Getting To Know Your Planning Tool
Getting To Know Your Calendar
Rows Across The Top – Dates
Across the top are dates. We have a year marked off by Quarters, Months and Weeks. We use the Monday date to start each week. Customize this to meet your needs.
Left Side Column – Topics
Along the left are groups of key topics ranging from sales goals to holidays. In our template we have:
Shows goals vs. actual sales as well as a monthly marketing budget.
Quarterly Business Objectives
The key big areas of focus for our staff.
Product & Message Focus
More specific product and messaging, broken down by month. This covers the Key Theme / Focus for the month, any Featured Products / Services we’ll be promoting, and any scheduled Customer Service / Experience Focus event.
The Communications portion of the document should include all the different ways send your message to the world. Most businesses will have a primary message they “broadcast” across all their channels.
In some cases, you may segment your messaging to say different things via different vehicles. For example, if you know your Mom customers follow Facebook but your Teen customer are on Twitter, you may need communicate in a different tone, and maybe with a different message to those different groups.
While that may sound complicated, that is exactly what this tool is for… It makes it easy to map out all your programs and communications in one place!
- Customer Newsletter – Use this to indicate when your newsletter will be sent. Use the Product & Message Focus and Key Dates & Holidays sections to drive your key topics.
- Social Media – Use this row to indicate the key topic or focus of your social media efforts. Again, use your Product & Key Message focus to drive your social media content. For more detail on social media check out our Course dedicate solely to Social Media.
- Blogging – Use this row to indicate the topics for your blog articles. (Again, let your key theme and message points drive your content).
- Media Outreach – When you will have a new product, service, program or other offering, that are worthy of sharing make sure you reach out to the media. Below are a few tools (with links to each) you may want to consider.
- “Behind the Scenes” Tour – Your expertise may be interesting to others, consider offering the media a Behind the Scenes Tour to how you serve customers, how you prepare your special product, or some other relevant topic.
- Calendar Listings – Get yourself listed in your area print and online calendars.
- Media Advisory – Let the media know when you have a newsworthy event coming up.
- Press Release – A press release is a great formal way to alert the media to a newsworthy event at your location.
- Radio Station: Morning Drive Product Samplings – Contact the program manager at your local morning drive radio station to see if you can serve your product to the radio crew. Shannon (one of the creators of this site) when she was working for Starbucks, had the highest sales of Gingerbread Lattes in North America. Why? Because she served them on-the-air on the most popular radio morning show Elliot in the Morning. (She hadn’t paid for advertising either, only cost her cost of goods and a few hours of her time).
- Newspaper & Magazine: Product Sampling – Become known as the local expert on your product. Provide the media with a chance to try your product, or demonstrate it to them. Focus on being the expert of the category – wine expert, spa expert, burger expert. Not only will they appreciate how you do your business, you may become the “go to” person next time they have a story on, wine, spas or burgers.
- TV Station: Product Sampling – This is the same idea as the Newspaper & Magazine topic above, but it geared toward TV and Cable broadcasting.
Give Back Events
Where we indicate any community give-back or charity events.
Key Dates & Holidays
Use this section to indicate any relevant holidays or events.
A section for our internal dates and events. We want to make sure we indicate all labor-intensive activities that require attention and effort. These include any employee training, inventory, team meetings, etc.
Customize the template to fit your needs. You could have many more rows or just a few.