So you are trying to get started in your first annual plan. When your trying to grow your business you need to develop a marketing plan. Then, you regularly review your plan to see how you are doing. Are you meeting your benchmarks? Does it need some revisions? You don’t know how to reach your goals if you don’t first have a map to get there.Read More.
Let’s get started!
First, you need to assess your business. Let’s look at your sales records. When do they indicate your peaks were? What about your valleys? What were our most effective sales promotions? Which ones really tanked? What can you do to make your strategy more effective?
Weed out any ineffective product lines from your plate o f offerings. Those that don’t make a profit or don’t benefit the bottom line need to be shown the door.
Where you do want to be in 2009? Do you want to hire your first employee? Maybe you want to change locations, expand your offerings, or remodel your storefront/website. This is all part of assessing your business.
Now, we need to map out the year. Focus on those items that can be or should be improved and corrected. Get your calendar of choice and start marking time for vacations, special promotional periods, etc. Plan one month out of the year to focus on your website. Plan one day a week to update your blog. Schedule a monthly allotment of time to work on your email marketing campaign. Finally, plan a weekend weekend to think of new ways to market your business.
Next, begin planning your promotions and how to make them happen. Be sure to consider your vendors turnaround times and holiday schedules. Do this now so that you can talk them up through out the year.
Once you have your promotions planned, you need to decide on the design of the promotions. That way, you’ll be ready to go when the time arrives.
Don’t forget about tax time! Be sure you have enough money to pay taxes if necessary.
Review your prices and adjust them accordingly.
Now ACT! If you don’t have a blog already, get one! Then, keep it busy with news about your business. Get the buzz out there about your business. Enter information about upcoming specials, promotions, etc. Remind your customers in September about the upcoming Christmas season so they can get purchases made early and have their shopping done! Solicit testimonials from your customers and put them on your blog.
Remember, update your website at a minimum once a month. The search engines will like it and clients will keep coming back to see what’s new on your site.
Cross promote your specials so that clients who can’t take advantage of one might be able to do so with another. Consider creating a postcard with multiple dates for promotions so that you can not only reuse it, but make it easy for your customers to shop.
Adjust your order and fulfillment process to cut expenditures and reduce turnaround time.
If you plan for the new year early, it’ll make your life simpler in the long run. You’ll reach your goals faster, and the journey will be much more pleasant.