They say that most New Year’s resolutions are broken by Jan. 20 or so. This year from day one the gyms have been packed and the weight loss advertising has been non-stop. Let’s just hope it continues past the 20!
Well here’s one New Year’s resolution that I hope certainly stays alive: Write an annual marketing plan!
All the big brands write an annual marketing plan to outline their goals for the year and how they plan to attain them. They map out their marketing priorities and how they plan to use their mixed media to build their business.
As an entrepreneur and small-business owner, you should do the same. It will do wonders for your business, as you strategically focus on what’s important to your customers and to your business growth. It will also allow you to prioritize and more efficiently budget your resources, something all small-business owners say is a constant struggle.
Now, admittedly, it’s not easy to write a marketing plan. First of all, it takes discipline and determination to set your mind on the strategic portions of your business. It takes a clear head and a clean desk to devote the energy to it.
But it’s important to set aside the time to do it, even if it means going off site to clear your head. In fact, going off site to write your plan could bring the focus and clarity you need to think outside the clutter of your daily environment. Even if it means delegating all of your day-to-day duties for a day and letting go of the details, it’s important to take the time to write your marketing plan.
Related: How to Create a Marketing Plan
While it might feel costly in the moment, the cost of not writing a plan is even steeper. Without a plan, you’ll never get out of the weeds. You will be constantly running from fire to fire, and from problem to problem, without ever really understanding what’s causing the fire drills -- and without ever getting ahead of the problems.
That’s a problem if you’re a small-business owner with limited resources.
Over the next several weeks, I’m going to try to make it easier for you to take the time to write a marketing plan. I’m going to cover the essential elements of any plan, breaking it down step by step. If you follow my plan, you can write your plan week by week, and be done in time to have an impact on your business this year.
In the end, you’ll have a roadmap for how to grow your business over time.
Make it your New Year’s resolution. Stick with me to stick to it!