help determine how to engage with online users and generate website traffic. When designing your blog, be sure to create it so that it increases brand awareness and attracts readers.

Other benefits of blogging include:

  • Googleloves it! Blogs are great for increasing website indexed pages, and Google places value on websites with a high volume of indexed pages.
  • Customers can remain current with the status of your business events and updates. Additionally, a blog can define your brandas authoritative and help your business be seen as professional and knowledgeable.

Marketing Strategy

Marketing plans are crucial for starting and growing your business. A good marketing plan will help your business identify target customers and generate a plan to reach and retain those customers. The marketing plan can be a roadmap to gaining customers and improving organizational success if done properly. Additionally, this strategy can help to define your desired customer by targeting their precise needs based on their demographic profiles which are helpful in identifying targeted customers and creating focused advertisements aimed directly at those prospective customers.

Strategy Development. Carefully developing your marketing strategy and performance will help keep your market presence strong. Without planning, you could potentially waste time and money targeting the wrong audience. Effective marketing is often based on the importance of how your customers perceive your business, and has two important principles:

  • Your business policies and activities should be directed toward satisfying customer needs.
  • Profitable salesvolume is more important than maximum sales volume.

There is no one method of creating a flawless marketing plan. The most effective tried and true method is taking the time to do the necessary research and stay updated on your market and target consumer groups. Monitoring population shifts, legal developments, and local economic situations can help to identify problems and discover opportunities for your business. Monitoring your competitors’ successes and failures is also helpful in devising your marketing strategies.

Marketing Message. The marketing message is the heart of a marketing plan. It details the business’ plan for the marketing materials, how the company plans to achieve its marketing goals and the tactics that will be used to meet them. In addition, the marketing message determines how your business intends to communicate its message to customers. When creating your marketing message, make certain that you focus on how you want your company to be perceived by its customers. Do you want customers to view your business as having good prices, customer support, or quality service? Once you determine your marketing message, you will know the next steps to take for your business.

Distribution. A critical point of your marketing plan is its plan of distribution. The distribution plan details the channels and processes through which customers can make purchases and how your business will reach new customers. The distribution strategy of the plan is considered one of the most important sections of the plan. Examples of an effective distribution strategy include tactics utilizing television, trade shows, and online advertising.

Strategy Milestones cover the business’ major events and achievements that need to occur to keep your strategy on track for success. Milestone events are strategically important for your business and provide an outline of dates and timeframes as to when the events should take place. Additionally, the milestones should be tracked and analyzed with real results. Not sticking to the plan and milestones will likely cause your strategy to fail, particularly, in reaching its expected completion date.

Complaint Repairing Strategy

When responding to a customer complaint, your business should have one main goal, to defend your brand. The first step in the process is to check the information to figure out who wrote the complaint and why they wrote it. This information can likely be found by analyzing the complaint to find hints of information about the author. Normally, those who leave complaints don’t leave their true identity or contact information. Once you find who wrote the complaint, you should put together a response. The complaint response should be well written, should answer the complainant somewhat directly, and should come directly from a respected position within the business with high authority.

The department that worked with the customer should write the response, and it should be edited and signed by the company’s CEO. This will allow for a filtering of the response that will rid it of any emotional attachments. In addition to putting together a response, your company should also check the damage of the complaint. You may also want to check other complaint boards for additional reviews and the search engine rank of the complaint to see how much damage it has or can do to your reputation. If the complaint has initiated a series of additional complaints, your company should look to respond promptly to the complaint. To assess the true spread of the complaint, you can use search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. With these search engines, you can search the name of your business and see which complaints show up and respond to them from highest to lowest rankings. The goal of the response is for your business to confront the mistake and seek a resolution.

In addition, your company should project a positive image of the business and include alternative methods for complainants to report any issues in the future. This alternative method should include either the website’s testimonial or rating section, using the contact form on the company website, or information for contacting the company CEO. The goal of providing links and email addresses to these in-house sources is to prevent future complaints on third-party websites. The most reliable solution to a complaint is gained through direct contact with the complainant to solve the issue at hand. Once they are satisfied with the results, you should ask the customer if they would be polite enough to remove, edit, or request removal of the complaint. Simply listening to the customer’s concern and coming to a mutual understanding can easily resolve most complaints.

Strategy Contents

Contents

Table of contents so that investors can quickly find the information they are looking for.

