The latest newsletter from Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions was about the reasons for developing an annual plan for your business. As promised in the newsletter, this next few articles will be targeting help with creating your Annual Business Plan. To begin the series, you should understand that a marketing plan is one of the crucial elements of the annual business plan.
The article explained that a yearly business plan or annual business plan is at the crux of the success of any business, large or small – huge conglomerate of thousands or solo entrepreneur of one. After all, if you don’t have a path through the wilderness, you will likely wander around your business, directionless. Any success you experience will only come about because you stumbled on it. Imagine how much more successful your business can be, or how much more it can grow if you develop and follow a plan.
As crucial as the annual plan is, you need to know how to develop your plan and you need to know the key elements that make up that plan.
The elements of your annual business plan are simple:
Ignore those simple, key elements and your business plan will be incomplete.
At the pinnacle is your marketing plan. Included in your marketing plan are:
1. Your marketing budget. Yes, it will become a part of your overall budget, but it is important to decide what you will spend for getting the word out about your business. Review your spending on marketing during the previous year.
2. Your marketing methods. There are formal and informal ways to market. Some will be incidental marketing and some marketing will be intentional and very deliberate.
3. Your ideal customers. Are they young or old, businesses or individuals? If you are having trouble identifying your ideal customer, part of your marketing budget should be allocated to soliciting aid with your project. There are companies and even coaches that specialize in helping you develop a plan.
4. Your marketing calendar. Create a marketing calendar and review it often. Stick to it as closely as possible. Consider how often you will attend networking events, conferences and other activities. Include your social media activity on your calendar.
5. Your key staff in the planning. Generate excitement about accomplishing your goals by including your key staff in the planning. Establish sales contests, if applicable. The more your staff sees their individual success tied to your business success, the more successful you will be.
6. Your marketing plan reviews. Review past plans as you develop your new marketing plan. How accurate were they in helping your company reach your goals? What will you repeat? What will you discard and what will be novel to the new plan?
Creating your Annual Plan should not be taken lightly. Your marketing plan within the Annual Plan is crucial. Give yourself adequate time to create your plan. Work without distractions and give your planning the attention your business deserves. If you must, find a novel setting to work in. If you are including your key staff, as suggested, take them on a retreat to work on your plan.
Don’t hesitate to look to others for solutions and suggestions for developing your Annual Business Plan. The necessity of creating an Annual Business Plan can’t be over emphasized and your marketing plan is a crucial element within that plan.