Everyone knows that with the New Year comes the big New Year’s resolutions. Many of us make personal goals, such as losing weight, being nice to our mother-in-law, not eating out so much, etc., etc. Oddly enough, many of us do not set New Year’s resolutions for our business. This is very important to do. The beginning of the year is a great time to look over the past year and look at our successes, and yes, our failures. What went well last year? What needs changed from last year? This information will help us set our resolutions. On top of this, we need to look at how to help our business grow. In this article, I am going to help you get started on your “marketing resolutions for the new year.”
- Look at your past marketing plan. What worked, what didn’t?
- Create a new marketing plan for this new year. Be sure to include the following:
- Successful marketing from last year. Don’t try anything new until you are sure you have implemented what has worked for you in the past!
- Monthly plans. Create a plan. Don’t just haphazardly advertise; what a waste! What will be your goal each month? Will you put together a mailing list and send letters to the same businesses each month for 6 months? Will you add your link to 5 sites each month? Will you start a company newsletter? Will you advertise in 5 newsletters each month? Will you apply or call 5 positions posted each day in your local newspaper?
- Target clientele. It is very important in marketing to establish who you want to sell your service or product to, and market to that group. Don’t just market somewhere because it’s cheap; market because it is going to reach your target clientele. If I am selling computers, why would I advertise in a garden magazine? Wouldn’t it be smarter to advertise in an IT magazine or newsletter even if it costs more?
- Budget marketing allowance. How much are you going to budget each month for marketing? What will you spend that allowance on? Be specific!! How much will you spend on postage, to advertise in newsletters, etc.?
- Track your budget. Pay attention to where you are spending your marketing budget. Make an Excel spreadsheet, create your budget in it, and then track your budget by noting besides each allowance where you spent it. You can even add a column to document how many leads you received from each advertising. This will allow you to better track what is working and what is not (helpful for monthly marketing and your next new year plan)!
- Plan your follow-up. Have a plan in place for when the phone rings from your marketing and it is the first client. I have an initial contact form in place. I fill out all the information I need to do follow up calls/emails. Make sure you get name, number and email (at the least)! I once had a potential client call and in the middle of the call my daughter felt that was the best time to give me back her lunch (if you know what I mean). While trying to talk with the new potential client, and clean her up (without letting him know I was distracted), I forgot to get his email. This cut off any future follow-up that I could do with him. If I had my form, this would not have happened! Have something in place!!!!
- Continually check your marketing plan. Check frequently the success of all of your marketing-that spreadsheet will be a big help. If you aren’t receiving any calls or sales from your marketing letters, evaluate why. Try to use a different marketing letter, or is it that you didn’t create your follow-up plan. Check the responses your getting from each newsletter advertisement (track the responses) and evaluate if you are spending your money on the right newsletter.
Make this year your most successful year yet! Let’s all grow our businesses and become even more prosperous than last year! In order to do this, let the world know (okay, your neighborhood for now, and the world next year) that your business is there and what you can do for your neighborhood. Create your target, and go for it!