Here we are looking ahead to the last few months of the year.
Remember that marketing plan you put together for your business at the beginning of the year?
What’s that? You didn’t have one? Or you made one, but didn’t implement it?
Either way, there’s still time to develop strategies to market your business through the end of the year. And you know what? Creating a marketing plan for only three months at a time is a lot more manageable than trying to craft one for all 12 months at once.
So let’s look at the bright side, and talk about how to market your small business through the end of this year so you can ring in the new year with a real sense of accomplishment.
First, ask yourself this
One of the most difficult aspects of marketing your business — especially when you do the work yourself — is knowing where to put your time and energy.
Ask yourself this question so you know what to focus on:
What will bring the most income into my business?
Most readers of this blog are running for-profit enterprises. If you’re not, just translate this question into “what will bring the most donations into my organization?”
Take a long, hard look at how you’re marketing your business. What is the most important improvement you could make between now and the end of the year? What one item would give you a sense of accomplishment if you got it done?
That’s what you should focus your marketing plan around during these last few months of the year. For many people, that one item is a website. They’re not happy with their current site, or they don’t have a site at all.
If you have a website that you’re happy with, you may need to improve your use of social media, or the way you’re using advertising. You decide: what one marketing effort would bring the most income into your business in this last quarter of the year?
Next, chunk your goal down
Do you use to-do lists? I do. I couldn’t run my business without them!
If you’ve ever used a to-do list, you know that there are two kinds. First, there’s the list that makes you want to go back to bed and pull the covers over your head, and it looks like this:
- Re-do website
- Create new brochure
- Improve social media strategy
Then, there’s the list that gives you hope for success. It’s not full of goals, but tasks. Each long-term goal is broken down into tiny, do-them-in-less-than-a-day tasks. It looks like this:
- Research web hosts and decide which one to use.
- Ask Roger who designed his brochure and get the designer’s contact information.
- Create Facebook posts for this week and use scheduling feature to set up.
That’s a list that inches you ever closer to your big marketing goals, using do-it-in-a-day steps.
The next time you’re looking at your marketing plan and feeling overwhelmed, try this technique. First, pick the marketing goal that will create the most income for your company. Then, chunk that goal down into tasks that you can do in less than a day. Finally, devote some time every day to inch toward your goal.
Question of the week
What do you have planned for your marketing in the last quarter? Feel free to use the comment section to announce your intention: there’s nothing like public accountability to help push you toward your goal!