Annual Planning: What To Include On Your Planning Calendar
Now that you know where you need to go and the levers you’ll use to get there, it’s time to map it all out across the year!
Transfer all of your events – from training, inventory, promotions, big meetings, new products, etc. – to a planning calendar.
We highly recommend mapping ideas in a Excel or Number spreadsheet document. It allows you to see – at a glance – when you are busy (with programming, training, events) and when you have more time for scheduling events.
You’ll want to include the months of the year at the top of the document (along x-axis). Down the side of the document (along the y-axis) you can include a variety of categories to plan for over the year.
- Sales Objectives – a must for any planning calendar! Include monthly goals and budgets.
- Business Objectives – what do you want to achieve each month or quarter?
- Product and Message Focus – what do you want your customers to know about this month or quarter?
- Communication Calendar – plan out your newsletter, blogging, and social media topics for the year.
- Give Back Events – how will you give back to your community over the course of the year?
- Key Holidays – what holidays can/should you plan promotions around? Can you expect a surge or decrease in customers for some of these holidays?
- Operations – inventory, tax preparation or filing, hiring/training and other internal “must-do’s” should also be included on your calendar.
While planning an entire year might seem like an overwhelming task, doing so will help you in the long run. You’ll easily be able to see when things are “light” on the marketing side of things, and also when things will be very busy. Additionally, you won’t have to scramble to think of a topic for a blog post or newsletter for June, and when Valentine’s Day arrives, you’ll already have the perfect promotion planned since Christmas.
Members, need a template for creating your planning calendar? Click here! Not a member yet? Join today!