All businesses need marketing, even if a business is running successfully it still needs the exposure so that its customers do not forget that it is still their for their needs.
“Out of sight, out of mind” is such a true statement when it comes to our busy lives. We will react immediately to what we see and will soon forget someone if they do not stay actively marketing. To this end all businesses need to have a marketing plan in place.
Write the Marketing Plan to Suit Your Business
Don’t let the words ‘marketing plan’ frighten you. Such a plan does not need to be elaborate if your business is small, but what it will do is help you focus on what will be needed from you at different times for the year. Most businesses have certain times of the year where their services are more needed than others. For example, someone making and selling Christmas decorations will need to be ready with stock on hand about August, whereas a person who is selling training courses will most likely have their busiest time from February to November.
When you sit down with a 12 month calendar you can mark out these critical selling times and plan to make the most of them.
For some businesses all that is needed is a simple 12 month plan but for other types of businesses there will be more involved in their marketing so they will need to have a more detailed plan.
For the smaller plan, I have found that if I mark up a 12 month plan that keeps me organized, then I detail 3 months ahead so that I can concentrate on that particular 3 months and make sure it all is running smoothly. Each month I work another month ahead.
For more complicated marketing plans let’s take the example of the Christmas decoration business.
- They would need to have samples done and ready for forward selling at least by March so those dates would need to be marked down.
- They would need to have flyers and order forms made up and ready
- Then from there they can write down who they are going to approach and dates on which they will approach them
- Then they can plan their promotions which could be in store or at fetes or where ever it is that they are going to sell their products
- If selling online they would need to set up a website and have it up and running by midyear so that it gets some indexing in time for Christmas
All these steps would be part of a marketing plan.
For the person who was doing training, a similar type of marketing plan would need to be set up with dates and promotions that they are going to run to get people signing up for their courses.
Dates would need to be set for having the courses written up, video taped, or printed out, bookings made for rooms, etc. Details would need to be logged into the marketing plan of when marketing will start for each particular program. It is quite likely that while one program is running another is being promoted. This all needs detailing out so that nothing gets forgotten.
Keep This Plan In Sight At All Times
All successful businesses rely on marketing. It is the one job that cannot be forgotten at any time.
The best solution is to have a whiteboard on the wall with your 12 month plan marketed out and you can focus on it each and every day!
It is a good idea to keep these marketing plans and use them as a base for the next year.
Remember, a Marketing Plan should be part of your overall Business Plan and once the business is up and running the Marketing Plan becomes a very important document.
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