Introduction

[Background]
[Summary of financial needs]

Executive Summary

[Company information]
[Market opportunity]

Benefits to the Community

Economic Development
[Describe jobs created by the business]
[How will purchases for the business help other local businesses?]
[Any additional information]

Community Development
[How will the company’s goods/services help the community?]
[Any additional information]

Human Development
[How will the business help its employees?]
[Any additional information]

Company Analysis

Form of Business Ownership
[Will your business be a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation? Why?]
[Describe any necessary licenses or permits and your plans for obtaining them.]
[Will yours be an independent business, a takeover of an existing business, an expansion of an existing business, or a franchise?]
[Any additional information]

About the Company
[If you are taking over or expanding an existing business, describe any relevant history.]
[How will the business satisfy customer needs?]
[How did you choose and develop the company’s products/services, and how are they unique?]
[Any additional information]

Industry Analysis

[In what industry does the business operate?]
[Who are the competitors?]
[Have any other businesses recently entered or exited the industry?]
[How will the business be profitable, and what are the growth opportunities?]
[Describe any e-business opportunities.]
[Any additional information]

Management Team

[Who are the key members of the business team?]
[How will the company be structured?]
[How is the team balanced in terms of skills?]
[What is the company’s management philosophy and culture? What is your leadership style?]
[Describe the key management positions and compensation for those positions.]
[What other professionals will assist the management team?]
[Any additional information]

Manufacturing and Operations Plan

Location and Space Requirements
[Where is the planned location?]
[Discuss the location’s proximity to customers and suppliers.]
[Discuss tax rates and zoning requirements for the location.]
[Discuss transportation issues.]
[Discuss utility costs.]
[Will you rent, lease, or purchase the facility?]
[Any additional information]

Equipment
[Will you rent or purchase equipment?]
[Any additional information]

Labor Force

[Discuss the local labor pool. Is there a sufficient quantity of skilled people to meet the business’s needs?]
[Discuss wage rates and unionization issues.]
[Any additional information]

Inventory Control
[How will you control quality, inventory, and production?]
[Any additional information]

Purchasing Requirements
[Will you make or purchase component parts to be assembled into the finished product?]
[Any additional information]
Subcontractors and Suppliers
[Who are your potential subcontractors and suppliers?]
[Any additional information]

Labor Force

Labor Requirements
[How many employees are needed? Full time or part time?]
[What are the job qualifications?]
[Will you have written job descriptions?]
[What will you pay your employees? How does that compare with the going rate in your region and industry?]
[Any additional information]

Selection, Orientation, and Training
[Do you have a job application form?]
[What criteria will you use in selecting employees?]
[What orientation process will there be for new employees?]
[How will new employees be trained?]
[Any additional information]

Evaluation, Policies, and Rules
[How will employees be evaluated?]
[Will authority be delegated to employees?]
[How will you discipline employees?]
[What will you do when employees resign?]
[Any additional information]

Marketing Plan

Target Market(s)
[What is/are your target market(s) and what common needs can the business satisfy?]
[What are the current needs of each target market? Describe the target market in terms of demographic, geographic, psychographic, and product usage characteristics.]
[What changes in the target market are anticipated?]
[What advantages and disadvantages do you have in meeting the target market’s needs?]
[What are the relevant aspects of consumer behavior and product use?]
[Any additional information]

Environment
[What are the competitive, legal, political, economic, technological, and sociocultural factors affecting your marketing efforts?]
[Any additional information]

Marketing Objectives
[Describe your product introduction, improvement, or innovation]
[State the market size in dollars and units. Indicate your primary and secondary sources of data and the methods used to estimate total market size and your market share.]
[Describe your distribution plans.]
[Describe your pricing objectives.]
[Describe your advertising and promotion efforts.]
[How will the results of your marketing plan be measured and evaluated?]
[Any additional information]

Financial Plan

Startup and Operating Needs
[How much money do you have, and what is the actual amount of money you need to open your business (start-up budget)?]
[How much money is needed to keep the business open (operating budget)? Prepare a realistic budget.]
[What sources of funding do you anticipate?]
[Any additional information]

Financial Statements
[Prepare an income statement by month for the first year of operation and by quarter for the second and third years.]
[Prepare balance sheets for each of the first three years of operation.]
[Any additional information]

Financial Analysis
[Prepare a breakeven analysis. How many units of your products or service will have to be sold to cover your costs?]
[Reinforce your final projections by comparing them with industry averages for your chosen industry.]
[Any additional information]

Exit Strategy

[How do you plan to get yourself (and your money) out of the business?]
[Do you intend to grow the business to the point of an IPO?]
[Do you intend to sell the business?]
[How will investors get their money back?]
[Any additional information]

Critical Risks and Assumptions

[What will you do if your market develops either more slowly or more quickly than anticipated?]
[How will you react to competitor challenges such as underpricing or new products that make yours obsolete?]
[How will you react to favorable or unfavorable changes in the industry?]
[How will you react if there is a labor shortage or other labor-related issue?]
[How will you react if there is an erratic supply of products or raw materials?]
[Any additional information]

Appendix

Repairing Strategy – Responding to a Customer Complaint

When responding to a customer complaint, your company should have one main goal and that is to defend its name. Within this process, the first thing that needs to be done by your company is to check the information and try to figure out who wrote the complaint and why they wrote it. This information can likely be found by analyzing the complaint to find hints of information about the author. Normally, those who leave complaints don’t leave their true identity or contact information. Once your company finds out who wrote the complaint, you should get together a response for the complainant. This complaint response should be well written, it should answer the complainant somewhat directly and it should come directly from a respected and high authority.

The department that worked with the customer should write the response and it should be edited and signed by the company’s CEO. This will allow for a filtering of the response that will rid it of any emotional attachments.

