Marketing ideas without action will not get you anywhere
You want to grow your small business, but how do you do it? Many of the small businesses I’m working with don’t really know what works best, or how, or where to start.
We are all familiar with the term Marketing, but what is it really supposed to do for us?
* Build brand awareness
* Build name recognition
* Increase market share
* Get more customers
* Generate referrals
* Create more repeat business
Perhaps you’ve done things like brochures, yellow pages advertising, Chamber of Commerce in the past, but were disappointed with the results so you ceased to do so. And it seems that others are always willing to give you advice. Remember they don’t know what they are doing either.
You know you have to be marketing, so why not? There are so many other things to look for when trying to grow and grow.
Maybe you have lots of ideas, but still nothing happens. Are you guilty of any of these general small business symptoms – about analysis? perfectionism? fear of failure?
If you are related, there is a good chance your ideas will never come out of the drawing board and come into action. And your visions of taking your business to new heights never occur.
Action without ideas is also not good
There is an opposite end to the spectrum that is also very dangerous for the long-term health of your business.
Action without ideas can lead to very busy work without much new business growth. You can be happy because at least you act. But the results will probably be less than you expect or need.
You need a plan to put ideas into action.
Well, I’m not going to talk much about the need to have a marketing plan today. Obviously, the first thing you need to do is be clear about where you are going and what you want to achieve. For more insight into marketing planning, please visit my proven mall business marketing solutions website.
For the purposes of this article, I assume that you have some ideas, but not the activity and results you need. You have studied, learned some good techniques, pretty much know what to do, and you have the best intentions. Then why is it, it still seems that you haven’t completed any marketing.
You see, while marketing plans are essential to your success, it’s not the end of your answer. Leave alone, marketing plans do not yield results.
To get your ideas into action, you need a little more. Here are three things I suggest to implement your marketing ideas for your business:
- Create a simple action plan
You need an action plan. In my experience, most marketing plans cover the “what you want to do”, but not necessarily the “plan to do it really.”
An Action Plan translates actually the “what” in the tasks and activities necessary for each of the goals. Your action plan should be sufficient enough to know what is needed to implement the strategies and tactics.
Your marketing action plan can be as simple as a checklist of all the marketing activities you want to implement. Keep the checklist handy and check the tasks and activities as completed.
A marketing list like this can act as a scorecard to keep up with what you have achieved and what needs to be done.
For some, a simple marketing checklist-oriented action plan may not be enough. Perhaps you should invest a little more time and energy into creating a more detailed plan to put your ideas into action.
Consider this approach … Start by identifying the three primary desired outcomes that you would like to have in the next six months. Now identify three important things to achieve in the next 90 days for achieving the outcome.
Then take each of the three important things and break them down to three or four tasks to complete. It may even limit key tasks to be completed in the next 30 days. Eventually, go back and start estimating the full dates for everything you have set out.
Now you have an action plan to move you forward.
- Create a Marketing
Focus Calendar Once you have determined what to do, schedule it on a calendar.
One of the classic problems is experiencing small businesses to do nothing, because they are so overwhelmed when they look at everything that needs to be done.
Choose a small handful of marketing strategies and tactics that you feel are the best and think you will be the most productive. Decide how often you will implement each idea. For example, attend five networking opportunities per month, give one listing per quarter, send one eZine per month, and enter two potential business partners per month. You get the picture.
Now look at your calendar and start writing off activities for each of the months you want to do things. Plan some important marketing activities or activities each month.
Look over the calendar to make sure it is balanced with a decent mix of the approaches you have chosen. Follow all your marketing efforts so you know what to add, change, or remove from the calendar.
Record your marketing focus calendar and paste it on the wall at your desk. This very simple tactic can be very powerful to put your ideas into action. The key here is that you get the plan in a format that will tend you to work the plan.
- Schedule Marketing
appointments Discuss a regular scheduled appointment in your calendar for yourself. One of the best ways to force yourself to put your marketing into action is to schedule a marketing appointment as you would with your best client.
Don’t kill yourself. If you want good marketing results, take regular and consistent efforts from your side. You can create that regular and consistent effort by scheduling time for you. Then, when the appointment is on the calendar, don’t schedule it.
Don’t let anyone infringe this time, not even your best customer – except in extreme circumstances. If someone wants to discuss an appointment with you that overlaps with this time, tell them you’ve already scheduled something and see where they are flexible. It is not important that they know that the scheduling conflict is time you set aside for yourself.
Keep yourself accountable to make each appointment timely. Make your productive use of your time by making your ideas useful and working on the action plans.
I’ll predict you’ll start looking forward to this time as you begin to take ideas into action and get bigger marketing results. Ideas without action will not get you anywhere, so even a small action today is a good start. Ready? Go!