Creating a marketing plan for your small business is a must.
Unfortunately most business owners go year after year without a formal marketing plan. Each week they make “gut decisions” on how to market their business, and most experience poor results. This sort of reactive marketing opens you up to poor decision making, deceptive sales practices from friendly ad salespeople and leaves you without a clue as to prepare for each of your selling seasons.
Every Fall, I sit down and review what worked and what didn't in terms of the current year's marketing efforts. I then sit down and create the next years plan, hopefully doing a little better in terms of marketing efficiency than last year. Because that is what marketing is, small improvements made over time.
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half. ~John Wanamaker
When I'm done creating my annual marketing plan, I add key dates to my Google Apps calendar to remind me when it's time to take action. While this method works well for me, as a visual learner, I wanted something where I can visually see all my marketing activities in a single timeline and to share with my team members.
A visual timeline of my marketing efforts helped me see a entire years worth of marketing at a single glance. I find it helps me to see when my busy marketing periods are, which activities overlap, and if there are time periods where I need to ramp up my marketing efforts.
Below is the link where you can download it free of charge. It's one of many useful tools I have as part of my Small Business Operations Manual. Feel free to use it, share it, customize it, or use it as a guide for creating your own.
I hope you find it useful for your business. If you find yourself struggling with your marketing efforts, contact me here.
Annual Marketing Timeline (Download)