When you go grocery shopping, are you the type to bring a list or do you randomly go down the aisles and pick up whatever catches your eye? Those of you who head out the door sans the list are more likely to end up with a bunch of items you don’t really need or want by the time you reach the checkout counter.
Shopping lists are like mini plans. Some of us like ‘em and some of us don’t. I find them absolutely necessary. It’s amazing to me how many marketing professionals don’t have written plans. In my opinion if it’s not written down, there is no plan.
I love to write plans because it forces me to sit down and think about the business, which ultimately drives me to come up with the best possible strategy to meet my goals. If you are ready to make a plan, it’s easy to get started. All you need to do is start to answer some basic questions about your business.
Ask yourself these questions to start building your plan:
- What’s the end goal for your business? If you don’t know what you are trying to do, you’ll never get it done.
- What’s going on in the world as it relates to your product or service? For example, if I were selling hotel rooms I might be concerned if the price of gas was going up because it could hinder travel plans.
- Who are you trying to reach? You need to understand exactly who your target audience is so you can find ways to get in front of them.
- What’s going on with your competition? Check out their websites, do Google searches and read the trades. You’ll be surprised what you can find out.
- Why should your target audience pick you over your competitors? What makes you special and how will you fill their needs?
- What is your plan to communicate this to your audience?
- What metrics will you use to determine success?
Understanding the answers to these questions will help you build a solid plan in no time!