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 — If you’re a financial advisor, you’re in luck. I’ve compiled a detailed 12-Month Financial Services Annual Content Marketing Calendar for you to use throughout the coming year. Specifically, it’s a special report packed with 250+ content ideas for your blog, social posts and other client and/or prospect communications. You’ve hit pay dirt!
#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.
#3 — 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 early November communications for year-end planning, January financial health check-up communications, and so on.
#4 — 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 #3). Also, keep in mind that most speaking engagements can be repeated year after year; therefore, optimizing your time.
#5 — 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.
#6 — 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.
Who can you partner with to expedite the growth of your business?
#7 — 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. (I’m in the process of updating this list and have removed the link.) However, here is one book I reviewed. It was an excellent read.
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 grounded 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.
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