- Planning your marketing activities up front will relieve the burden once your business has started and you are knee deep in start up activities. Planning beforehand also gives you the opportunity to sit back and play with a few ideas, so that you aren’t panicked or in “reaction” mode with your marketing. Instead you are taking a considered approach which meets both your needs and those of your target market. After completing the previous lessons of this component, you will have enough information to formulate some basic milestone-level marketing plans.
There are three to consider:
Let’s look at those in more detail.
- Start Up Preparation or Launch Plan
- Year 1 Approach (Regular Activities)
- Year 1 Approach (Campaigns/Promotions)
1. Start Up Preparation or Launch Plan
- This plan lists the marketing activities you must complete in order to be ready on your first
- of business. It should list those with a cost involved as well as those with purely a time commitment.
Here’s a Case Study example from Jennifer:
Description of Activity Target Date Additional Resources Cost in $ Set up FB account 1 month prior to launch None 0 Set up Instagram account 1 month prior to launch None 0 Commission logo 1 month prior to launch Fiverr.com $250 Create and Launch website 1 week prior to launch Local designer $1500 Obtain business cards 1 week prior to launch Staples $200 Other
2. Year 1 Approach (Regular Activities)
- Marketing is usually most successful when it is based on short, regular activities, which continually engage with your existing customers and your prospects. This could be a weekly ad in the paper or a daily post on Facebook. In this plan we are looking at listing activities for the first
- of your business which will be regular daily, weekly or monthly activities.
The costs you itemize here will feed directly into your operations costs table in the Financial Plan section of the Business Plan.Here’s Jennifer’s first attempt:
Description of Activity Schedule by Day or Week or Month Additional Resources Cost in $ Per Month Posts on Facebook 2 x week None 0 Classified advert in local newspaper 1 x month for first 6 months None 300 Blog on website 2 x month Fiverr.com 120 ($5 x 24) Other
3. Year 1 Approach (Campaigns/Promotions)
- Most businesses will have at least one main marketing campaign or promotion during their first year. Some will have multiple promotions. It may be appropriate for you to tie in your campaigns/promotions with specific times of the year, or seasonal celebrations, or with the launch of a new product or service. The activities for these campaigns can be tied into the regular marketing activities (see above) or else they can be in addition to those activities.
Here Jennifer is focusing on her Summer Sale which will be her main promotion of Year 1:
Description of Campaign or Promotion Start Date Finish Date Additional Resources Cost in $ Per Campaign Summer sale – additional FB posts (1 per day), additional summer vacation tie-in blogs (10 over the period), discount postcards sent to client list. July 21st August 21st Fiverr.com Local Graphic designer
- Blogs 50
- Postcard production & mailing $300
- Total: 350
- Do you have specific plans for Year 1 promotions? Or do you want to just set up some regular activities to kick off your marketing efforts? Make some notes or fill in tables on the worksheet.
Take some time to think about how you wish to market your business. The more specific you can be at this stage the easier it will be during your first year of business, and the more accurate your cost commitment will be for the Financial Plan in the later Component.