7 Resources: Small Business Planning for the New Year
It’s time to start your small business planning for another 12 months.
To help you, I’ve compiled seven business development and marketing planning resources.
But first, I can’t stress enough the importance of this initial planning step:
Before you undertake any new marketing initiatives in the coming year, I encourage you to review your business’ results from the past year.
The key is to determine what activities from this year you’ll repeat in the coming year. Frankly, I recommend that you repeat at least 50 percent of your past marketing activities. Why? Because, more than likely, most of your prospects and customers missed many of your communications. What’s more, repetition creates awareness. A purchase rarely happens without heightened awareness, unless the timing is spot-on.
Without any further delay, here are 7 marketing planning resources to help your small business thrive in the coming year.
#1 — 12-Month Marketing Plan Template & Calendar — This detailed article outlines a sample 12-month marketing plan, and includes a promotional calendar. However, you’ll need to add to the calendar, given the uniqueness of your industry, e.g., if you operate a salon, include Spa Week promotional activities for April and October. If you’re a financial advisor, then you’ll want December communications for year-end planning, January financial health check-up communications, and so on.
#2 — Defining Your Key Competitive Advantage — You likely have a great deal of competition. To distinguish yourself, be sure to exploit your key competitive advantage. This detailed post will help you.
RELATED: With the start of a new year, many business owners contemplate increasing prices. My report, How to Increase Prices without Irritating Customers, discusses this strategy in detail.
#3 — Speak to Grow Your Small Business — Hear me out. I understand public speaking may not sound appealing; however, you don’t have to stand up in front of a huge crowd. Effective public speaking can generate highly qualified sales leads even during very small, private events. This post discusses how and when to pitch yourself. Note that your speaking engagements should be part of your marketing calendar (see #1). Also, keep in mind that most speaking engagements can be repeated year after year; therefore, optimizing your time.
#4 — 17 Rules for Marketing & Running a Successful Business — To increase revenue in the new year, I encourage you to follow the 17 rules discussed in this post.
Exceptional Marketing Planning Resource
#5 — How to Create a Practical Marketing Plan — Here you’ll find a self-paced, on-demand course on how to create a marketing plan. If you’re serious about growing your business in the coming year, then take this course. It’s facilitated by Marketing Consultant, Marcia Yudkin. She’s well known for her practical, no-nonsense approach. I’ve been a fan of Marcia’s for years. I’m also an affiliate and stand behind her knowledge 100 percent. There’s a ton of small business growth “experts” out there. Marcia’s the real deal.
#6 — Recommended Business Reading List — Here, I recommend a handful of business books that have made a positive impact on my professional life. Hearing what others have to say is critical in helping to stretch your mind. Check these books out, you won’t regret it.
#7 — Partnership Marketing Ideas & Examples — In order to grow your business swiftly and affordably, it’s imperative to build marketing partnerships with other small businesses, as well as piggyback onto other business’ advertising channels. My eBook, Duplicate Yourself, discusses the process in detail.
As you ponder your marketing initiatives for the new year, reflect on the benchmarks that you’re using to make your decisions. If these benchmarks are not founded in real data, then your number one priority for the coming year is to put in place marketing measurement tools. At minimum, you should be using Google Analytics and Google Search Console. By doing so, you’ll have access to the demographics and psychographics of your website visitors.
Also, I encourage you to sign up for my free monthly marketing tip as continued inspiration for your small business growth in the coming year.
Other Marketing Planning Resources
How to Pitch Your Wholesale Line to Retailers — An excellent post detailing the steps on how to approach other businesses to sell your retail products.
Master List of Pinterest Tips — If you’re considering encompassing Pinterest in your new year marketing plans, then this post will help you get started with the basics.
How about you? Do you have any favorite marketing planning tools? Please help other small business owners by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing.