"Low Cost Marketing," Summertime Lawncare, LLC, a Family Owned, Small Business
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This SIP presents a low-cost marketing plan for Summertime Lawn Care, LLC ("Summertime"). Summertime is a small, family owned, business based in Custer, Michigan. Currently, Summertime has around 35 regular customers, but is looking to expand its customer base and share of the local market. This marketing plan addresses an approach for Summertime to increase its customer base. The first section of this paper is a literature review of essays about cost efficient marketing strategies for small businesses. There are four main focuses throughout the literature review: 1) basic marketing concepts, 2) service sector marketing, 3) guerilla marketing, 4) brand awareness. These four concepts were the focus of many studies and essays by an assortment of accredited authors. This literature was used as a solid foundation for the creation of this marketing plan. After the literature review is a connection section, where the elements researched in the literature review are combined with Summertime. This section will show how these basic marketing concepts, service sector marketing, guerilla marketing and brand awareness can be directly related to the goals that Summertime has for its marketing plan. Following the connection section is a situational analysis. The situational analysis contains five main portions. The main portions of the situational analysis are the market: macro-environment, market: micro-environment, a detailed look at the consumer, a broad analysis of the competition, and a perceptual map. After the situational analysis is a SWOT analysis of the company, which Identifies the internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) and the external factors (opportunities and threats) specifically for Summertime. The main marketing objectives of this marketing plan are looked at, followed by the main marketing strategies. Next, the plan examines the four P's of the service it offers, followed by an explanation of the timing of the marketing plan, and how the success of the plan will be measured. Overall, this paper demonstrates that even with low marketing budgets, businesses can implement inexpensive marketing techniques that will allow them to increase their customer base significantly.