The One New Year’s Resolution Your Business Can’t Live Without
As 2009 draws to a dramatic finish, it’s time for small businesses to begin ramping up for a bold new year full of both new opportunities and risks. And, if you’re only thinking about making your standard New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, be healthy, and stop some form of bad habit, then maybe it’s time to get your head focused more on the business side of things.
If you’re not ready to hit the ground running January 1, 2010, you are already behind your competitors. In these last two weeks of December, you need to sit down, evaluate where you went wrong in 2009 and explore how you are going to not only avoid those mistakes, but turn them into profit making decisions.
Take out your marketing plan for 2009 and see what changes you can make this year. What’s that you say? You don’t have an official marketing plan? How on earth do you have a marketing budget if you don’t know where you are going to spend it?! And if you don’t have a marketing budget, then you need to sit down right now and get things in order before you drink another glass of eggnog.
Every month, you should know exactly what you are going to do to help improve your business. What marketing project are you working on in January? How are you going to evaluate your success? These are all questions that need to be answered as you put together your marketing plan for 2010.
Ideally, you should have a 12 -month marketing plan set up from day 1 of the New Year, but if this seems like an impossible feat, then try to plan just the next 6 months or even just three months. Designate certain days during the year where you meet with your senior officers and review the plan, report the success, and see if your marketing plan needs adjustments. Put this date on your calendar. I mean it. Mine is already scheduled for May 17, but then I had my marketing plan done last month.
If you have trouble coming up with ideas or putting anything down on paper, then maybe the first step you need to take is to work with a professional to put a marketing plan together. There are many marketing professionals who can offer their consulting services to you and help you get an official report. Invite this professional to your check up meeting, and have them help you evaluate how each project rated in terms of successes and failures.
You can even get members of your staff involved. Have a meeting and discuss ways in which you can market your business. Do you have a sales team? Maybe new sales materials or brochures can be designed. Maybe your website needs a fresh new look. There are many sites that offer extremely affordable ways to get professional graphic and website design done. An example is prova.fm. This site lets the business owner open a project and multiple designers from around the world will submit actual design work for your approval. You simply choose the one you like the most.
Or maybe you could use a marketing writer to put some sizzle in your sales letters. Have you thought about internet marketing? How about print advertisements? Or radio ads?
There are so many ways in which you can effectively test your marketing, but you need to first have a plan before you run off and spend money with no way to measure your success. That’s where that marketing plan is going to come in handy! So if you make one New Year’s Resolution this year, do your business a favor and resolve to get that marketing plan written and implemented for 2010.
About the Author
Tracy Jerry is a marketing writer and branding professional, & offers weekly advertising help for small businesses at Prova.fm. For more information on the sites listed in this article, you can visit prova.fm. For more resources on this topic you can visit our helpful blog at prova.fm/advertising/blog/.
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