Business Strategy First, Marketing Strategy Second ~ Catherine Mellon
I've been more interested in planning the new year than cleaning up the old one! But I know at the end of the day I'll regret that. Luckily, I did manage to find an ounce of discipline last week and I managed to get the old year neatly wrapped up in a nice, neat little bow so I can move on.
I've had a series of years I call my apprenticeship years and I am now ready to step into my true professional persona. Focus comes from clarity and my apprenticeship years have helped me become really clear about my skills & my passions which are the foundation of my business. But there are a few things that need to happen before we go rushing off into the new year all willy nilly, and that is some planning.
If you're like me, then you may cringe a bit at the minute details that need your attention. After all, I'm an entrepreneur, don't you know! I have visions to envision, dreams to dream up and ideas to execute. If there's one thing my apprenticeship years have taught me, it's that without a plan, that 'entrepreneurial spirit' will run me, my business and my bank account, right into the ground. So, we start the year with a plan. After all, it's tough to plan a marketing strategy without a business strategy. Makes sense, right?
So on that note - Have you done an overview of your year? Are you starting to work on your business plan? No matter how small your business, you need a plan. A marketing strategy without an overview for the entire business can be a waste of time & money. For January I encourage you to set your intention to PLAN. I found this fantastic article that has resources for a few different types of business planning. If your business is larger than a solopreneur or small business, or has big goals such as finding investors or growing internationally, you may be interested in some of the amazing tools you can find at the Canadian Business Development Bank. Along with a fantastic business plan template, there are all sorts of articles designed to help you consider all the factors that will potentially influence your success. Even though it's technically designed for Canadian businesses, we're all pretty cool up here so go on and use it as a resource. We don't mind sharing!
Your business plan will include a sales & marketing section that will include your marketing plan. If you are an artist, photographer or designer and you need help with your digital marketing, let's connect! My courses are launching shortly and I have a ton of goodies coming your way in 2017. The first step is to get them all into a plan. Happy 2017 & happy planning!
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Catherine Mellon is a Social Media Director with 5 years experience helping entrepreneurs & small businesses use the internet to grow their business.