26 Mar Ready. Set. Market. Part 1 of Creating a Marketing Plan
Planning. Even the word elicits images of boring white paper and black pens and hours spent trying to predict what should happen in the next month or year.
Instead you could be meeting your customers, buying new product or re-arranging the pictures on your wall.
Almost anything sounds more exciting than planning. But to grow the direction you want to grow, you must have a plan. In order to not spend all your advertising budget in one place at one time on this GREAT deal that really popular television or radio or website has to offer, you’ll have to…ick…plan.
This month we’ll take it a step at a time. Every Monday for the month of January, I’m going to post one thing you can do to make sure you’re ready for the next 11 months. A step at a time, we’ll create a plan for your business.
I can’t promise it will be painless. Paper cuts happen. But I will promise to be there with you.
The First Step
Here’s our first step: Create a budget
I HATE numbers. I love reading the story numbers tell, but getting to that story can be a bit painful. But before you can spend wisely, you must know what you have to spend.
This month you’ll be getting your financial statements ready to hand over to your accountant. Take a look at what you spent on marketing last year. Then take a look at your total revenue.
For established businesses that just need to remain top of mind, spending 5-7% of your income is fine. For new businesses carving out a niche in the market, it’s not uncommon to spend 15-20% of your income. If you think you spent too much or too little in 2012, now is the time to recognize that. Make a decision, based on your business, your needs and your ability, what your total advertising budget will be for 2013.
No, really, that’s the first step. Keep the sticky note you wrote those numbers on because we’ll need it next week when we start moving forward with our plan. But for today, you’re done.
Now go get yourself a coffee, you deserve it!