MARKETING MATTERS: A SLOW FOURTH QUARTER IS A GREAT WAY TO KICK OFF THE FIRST QUARTER

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Tips and tricks for business success and growth

By Rama Beerfas

October 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – For many businesses outside the retail sector, the fourth quarter is the slowest one of the year. Budgets have been spent, people are on vacation or in a holiday frame of mind, and new projects are being put off until after the first of the year. It can seem like a great time to just kick back a bit, or a time to worry about how to make ends meet until things pick back up.

Ideally, though, the fourth quarter should be the time when you evaluate the past year and plan out your business and marketing plans for the coming year. Even if the fourth quarter is a busy time for you, it's important to do this now so that you can get a jumpstart on the new year.

1.     Evaluate your current business and/or marketing plan towards putting together one for 2014:

a.     So you never wrote a business and/or marketing plan at all; you kept it all in your head. Unfortunately, that just resulted in a huge headache when you realized that nothing was going the way you'd "planned." Take the time to sit down and put together a written plan. Don't know how? Get a book, take a class, or hire someone to do it for you - Lev Promotions is one resource.

b.     You did write a plan, but it's been living in the dark recesses of your computer or a desk drawer because you haven't actually looked at it since you finalized it, then now's the time to pull it out and see what you'd planned to do vs. what you actually did. More than likely, most of your plan went by the wayside and you ended up somewhere entirely different than where you wanted to be. Revisit the plan, bringing it up to date so that you can really put it into action for next year.

c.     You wrote a plan and reviewed it at least once a quarter to compare reality to your plans. You kept your plan in motion, tweaking it when needed to keep it current and viable. Keep up the good work.

2.     Write a plan for 2014.

a.     If you had an actual written plan in 2013,  you don't have to recreate the wheel. Keep the parts of the old plan that still apply and add new components where they make sense.

b.     If you didn't have a written plan - now is the time!

3.     Schedule regular intervals to review your plan.

a.     Review it at least on a quarterly basis, if not on a monthly one.

b.     Tweak as needed.

With a good marketing plan in place to use as a roadmap to guide you through the year, it should be easier than ever to find success and growth in 2014.

Rama Beerfas is Chief Solutions Specialist for San Diego-based Lev Promotions, offering business gifts  marketing consulting, promotional products 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 rama@levpromotions.com or visit www.levpromotions.com. Column requests and comments are welcome.


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