If your business/strategic/marketing plan isn’t written down, your staff isn’t going to know what to do. People don’t pick things up through “Osmosis”.
I’ve been in situations, where the business owner was not reachable. Staff members had decisions that had to be made, but because there wasn’t a written plan, the work actually came at a standstill until the owner could be contacted to make those decisions.
That’s a very ineffective and inefficient way to run and manage your business.
If you have staff, whether it’s large or small, if everybody’s pulling in the same direction you’ll get there faster, better and with less effort.
It would be similar to the Budweiser horses all tied up to the wagon but pulling in different directions. You see, if the path is mapped out and plotted in advance, everyone knows which way to go. If they hit a road block, an educated choice can be made to get to the destination. Simple, right?
A simple wall calendar, outlining activities and deadlines and can be a great start and a huge help to your staff. If everyone knows the tasks and the sub-tasks, then the major tasks will be completed. And remember, they have to be measurable and checked up on. What gets measured gets done!
Let me simplify all this and give you an example. Every major task, or activity, has multiple mini-tasks that have to be accomplished to finish the major task.
So let’s start with a large blank wall calendar for the current year. Put it on the wall somewhere everyone can see it.
This is what to do next on the calendar:
1. Identify the proposed dates for all major company events. Think about workshops, teleseminars, product launches, speaking engagements, and whatever else you have going on. Color code the major events so they’re easily identified on the calendar.
2. Using backward planning concepts, identify the marketing plan for each event such as:
a. Direct Mail Projects
b. Email Marketing
c. Voice Blasts
3. Color code your major marketing steps for each of the above events accordingly.
4. Once your road map is visual, you’ll easily see all the steps it will take to get the jobs done, and then you can determine if you can get more accomplished, or if you’ve been too aggressive with your plan.
5. Adjust your plan as you see fit. Remember, aggressiveness is OK – but craziness is just crazy! Can you implement and execute your plan within the personnel and budget requirements you have?
This is the basis of your executable marketing plan for this year and beyond.
Think about it, you’ll know how many emails to write, how many voice blasts to do, what your direct mail program is going to look like, how many times you can mail in the time frames provided, can you add additional teleseminars or webinars to your plan, and list goes on and on. Just by thinking this out, you’ll be able to estimate your income for that year and beyond. And, your staff will have direction, whether you’re in the office or not.
Start with the overall strategic plan and take it to the next level – your marketing plan. Keep in mind that you’re not bound to stick to the plan if something isn’t working or not profitable. Just adjust your plan and market on!
You don’t have to be an expert in planning. You can be the idea person. The key is being able to convey the ideas. Your staff can participate in this process. It can be fun and a learning experience for all. So, if planning is your weakness, make sure you surround yourself with the right people who can do that with you, not for you, with your goals and objectives in mind.