MAKE 2019 THE BEST YEAR YOUR BUSINESS HAS EVER HAD!
Savvy business owners spend time at least once a year to look back at their business to gauge its successes and failures. Entrepreneurs take stock of what worked, what didn’t, what they can do away with as a business practice and what steps they should be taking to propel the business forward. The best way to kick off a successful 2015 is to pull out your marketing plan and update it.
As a business owner, your marketing efforts can make the difference between success and failure – or success and even greater success! A marketing plan keeps your business on track, ensures you’re targeting your marketing budget in an effective manner, and hones your focus to help you succeed. Here are five tips to consider when planning your 2014 marketing plan:
- Begin at the end. What do you need to do to reach more clients in 2014? Do you want to expand your company’s reach? Are you satisfied with the number of clients you currently have? Do you want to offer new products and services to your current client list? What will you do to draw in more clients, generate more leads, find new markets? The answers to these questions should be part of your marketing plan.
- Learn from the past. To know what to do next year, you need to know what worked this year. Did you meet the goals you’d set for your company in 2014? What did you plan to do in 2014 and did you achieve those goals? What takeaways do you have from the prior year on what worked and what didn’t? If you didn’t keep accurate enough records to track your 2014 successes, make certain you are better with results tracking in 2015.
- If it isn’t working, don’t keep doing it. If “everyone" tells you your business simply must utilize Marketing Tactic X, Y, and Z but they simply don’t work for you, don’t do it. What works for the competition may, or may not, work for you. Don’t pay for, or spend time on, marketing efforts that are ineffective regardless of whether “everyone" says you must.
- Specificity counts. If you aren’t specific in your goals, it’s harder to hit the target. Picture a bulls-eye and set your marketing goals around that target. If you know you need to grow your social media reach, it needs to be on the radar with a specific idea of what success in that area means, ie: more followers, measurable leads and sales from social media efforts, etc.
- Consistency counts. Set a timeframe for your marketing effort. If you’ve determined that your ideal customer can be reached by advertising in the local newspaper, place an ad. Find a way to measure that success, ie. a coupon, special newspaper-ad-only code, etc. If you find you’re spending money on the ad and reaping no reward, you need to step back and reevaluate that marketing practice. Evaluate all efforts at least every couple of months. Keep in mind you need to be consistent; you can’t place an ad once a month and hope to see your efforts rewarded. You need to be in front of your clients and potential clients on a regular basis in order to truly measure the effectiveness of your practices.
Taking time to rethink your business plan and your marketing efforts should be an ongoing practice. At least annually you and your team needs to look at the big picture and spend a day evaluating and implementing a jumping off point toward success in 2019 and beyond.