2015 Planning: A Primer for the Best 2015
Happy New Year!
Is your small business ready for 2015? With all the ups and downs that come with running a small business, an annual marketing plan is something that can help you stay on track (or, mostly on track). If you haven’t already created an annual marketing plan for your business, we’ve got tips to get you started. Check them out below!
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First, let’s look back…
Take some time to reflect on what you accomplished (or didn’t accomplish) over the past year. As you look back on your past year, it’s important to look at things that got you to “where you are.”
- What did you accomplish over the past year?
- What did you achieve financially, when compared to your goals?
- It’s also helpful to look over actuals/goals for things like customer capture, average ticket, customer service score or online reviews.
- What marketing activities did you participate in? Traditional advertising, social media, event promotion, etc. are all examples of marketing activities. Assess which ones worked, and which ones didn’t, and make a plan to keep doing what worked in the new year, and make changes to the items that didn’t work.
Also, make sure you also look at intrinsic factors like, operational costs and procedures, employee training, location appearance and organization, vendor relations, etc.
This stage of self-evaluation is super important. Only by being honest with yourself can you make work to positively impact your business in the new year!
Now, let’s evaluate…
We think the best way to evaluate these types of activities (and your involvement in them), is to use the Continue, Stop, Start method.
With each activity, based on their impact on your business, make a decision as to whether you should continue doing them, stop doing them, or start doing them.
Continue: These activities are working for you and your business, and you should continue doing them.
Start: You haven’t been doing these activities, and you need to start.
Stop: These activities cost too much time, money or energy, and aren’t paying off. Stop doing them.
Finally, let’s plan!
Once you have your marketing activities in the three categories above, you’ve got great stepping stones to begin your annual planning. What are your goals for 2015? Once you make them S.M.A.R.T., you can get to planning! First, eliminate the activities that haven’t been working, and move resources previously dedicated to those activities to ones that you want to start or continue.
We hope these tips for self-evaluation will provide you with the foundation to plan the most successful year you’ve had to date!