People like me are prone to bang on about the need for a Business Plan, a Marketing Plan, a Finance Plan and so on. Mind you for me a good business plan should contain all those elements but each does have a stand-alone life of its own and each needs regular updating. It isn’t enough to have drawn up these plans, you have to use them and you have to update them regularly. Don’t leave them sitting on a shelf or in a filing cabinet!
I’m now going to tell you about another plan that you really should have in front of you every working day. The Daily Marketing Plan.
Your daily marketing plan isn’t a 50-page report with graphs and spreadsheets (though your marketing section of your business plan may well be), it is a simple 2 or 3 page summary that gets updated DAILY?
Creating a daily marketing plan is no different than creating a goal sheet or to-do list, because that’s essentially what it is. All you need is a simple report outlining your marketing goals for the day, the week, the month, and the quarter. As you accomplish these goals, check them off the list and move onto your next task! There’s no secret, no magic formula, and no mystery as to how you can track your marketing.
Of course the daily marketing plan has to be based on your business and/or marketing plan, but instead of referring to that big report every day, just review it quarterly against the achievements shown on your daily plan.
Depending on the business you are in your daily plan can be just a few sheets of paper stapled together and left on your desk, or perhaps a spreadsheet that you update. Only you will know what your particular goals are and how you want to measure your achievements.
Years ago I set up a small company incorporating companies, both UK and offshore, for the clients of accountants, lawyers and financial advisors. In working out my marketing plan I set targets for the number of formation orders we wanted to average every day over the year, as well as the number of orders for secondary services such as providing company secretarial services.
I didn’t just pluck the figures out of the air and I knew, and allowed for the fact that sales in August were always much lower than normal because people were on holiday. I also knew that early December tended to be busy as businesses incorporated before the year end and also as accountants cleared their desks before Christmas. January was also very slow as UK accountants were snowed under with work trying to finalise their clients’ tax returns.
Anyway, I set out my expected sales for each week in a spreadsheet which I updated during the week. I also put a large whiteboard in the main office which was updated as every order came in so that staff could see where they were against their targets. In the first quarter after I introduced this system our sales increased by 38% against the previous year. In fact we ended the full 12 month period 78% up on the previous year – all with the same marketing budget and the same number of staff.
OK, maybe you don’t have staff to incentivise but you do need too incentivise yourself. Whether you are selling goods or services you need to have some system like this. It is a simple idea but often they are the best. It works. Try it.
- Starting a Business – You Need a Business Plan
- What Use is a Business Plan?
- Avoiding Business Burn Out
- Is It Laziness That’s Holding You Back?