Happy New Year! I hope you are feeling fired up and positive about the fresh new year ahead and all the exciting possibilities that 2015 offers?

I love the arrival of the new year. It’s a great reminder to take stock of where we are in our lives – to think about what’s working well, and also what we’d like to change. It’s the opportunity to step back from our daily lives briefly, and creatively dream about what we’d like to achieve in the coming year – no holds barred!

Visualising what a successful 2015 would look like for you is the most important thing you can do ensure you have a great year. However once you have the image of what you want to achieve in your mind, it’s just as critical to spend a couple of hours planning out the steps you’re going to take to achieve your dream.

For small businesses dreaming of taking stepping up their success this year, creating a 2015 marketing plan (that you commit to following!) is the most important step towards significant increase in sales growth.

Here’s how to create your very own 2015 Small Business Marketing Plan to get what you want from this year…

1. Overview

Start with an overview of your current marketing activity – what have you been spending time/money on in the last year to find (and keep) more customers?

  • What worked well?
  • What didn’t work so well?
  • What can you learn from this?

2. Goals

What do you want to achieve with your marketing this year?

  • Generate more sales? What total annual sales figures do you dream of?
  • Attract new customers? How many? Spending how much?
  • Encourage existing customers to spend more? How much and how often?
  • Promote a new product, service or benefit? How much do you want to sell? Who to?
  • Gain more followers on social media? Increase your email list? What numbers would you like to see here?

Think about all the goals you want to achieve from your marketing efforts this year, and define the numbers you’d like to aim for.

3. Strategy

Who do you want your Marketing to attract, who is your ideal customer or client?

Think about the demographics – gender, age, where they live, socioeconomic status, what they like to do, how they like to be communicated with, etc.

What are your closest competitors doing? Is there anything you can learn from them, and adapt to suit your business?

4. Activities

Which Marketing activities will you use to reach your goals?

  • Website content (e.g. blogs, reports, fact sheets, videos, webinars, podcasts, etc.)
  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Advertising (traditional/GoogleAds/FacebookAds…)
  • SEO
  • Networking
  • Events/exhibitions
  • Direct Mail
  • PR
  • Referrals

5. Implementation

How will you implement your Marketing plan?

  • Which Marketing activities will you carry out and when?
  • How much budget and time will you invest?
  • Who will be responsible for making it happen?

6. Review

A critical part of your plan is to regularly review how it is going, ideally monthly, but at least quarterly.

  • Are you on track to achieve your goals?
  • What’s working, what isn’t?
  • Opportunity to adjust what marketing activities you have chosen, or how you are implementing them, to get you back on track to achieve the numbers you want for the year

If you spend just a couple of hours focussed on sketching out your answers to the above to create your small business marketing plan for 2015, and then keep it visible where you will regularly look at it, and be reminded to act on it, you are sure to have a very successful year!

If you’re a small business owner looking for help to achieve your goals and grow your sales through effective marketing, please get in touch.

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Here’s to achieving all that you dream of in 2015!