Tips and Tricks for Business Success and Growth
By Rama Beerfas
October 2, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – I recently had a conversation with a contact who told me, “I need to meet with you to discuss my marketing plan for next year. I am just so busy that I don’t think I’ll have time to do it until things slow down in late December.” Of course, once “late December” rolls around, he’ll probably be too busy with holiday plans to give his 2011 marketing plan any thought either.
When it comes to excuses for not developing a marketing plan, I’ve heard them all: “Business is so good, I don’t need a plan.” “I am so busy with other things; I’ll deal with it later.” “I’ve got it all in my head.” – and more.
The fact is that a written marketing plan can help you achieve five things: 1) A measure of accountability because your roadmap to success is on paper, or on your computer. 2) The ability to fill your pipeline with prospects for a slow period down the road. 3) The ability to capitalize on current customers to increase business. 4) You have the opportunity to make #2 and #3 not seem like last-minute dashes for business to your customers and prospects. 5) Your marketing efforts will be better thought out, more purposeful and may actually cost you less money than if you hadn’t planned in advance.
If you think you don’t have time, or don’t know how to go about writing a marketing plan, you can enlist the aid of a professional. Make sure that the person you work with can write a plan that makes sense to you and/or whoever will be executing the plan. If marketing jargon is not your thing, don’t work with someone who is more interested in showing off their in-depth knowledge than in putting together a plan you can read without putting you to sleep. A marketing plan does not have to be a book; we often write plans for our clients that are three to seven pages in length that include all the vital information necessary to a plan that can be implemented successfully: goals, timelines and action points.
Most importantly, once the plan is written, put it into effect. Review it at a minimum on a quarterly basis, although monthly may be better depending on your goals and action points. Don’t be afraid to tweak it as necessary – a marketing plan should be treated as a living document which responds to changes in your business, the economy, and other factors.
Rama Beerfas is Chief Solutions Specialist for San Diego-based Lev Promotions, offering marketing consulting, promotional products, business gifts and more. Rama also offers seminars and training in marketing and customer service related topics. She can be reached at (619) 697-2045 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.levpromotions.com. Column requests and comments are welcome.