PLANNING BASICS FOR 2018
In doing your “growth plan” for 2018 there is a base line from which to start. Once the base line is established then specific marketing tactics for your business can be developed. As most of you know, I will be finishing my 6th business planning session this coming Monday night at the Civic Center Library in Scottsdale.
Our attendance for the first 5 sessions was made up of approximately 70 small business owners. At each class I asked each person to state their name, what they do as well as the biggest challenge they are facing in their business today.
With the exception of about 5 people, the biggest challenge was getting customers; for the small business owner, it’s all about marketing. The following are the fundamentals which every small business owners should have in place for 2018. They will form the foundation upon which to build the rest of your campaign.
- Data Base Management: I have repeated this at almost every meeting and in countless articles and blogs. A data base of people who know who you are and have given you permission to market to them is one of the most valuable assets your business has. Make it a point to grow your current data base by at least 100 new names by the end of 2018.
- Value Proposition: for those of you in attendance last week we looked at how to develop your own Value Proposition, what makes you different than the rest of your competition and what benefits do you offer. All your marketing material should have your Value Proposition stated clearly and it should be the first thing a prospect should see.
- Communications: Having a data base, past customers, prospects and a target market, is worthless unless they hear from you on a regular basis. Make it a point to have at least one point of contact each month with everyone in your data base. If you can, make it two a month. Use a tool like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp to send out your newsletters.
- Blog: Content management is one of the keys to growth, and a blog is a good way to send out your message. I recommend that you blog at least once a week.
- Networking: Meeting new people is the best way to increase your data base as well as your business. Make it a point to attend at least one networking meeting (be selective) every week.
- Web Site: this is where your future customers will find you and based upon what they see, they will either click next or find out more about your product/service. Have a few members of your peer group or your mentor review your current website.
- LinkedIn: while there are many options in social media, I recommend that you first establish a LinkedIn profile page. I believe that many of your serious future prospects will look at your profile before taking action.
Review this basic marketing foundation and make sure it is in place to kick off 2018.
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