We are onto the final week of our 3-week series, A New Year! A New Plan! We’ve discussed the past, the present… and now this week… onto making plans for the future, 2012 (and beyond, if you’d like). Today, we’re going to work on our marketing plan for next year. Make sure to revisit the Marketing Review post from 2 weeks ago. It’ll help you plan for 2012 if you’ve identified what worked and didn’t work in 2011.
By identifying your marketing strengths and weaknesses, you should have been able to identify opportunities for growth. What are some of the changes you’d like to see in the next year? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Can you better hone on a target market than you did in the past? Who is the ideal client you will aim to work with in 2012? Where do they go for research and decision-making?
- Can you better define your niche? How will you communicate your specialty in 2012?
- What changes/updates would you like to make in your branding identity? How will you make these changes? Will you work with a graphic designer or are you able to make the updates yourself?
- Will you be introducing new services and/or products in 2012? What are they? How will you communicate these to potential clients?
- How will you price your goods and services?
- What are your sales targets for 2012? Have you updated your sales plan?
- What will you do to promote your business? (See below.)
Goal-setting for Marketing
All of these questions can draw up a gazillion to-dos. Let’s not get overwhelmed. Pick 3 things you want to happen next year and make them your marketing goals. They can be big or small, short-term or long-term. But pick the ones that are “top of mind”… the ones that you are most passionate about. Use our SMART goal-setting sheet to help.
How will you promote your business in 2012?
Once I set my sales targets, I find it really important to tie my promotional strategies to those sales targets. For example, if I have a sales target of doing 23 weddings in 2012, I want to identify the promotional activities that will get me those 30 weddings. My promotional plan may look something like this:
Ad on XYZ website –> 3 weddings
Podunk Bridal Show –> 6 weddings
4 networking events each month –> 6 weddings (from colleague referrals)
Feature on 3 bridal blogs (will target Lovely Shmovely, Weddings Galore, & Dress Me Fancy) –> 4 weddings
Past client referrals –> 4 weddings
TOTAL = 23 weddings
So how do I come up with those numbers? I look at my history of success with those that I’ve done before. I put in a feel for what I “WANT” to do. And, really… just guesstimate to the best of my ability. But, by tying my promotional activities to my sales quota, I’m more likely to put in the effort and get the results.
I break this promotional plan into a month-by-month plan and I also budget any cost to my business in $, or the time it will take for me to devote if there is no cost involved (networking and seeking editorial).
Here is my Promotional Goal Sheet spreadsheet that I use to plan how I will promote my business on an annual basis:
What are some of the new ways you’ll promote your business in 2012? Share your fun tips with us!
Join us tomorrow as we make a plan for our business’ operations.
A holiday deal for you…
Throughout these 3 weeks, we’ll be offering $100 off The Simple Plan Exclusive which is our one-to-one partnership with small business owners to help build a business plan. Simply visit The Simple Plan website to learn more about The Exclusive and enter the discount code “2012” when you enroll. This offer is only good through December 30th and space is limited to first-come-first-served.