By Rob Weinberg
In my world, November is when we separate real business owners from those pursuing a hobby. The difference is shown by who is updating their business plans.
At the MarketBuilding Team we constantly collect new business ideas. In September we start shaping the coming year by merging them all in one place, marrying them to realistic objectives, strategies and budgets.
It’s true we have a small company. Still, we see an immense value from keeping our business and marketing plans current and referring to them both regularly.
And we write down everything — marketing ideas, suppliers, and our prices — to provide consistency and ensure nothing’s forgotten.
These plans let us track our sales by source to improve efficiency. We know how we’ll acquire new business activity, what revenues and profit margins we can reasonably expect from each client, and the best avenues to pursue to grow our bottom line.
Using this information to understand the marketplace, our competition and ourselves, we’ve been able to think through any challenges that lie before us. We’ve realized the value of aggressively marketing in the coming year.
It’s why we’re targeting new audiences, increasing our speaking opportunities, and offering discounts on our newsletter drip campaigns.
With our clients typically distracted by holiday events, Q4 becomes a great time to do our future planning. We use this opportunity to examine the year now ending, looking to duplicate successes and generate fresh ideas for a stronger future.
You’ve heard me say it before: the best reason to market in 2012 is 2013 — because not actively marketing your business now will translate into your beginning a new job search in six months.
If you haven’t already planned your own business growth for 2012, now’s the time to get on it. Determine realistic goals for the next 12 months, and make sure you’re selling to the right people.
Marshal adequate resources to achieve your objectives and perhaps, most importantly, determine why someone should buy from you instead of the guy down the street.
Because if you can’t think of what separates your product or service from the crowd, odds are good your prospective customers won’t have reasons to buy from you either.
With that said, I wish you a year of profitable marketing.
Mr. Marketing has already drafted his 2012 business plan, and can help you with yours, too. Reach him at www.askmrmarketing.com.