Chicago is a great market for new businesses, which will all need business plans. An important section of every business plan is the marketing strategy. The marketing strategy is one of the most important parts of running your business as well. An effective marketing strategy can make your business, and not having a marketing strategy can break your business. Marketing is related to, but different than sales. Sales involves a direct connection with a customer and trying to sell that person something. Marketing involves the strategies with which your Company makes people aware of its existence, and motivates people to want to use your product or service. People are used to seeing advertising in every aspect of their lives. Most people rarely experience a moment of their day without being exposed to advertising. Your business plans should detail how you plan to advertise to the people of Chicago.
Marketing can take many forms. People spend years learning effective marketing strategies in college. Your business can learn these strategies and implement them in Chicago, after writing your business plans. Marketing can involve simple things, like store signage, and frequent customer punch cards. Marketing can and should take place in the form of broadcast advertising, print advertising, and a Company website on the internet. Your Company's website is an increasingly more important facet of its marketing strategy. Today's consumer uses the internet more and more on even the most local level, to find things out about the places they shop without leaving the house; things like hours, product availability, exact location, etc. The list goes on and on. Your Company's website is very important to its success and a great marketing tool.
A website is not the only way to market in Chicago, and your business plans should reflect that. In fact, the business that employs many different methods of marketing has more of a chance of survival than the business that only employs one or two methods. Your Company can have promotions, and offer free samples (even on services). Your Company can have brochures printed, and send out direct mailings, even over email. Your Company can get involved in the community by sponsoring little league sports teams and putting your Company's logo on the uniforms. Make sure to order promotional materials with your Company's logo on each item. Things like coffee mugs, t-shirts, caps, pens, bumper stickers, patches, tote bags, etc, can be continuous advertisement within a customer's own home, and the places the customer travels. Make sure that your logo is visible on any products your Company has, so that when a customer walks down the street holding your product, every passer-by knows where it came from. Make sure to have a comprehensive marketing strategy designed to get your Company recognized in Chicago, and describe it in detail in your business plans.