Aug 1, 2018
by Elizabeth Slater
By Elizabeth Slater
I know it is the middle of summer, so the idea of planning for next year is probably the furthest thing from your mind. Though with the way the days fly past, before we know it we will be up against the holidays and the New Year will be upon us. Now is the time to start planning for 2019.
This actually may be a good time to do it, as for many businesses the summer can be a bit quieter as more people are on holiday or caught up with kids activities. If we make a plan and a timeline now for the first part of next year (at least) there is a good chance that more things will get done next year, than did this year. Don’t wait until January to start on the list.
Break your plan down into different elements such as:
Publicity and Promotion
Think of the things you want or need to do and commit your ideas to paper with a timeline of when the projects will be accomplished. This increases your chances of starting and finishing these projects. There is something about putting things down on paper that makes them concrete and makes us much more likely to be taken care of them. If the “To Do” list and ideas just roll around in your head they are much more easily forgotten or ignored.
Showing your “To Do” list to others also increases your chances of getting things done Especially, if those people are the type who will ask you occasionally how your list is coming along, or if you have finished with some of your projects. Think of it as telling people what your New Year’s resolutions are.
Take the four elements shown above, Marketing, Collateral, Publicity and Training and write each of those headings on four different pieces of paper. List the programs you wish to implement in 2019. Then list the objectives and expectations for each program. If you know what you specifically want to achieve you are much more likely to meet your goals.
Marketing: List your plan for the marketing programs you wish to implement for 2019.
• Look at what has been working for you and what you need to add.
• Outline new programs
• Research your competition to see what they are doing
• Take an objective look at your website
• Does your website need updating? If so:
What pages need to be updated?
What information needs to be added?
Is it time for a new look?
Events: If you are planning to do events, lay the groundwork early for the type of event you wish to create.
• What are the objectives and expectations?
• When will the events take place?
• When do you want the event to take place?
The more information you have down the better your chances of the event actually happening
Collateral: Does your collateral material (brochures, newsletters, etc.) need a new look or does the design just need to be tweaked slightly to bring it up to date?
• What has changed in the business and the personnel since you printed the last brochure?
• How many newsletters and other promotional pieces will be to your customers and when?
Social Media: Delve into your social media and see how effective it is in bringing in new and current clients.
• How many followers do you have?
• How often do you post?
• What types of things do you post?
• Are you making full use of photographs and video?
Publicity and Promotion :
• How many press releases did you send out this last year?
• How many did you plan on sending out?
• How many media people did you contact by e-mail, fax, letter or telephone?
• How many story ideas did you submit to the media?
• Is your media list of writers, newspapers, television and radio stations, magazines and web sites up to date?
• Are you using direct mail or other means to encourage sales?
Ensure that your staff is up to date with everything that you are doing in 2019. The more they know the more they will use the tools you have given them.
Making an early start and spending a couple of hours each week putting a list together can take a lot of your mind and keep your business on the right track.
A tip of the glass from me to you.
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