5 Steps to Creating Your Marketing Plan

 
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The first quarter of the year is my favorite time to rethink my goals and plan out how I want to reach audiences for the coming months. Yes, I know most businesses spend the last quarter of the year focused on these items, but I’ve found by that point I’m exhausted and dreaming up great ideas is hard. Perhaps I have a different view because I am a super small business owner, or maybe it is just how my brain is wired, but the start of a new year comes as a clean slate to me. It’s perfect for planning.

This year, I spent January planning out the entire year. During my planning sessions, I put into practice a 5 step plan to help me plan how the Peach would be seen.

Step 1: Know your Business

Who are you and what makes your business the perfect option for clients and customers to partner with? No one knows your business like you do, so take some time to jot down an overview of who you are, what you do and why you rock!

Step 2: Know your Market

This part should be easy too… who is your ideal customer? List every detail you can think of - demographics, decisions, behaviors, etc. If you get stuck, ask yourself these questions.

“Who is my customer?”
“Why do they buy from me?”
“What problem do I solve for my clients?”

Step 3: Know your Goals

Here is the section that I always struggle with. Goal setting… it seems so simple, but when you step back to dream about your business, it can be overwhelming. Instead of letting the details slow me down, this year I just looked at the end result. What do you want accomplish this year?

Once I set the year-long goals, I was able to break them down into bite-sized chunks that could be accomplished each quarter, month, week and day. Taking the big goal and setting myself up each day for mini-goals was exactly what I needed to finish this part of my plan.

Step 4: Know your Budget

“Show me the money!” Nah, we never want to pour all the money into our business budget, but setting yourself up for success really starts here. Instead of thinking about the overall budget of your business, just focus on the marketing portion. How much will you spend to accomplish the strategy you will build in our next step? Where will this money come from?

This part isn’t a fan favorite, but it is very important. You want to make sure you are realistic when setting your budget. Know what you can afford and what you can’t afford.

Step 5: Know your Strategy

Now that we have an idea of what we want to do, who we want to reach and how much we are planning on spending to hit these goals for the year, it is time to plan our strategy. Take each goal you have and list out exactly what it will take to reach. What is the timeline? What kind of budget is needed for the goal? Knowing exactly what is needed will help set yourself up for success (it also lets you know if you need to make adjustments to your goal.)

Now that you have your marketing plan set for 2019, think about who you need to be in contact with to make these happen. Are you in need of design help? Promotional items? Ad space? By planning out all of your goals and strategies for the year you will know exactly where you want your business seen to reach the clients you need.