In addition to putting together a response, your company should also check the damage of the complaint. Things to you may want to check are other complaint boards, user responses and the search engine rank of the complaint.

If the complaint has influenced a negative spread and additional complaints, your company should look to respond promptly to the complaint. To find the true spread of the complaint, you could use search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. With these search engines, you should search the name of your company and see which complaints show up and respond to them from highest to lowest ranked.

The goal of the response is for your company to confront the mistake and seek a resolution. In addition, your company should provide a positive image of the company and alternative methods for complainants to resort their anger. This alternative method should include either the websites testimonial section, using the contact form on the company website or contacting the company CEO. By providing links and email addresses to these other sources, you can prevent future complaints on third party websites from happening.

The best solution comes by contacting the complainant directly to solve the issue at hand, and once they are satisfied with the results, you should ask the customer if they would be polite enough to remove the complaint or request removal of the complaint. Someone simply listening to the customers concern and finding a mutual understanding can easily resolve most complaints. You can prevent future complaints by sending out progress reports to customers and by encouraging customer feedback and satisfaction through these reports. This will allow for small problems to not turn into big problems.

Distribution Strategy for Press Release

The social networking sites that your company can use to release its press release are Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, and Feed Burner. Within each of these sites, you can gain a different audience of users that will link back to your website for the full press release.  This will allow for more traffic and more sales for your company.

Distribute your press release through popular wire services including:

  • Business Wire: www.businesswire.com
  • Market Wire: www.marketwire.com
  • PrimeNewswire: www.primezone.com
  • PR Newswire: www.prnewswire.com
  • PRWeb: www.prweb.com

The reason for publishing with these wire services is to maximize the distribution of the release. By publishing with these services, it allows for the press release to be seen by followers of these sites and will be indexed by many more distribution services and search engines. By using this method, it will allow for further geographic reach of the press release. In addition, by placing the press release on popular sites, it allows for your business to link those users viewing the release back to the company website.

Social networking sites that shoukd be used for distribution will include Google, Yahoo and other vertical market portals including a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) reader.

Keyword tags should also be used to create for a better marketing campaign that will be beneficial to search engines indexing the media release.

The company blog should include information on the press release and will be used as a tool to link readers and followers to the pressrelease page where they can read the full release.

The company blog should also include social networking bookmarks, connections and an RSS feed for users to stay updated with the sites news releases and additional content. By using share tools for facebook, twitter and other social networking sites, it will allow forreaders of your businesses blog and media room to distribute the information to their followers on those specific networks.

The press release should be available within a designated section of your website which will allow for users to easily search for archived releases. This strategy will also allow for search engine to keep an index of the press release in case the distribution sites have taken down the release and it no longer exist in their archive.

The social media pressroom should have information available in many different formats including audio, video, photos, news releases, background information, financial data, social media connection tools and bookmarking tools. This media room will be designed to market toward the buyers and the journalist.

By creating a media room that updates regularly, this will allow for search engines to search them more frequently and will ultimately result in more traffic, more indexed pages and more sales.

Local markets and journalist that your business should contact will include:

  • Wired PR News: http://www.wiredprnews.com/
  • AllTop: http://business-wire.alltop.com/

your business should also contact bloggers, reporters and journalist from local networking groups.

You should also attend local meet up events and find out where the local journalist are and what they are looking for.  By attending these events and getting to know the local journalist, reporters and editors, you can put together a list of these authors and use them for future press releases. The local meet up groups can be found by using the networking website meetup.com to find dates and schedules of upcoming events.

By starting locally, it will allow for your business to practice its distribution strategies and then expand the techniques international. This same method should be used for some of the local online press release channels also.

The goal is to make the news releases easy to read and understand by its viewers. In addition to these newsletters, you should look to distribute these news releases within e-mail newsletters, RSS feeds and through the use of current employees.

When searching for journalist and buyers, your business should focus on finding what it is that the journalists are looking for in a good press release. Having this information will be crucial in building relationships and relevant content for journalist and buyers. In addition, creating a easy-to-use navigation, search function and share tools will help make journalist jobs easier be conveniently providing all of the content for them to easily find and navigate within the website’s press release.

Another way to be sure that the press release is getting into journalists hands is to be sure to find out what other locations the journalist are going to and what events they are attending. This will allow for Your company executives to personally speak with the journalists. These events may include conferences, trade shows, and other speaking appearances. You should include a link on your website that has a list of upcoming events that you will be attending. These events can be local and international. In addition, this calendar will also allow for journalist to know where to find the CEO.

Another option is to include a call to action within the media room for journalist and bloggers. This could include offering them an interview with the company executive.

The timeline for posting this release within the company’s site and on other wire sites should be two days. On day one, the press releaseshould be emailed to journalist along with bloggers, editors, within the company’s RSS reader and through an e-newsletter release. By day two, the release should be posted on all press release sites, social networking sites and blogs.

Your company should create a relationship with journalist and readers by welcoming their feedback and giving them the story first. Your business shoukd not only release news of big events and happenings within the company, it should also release stories of awards, conferences, products and other unique marketplace information.

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