Getting A Business and Marketing Plan For 2012

For most businesses, 2011 was better than 2010; however, it was overall a stagnant year for most companies. The outlook for 2012 shows a year similar to 2011. Therefore, it is more important than ever to revise your business plan and have a firm marketing plan in place for the new year. It’s easy for businesses to get lax and complacent with their marketing efforts during spikes in business. Then when it gets slow, most business owners hit the marketing very hard. This pattern continues to repeat itself lending ups and downs throughout the year in sales. The most effective way to keep a steadier sales pattern is to continue your marketing even when you are busy. This will help prevent those slow times. Now for many small businesses, the owner is the “marketing director”, the “customer service representative”, the “accountant”, and the many other hats required for the business. However, strictly following your marketing plan is a must to keep a steady cash flow.

Within your marketing plan, I suggest a good mix of promotional products, print ads, local sponsorships, social media, email newsletters, and online marketing. Some companies benefit from doing direct mail campaigns and others benefit from TV or radio commercials. In your marketing plan, be sure to specify 1) What task you are doing, 2) When that task should be done, 3) Who is responsible for doing the task, and 4) How much will that task cost. After your plan is finalized, print it and hang it on your wall right next to your computer monitor so you will see it everyday. Be sure you are tracking results of each marketing task so you will know whether or not to continue or discontinue that particular task. Revise your marketing plan as often as necessary.

If you don’t have a marketing plan, be sure and create one now. If you don’t, you are leaving your business at risk for failure. Spread out your marketing efforts to reach your target audience with as many communication channels as possible. A good mix or promotional products, printing, social media, text message marketing, and good old fashion phone calls will make sure all communication means are used. With the right plan and the ambition to stay on plan, your business will be successful.

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