by Patricia Bumpass
√ Black Friday Shopping
√ Twenty-Sixteen = Almost
In the midst of completing all of your Christmas shopping and end of year tasks, there is one more task we as writers and business owners tend to put off or at the least on the back burner.
Planning for our business(es) for the upcoming year.
Twenty-Sixteen is quickly leaving us behind.
And, before you know it, twenty-seventeen will be upon us.
January 1, 2017, is not the best time to plan your upcoming year.
Take some time now, before 2016 ends and get your plan together for 2017.
In last month’s article, you were encouraged to review what you did and did not accomplish in 2016.
You were encouraged to review your business and marketing plans and use them as catalysts to plan your business activities for 2017.
Saying Goodbye to 2016
What one task did you decide you could and would tackle for 2016?
Did you write it down in your journal?
Are you on track to achieving that goal?
Before moving to planning for 2017, take a few minutes to write down the answers to these questions.
Include any successes or failures. Celebrate your successes and/or let the missteps go.
Looking ahead to 2017
Time to get your head in the game for 2017.
Grab your trusty journal, a pen or pencil and turn to the page you marked 2017 Marketing Plan.
You’re going to use this page and as many pages as you need to do a rough draft of what will become your marketing plan for the upcoming year.
Time to get down deep and dirty.
Taking time to sketch out the answers to the below questions in your journal will set you on the right path towards a successful 2017.
Determining Your Marketing Mix
Thinking about the following questions might help get your thoughts going:
• Will you stick to one strategy or will you use a mixture of promotional strategies?
• Will you do more networking by attending meetings that are potentially attended by your target market?
• Chamber of Commerce meetings
• Trade shows
• Will you increase your social media presence?
• Will you hire someone to do this for you?
• Will you guest post?
• How will you identify those blogs that accept guest posts?
• Do they pay and if so, what do they pay?
• Will you book speaking engagements?
• If so, where?
• Is there a new service you want to introduce to your existing clients or offer to new clients?
• Do you need to increase your skills?
• How will you ensure you have the skills you need to be able to comfortably offer new services?
• Write down in your journal what your financial goals for 2017.
If you come up with an annual figure then break this goal into monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
Annual goal $65,000
Monthly goal $5,416.67
Weekly goal $1,250.00
Daily goal $178.08
(Note: The above figures are for illustrative purposes only. They are based on an average 40-hour per week work week. They also do not take into account the standard two weeks of vacation time.)
• What is your marketing budget for 2017?
• Do you need more clients?
• How many new clients do you need?
• How will you go about getting these new clients?
• Do you have more clients in the pipeline than you can possibly handle?
• How are you going to tackle this situation?
• Do you need to update your business processes and/or business systems?
• Do you need to put some systems in place? Maybe you’ve been working by the seat of your pants having given no real thought to business processes or systems for tracking the work you do.
• How will you know if your clients are truly satisfied?
o Will you send out surveys?
o Ask for testimonials?
• Will you track leads and results using a spreadsheet or some other online tool?
Once you have all of this information sketched out into your journal it becomes a working document that you can use and revise.
You can also use what you have planned out in your journal to create a master marketing plan or update an existing one.
Your master plan should be kept in a safe place while you carry a smaller version (in your journal) around with you.
As you make changes and updates to this smaller version, remember to update the master copy if not weekly then at least monthly.
About Patricia Bumpass
Patricia (Pat) Bumpass (www.patriciabumpass.com) is a North Carolina-based freelance writer.
She writes a weekly blog for her current employer while building her freelance writing business.
Pat enjoys writing and has journaled since she was a teenager.
She lives with her 17-year-old son who is blessed with Autism.