So 2014 is coming to an end and if like us you think this year has gone by far too quickly you will probably also be in the same position as us just now…planning for the year ahead!
Being a bit of a marketing geek this is possibly my favourite time of the year, lots of ideas, spreadsheets and notes buzzing around but it is also a great opportunity to look back on the year that has just passed to see what has been achieved and what can be improved upon.
In order to plan successfully for the year ahead check out our list below of planning essentials which will hopefully help to get you on the right track…
- Marketing Activity Plan – This comes top of our list as we think it is vital to know what you are doing when and how much you will need to budget for. It doesn’t have to be anything too extravagant or complicated, just a simple spreadsheet noting the activity, dates, deadlines, costs, who will carry it out, etc.
- BUDGET – We have put this in capital letters because time and time again we witness businesses working away without budgets in place. Budgeting effectively from the start of the year will help to make sure you don’t take that advert you can neither afford or actually need, know your limit for printed materials or even ensure you’ve always got budget available for those little mishaps in business that are sometimes unavoidable.
- Brainstorming – Got lots of ideas buzzing around in your head but not quite sure where to start? Well our recommendation would be to stick them down on paper. Use a brainstorm cloud for each idea and see just what can come out of it. For those of you who prefer digital format to good old pen and paper check out Bamboo Paper for iOS devices. This app will allow you to scribble to your hearts content, create lists and then even turn them into PDF’s or email if you so wish.
- To-Do Lists – They say sometimes the simplest ways are the best and that’s why we swear by to-do lists for noting down all those priority jobs that you need to keep track of. My current to-do list covers the next 2 months and has deadline dates beside each task to keep me on track. And by using the Apple Notes facility it allows me to always have the synced list on hand on my iPhone, iPad and MacBook, whether I am in the office or away. Try it, it works!
- Plans for Everything! – These days just having a simple business plan in place doesn’t cut it, in order to co-ordinate all aspects of your business it really is essential to have various plans in place (which can be regularly updated) for each main element of your business, from social media, right through to environmental issues, PR and networking. Again, these don’t have to be anything too complex, just simple bullet pointed lists or spreadsheets, which can be regularly referred too.
- Discussions – Whether you want to involve your whole team or just sit down with a friend, it is always good to chat through your plans for the coming year. I personally have a business coach and find it extremely useful to say things out loud and get feedback from someone who is impartial to the business. Sometimes you find that the great idea you have been working on for weeks doesn’t actually make sense when you try explaining it to someone!
If you would like any help with any marketing planning for the upcoming year or further afield then please get in touch. We do have some special Snow brainstorming cards which we are happy to send out, and can follow up with an initial marketing review meeting.
Hope this of some help to you folks and see you all in 2015!
Happy New Year!