Do This One Thing in Your Local Biz to Win in 2020

Jun 29, 2020

As business owners and marketers, there are times we're pushed out of our comfort zones, forced to react and make quick decisions.  2020 has put many of us in those positions. 

It's all part of doing business and we take action and figure out how to move forward but there's one thing you can do in your business now that will make the hard times easier to manage.

Make a plan.

Do you have a plan for your business?  Not that business plan you may have launched with or presented to investors but a day-to-day strategic marketing plan? 

As a local business, putting a marketing plan in place, even a simple one, is one of the most valuable things you can do for a variety of reasons including the five we'll highlight below.

SET PRIORITIES

It's hard to know how to steer a ship without a map.  Similarly, it's hard to run a business without a plan.  Planning helps you identify your goals and priorities and focus on what's most important in your business.  

Not only that but the plan helps you articulate your vision to your employees so you're all on the same page and working toward the same outcome.

MANAGE CHANGE

If there's one word to describe 2020 it could easily be "change." While change can be good, it can also be hard.  Having a marketing plan in your business helps you manage change better. 

When you're clear on your goals and priorities, you can be proactive instead of reactive in your business.  With a plan in hand, those challenging decisions become much clearer and easier to make.  Businesses that plan can face uncertainty with less stress. 

MEASURE WHAT MATTERS

When you use a plan in your business you have highlighted your goals and the strategies you need to reach them.  That means you know what to measure to make sure you're hitting those goals.  Planning keeps you from wasting time with vanity metrics or tracking the wrong numbers.  Instead, you measure what matters and know where you stand in relation to your monthly, quarterly or yearly goals.

MANAGE CASH

It's hard to manage your finances when there's so much uncertainty.  But if you have a plan in place, you'll be better able to make decisions about cash management. 

Now that your metrics are clear, you know what projects to keep, which to put on hold, and where you need to focus your spend to keep your business moving forward and your bottom line on track.
 
FASTER GROWTH

Another bonus of creating and using a marketing plan?  Your business will grow faster than businesses not using plans.  In fact, a 2010 study by researchers at the University of Warwick found that businesses that plan grow 30% faster than those who don't. 

So if you're looking to scale your business and have a bigger impact in your community, planning will likely help you get there sooner.

There are plenty of reasons to put a marketing plan in place for your local business.  But don't let the thought of a fancy or complicated plan hold you back. 

An effective plan can be as simple as writing down your goal with a deadline (fill fall preschool classes by August 1) and then highlighting a handful of tactics you'll use to get there (update website with online registration options, send promotional email to the list,  get more reviews on Google and social media to help with conversions). 

The most important thing you can do is just to start.

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