These 7 steps to create a marketing plan for your contracting business in the construction industry is vital to surviving in this competitive marketplace. A marketing plan is your own customized “roadmap” to advance your career and/or business throughout the year. It is an internal planning mechanism to keep you focused and to help you reach your goals as a contractor / business owner. There are seven important steps to devise a well-developed marketing plan.Step 1: Develop an overview. You need to answer questions such as why you are in the construction business, and your marketing goals and priorities either to find a job and/or to gain new clientele. What kind of services do you provide such as commercial, residential, new construction only, or do you accept tenant improvement jobs on existing buildings?Step 2: Create your brand. What type of image do you want to create for your customers? How do you convey this image to the public? Think about how your past employers and/or customers would describe your abilities. Do you provide a specialty service, or are you known for intangibles such as having integrity and transparency?Step 3: Define your differential advantage. What sets you apart from your others? Why do your customers come to you over other companies? Do you go that extra mile and do things above and beyond what is expected? Maybe you only use the highest grade of materials. For example, why would a person building their own home choose you to build it over another company? This is your differential advantage.Step 4: Determine your target markets. Who are your clients? Write in detail a profile of who does business with you. Their ages, location, position, and so forth, and of who you want to do business with, and whether you do residential or commercial work.Step 5: Determine your online presence. Do you have a website? Should you? Think about the potential benefits from online marketing and the amount of potential clients you could reach.Step 6: Decide your strategic action plans. Design a marketing campaign and specific techniques to put your plan in motion. Is it realistic and does it fit into your budget? Do you stand to profit from your ideas? Do your ideas represent your company well?Step 7: Put your plan in motion. Implement your marketing plan and campaigns. Remember, your plans are not written in stone. You can throw out ideas that aren’t working and implement new strategies where necessary. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas and keep tabs on your competition and learn what works for them.Developing a successful marketing plan is overwhelming to some business owners, and understandably. It is an involved process, but absolutely vital to your company’s success. You will need to take advantage of everything your company can benefit from in today’s competitive market. It will be your key to achieving your goals and becoming successful contractor in the construction industry.