It's always interesting when I take an enquiry for this internet marketing platform or that internet marketing platform and I ask "what's your budget?" Some times the answer is "we don't have a budget just give us a price". I then politely explain that we don't flog websites we are more interested in working with our clients to build their businesses using internet marketing platforms. Which leads me into this extract from my latest ezine and it's how I see things from my side of the fence... "Peter Drucker said the purpose of a business is to generate new customers... and there are only two functions in a business that achieve that... marketing & innovation... and every other function is an expense. So why do most small to medium size businesses have no marketing plan or marketing budget? And for the bulk of those that do... why does the plan look like a dartboard? Unfortunately... because most small to medium size business owners don’t realise that they are really in the business of marketing. Their marketing dilemma is that they suffer from “marketing idea of the week” syndrome instead of implementing a systematic approach to the problem of small business marketing. Maybe they perceive the concept of marketing as some “smoke and mirrors” process? This could not be further from the truth because every marketing endeavour must be measurable or you are flushing money down the toilet. Overall your Marketing Plan has one single objective... “Getting people who have a specific need or problem to know, like, trust and do business with you AND to refer you to others who have this same need or problem” – John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing There are plenty of free Marketing Plan templates available on the internet and they will talk about overwhelming things like Executive Summaries, SWOT, Objectives etc but the key structural elements you need are: Identify your marketing activities and set a budget for each of them. Your plan needs to be easily shared with key people inside and outside your business. You need to delegate the tasks and responsibilities for implementing the plan. You must be able to monitor progress and results regularly. Now... commit to your Marketing with a Plan, Budget and Calendar. It’s Essential!"