Top 8 Items to Include in Your Communications Plan
Last week, we discussed the importance of a developing a communications plan for your small business. As the name suggests, communications plans can help you plan out your communications (both internal and external) over the course of the year to ensure that you’re “saying” what you need to say, when you need to say it. Now, let’s discuss the types of things you can include on your communications plan.
Small Business Communications Plan: What to Include
It’s always a good idea to start laying out your calendar by using one that already exists! Take a look at a regular calendar and note when major national holidays fall for the year. It also might be fun to mark non-traditional holidays (like “National Cheese-Lover’s Day” or “Fly a Kite Day,” for example) on your calendar – just find holidays that relate to your business!
This is a no brainer – plan out when you want to offer special discounts or run clearance sales. While it may seem easier to just decide these things as you go, having a plan in place will help make sure that you are focused on full-priced selling at other times of the year.
For a restaurant, plan out when you want to introduce new menu items. For a spa or other service-based industry, plan out when you want to introduce new services to your customers. And, for a retail shop, plan out when you’ll do your seasonal buying. By noting these items on your communications plan, you’ll be able to adequately plan for employee training and marketing initiatives for these
This item is mostly geared towards your internal audience – your employees. Allow time for seasonal employee hiring and training before the summer or holidays. Depending on the size of your staff, hosting a monthly or quarterly “check-in” with your employees can also be a great thing to schedule.
In addition to planning your communications about what’s going on in your business, you’ll also want to dedicate time each week or month to sharing news from your industry. This will help ensure you’re considered a leader within your industry by your customers.
Take a look at your community or city calendar for the year, or use last year’s as a reference. What big events are coming up? Can you focus your promotions or events to coincide with any of these events? Better yet, can you work with your community or city to sponsor or participate in these events?
Reach out to your charity partner to see what events they have coming up for the year, or if there are any times of the year that they have “holes” in their fundraising. This way, you can coordinate your fundraising efforts to make the biggest impact.
Are you planning to celebrate your business with an anniversary or birthday party? Or, do you want to host weekly or monthly events to drive business to your location? If so, it’s best to plan these out in advance so that you have plenty of time to work with vendors or other partners you’ll need to make your events a success!
What items would you include in your communications plan? Let us know in the comments section below!
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