Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tips For Using Your New 2016 Planner

The New Year is an exciting time for many small business owners. This signifies a fresh start to the new year. New opportunities to increase sales and new campaigns to implement for brand awareness throughout the year.

If you’re like many of the small business owners that I coach, you probably have a planner, and fully intended to use it this last year to map out things like your content marketing calendar, and social media campaigns throughout the year, but got busy managing your business, and your good intentions fell to the sidelines.

Today I’m offering you some great tips for using our 2016 planner in hopes to help you stay organized this coming year: 

Monthly Calendar

I like to use our monthly calendar as an overview for the month ahead. What meetings or events are coming up, important dates to remember, campaigns that we run each year, ect.

Business tip: I also like to use the monthly calendar to track sales. I generally mark down where our sales where at this time last year, and what our expected sales are for this month. Doing an internal review of your sales really helps you see if your business is on point to where you expect it to be, and if not, this gives you the opportunity to react – preplan a sale/event/promotion to help increase your sales.

Weekly Planner

The weekly planner is a handy tool for working out the more minor, yet important, business tasks. There are multiple lines for each day of the week. This will help you map out your day with meetings, important projects to finish, and even what tasks to work on after lunch that day. This will be the one section of the planner you use most, and it should have some great detail to your weekly routine here.

I’ve also included a notes section and weekly goals section in the weekly planner. This is great for minor goals like, “sign a new client this week,” or “sell 2 products this week.” Setting goals is a great thing for your business. It gives you something to work towards, or strive to achieve. Then at the end of the month, you can review your weekly goals and see if you’ve reached your overall monthly goals, and where you focus your efforts next month.

Notes Section

I highly recommend focusing on this section of the planner as it not only helps get your creative juices going, but it also helps inject fresh/exciting content into your monthly strategic plan (or helps you create one).

Use our notes section to plan out your monthly goals, as well as review goals from last month; what worked, what didn’t, what you should change for next month, and what you plan to do different or better next month.

Why this part is so important

Reason being, if you’ve brainstormed new ideas, you should then set out a plan of how to execute these ideas.  Even if you’re using standard ideas from last year, you should still have an execution plan. This is where many businesses fall short. The monthly calendar, and even the weekly planner, can help you make notes of when certain events will take place. I also use this section as an overview to preschedule messages in Hootsuite for upcoming events/classes/promotions.

Here’s a great example:

You’re launching a new product May 1st. With this being your launch date, you’ll want to of course start working on marketing material in advance to your launch date. Use this planner to map out when you plan to start working on material, ie 1 month before send the files to the printer. If it’s digital material, you’ll still want to start working on them a few weeks in advance. Once things are finished, you’ll want to get a viral hype going to inform people online of the upcoming launch. This is where you can use such platforms like Hootsuite or Buffer to preschedule launch messages leading up to your launch date. You may also want to create a landing page on your website with more information on the new product/event. This will all have to be done in advance to your scheduled launch date.

Having a well throughout plan in advance can help make your launch day a great success, and of course lead to higher sales.

Don’t Forget

I’ve also included a little don’t forget bubbled in the weekly planner sections. This is a great area to mark things like; “review monthly sales goals this week.”

You can also use this section for personal use; “drop off dry cleaning this week.”

To Do List

I’ve included a to do list section in here because, just like the notes section, this is an important part of the planner. Being a small business owner myself, I know how easy it is to put off the little things that are on your to do list for later, as they may not be as important as dealing with sales calls or business activities. These things like updating your “about me” page on your website might be small enough to put off until later, but often get forgotten about. Track your minor to do list here, and keep track of your progress so you don’t forget about those minor, yet important tasks.


At the end of the day, having a well throughout plan is a great thing for small business owners, but also keep in mind the execution of your great ideas is often what small business owners forget about/get too busy to execute/struggle to achieve. Preplan a day each week where you sit down and deal with general admin duties within your business, or preplan ways to achieve your execution strategy. In the long run your business will profit from your well throughout planning.

You can find our full 2016 Printable Planner here. 

Happy planning for the year ahead!

Need a little help with your strategic plan for the year ahead? MBucher Consulting can help you with 2016 your business/marketing plan. Contact us today!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Our 2016 Printable Planner Is Now Available

It’s almost that time again where we reach a new year. For many people this means fresh new goals, a new/or refined business plan/strategy, and of course new opportunities for sales.

Being a business consultant for the past 6 years, I interact with many small and mid-size businesses who struggle with one common thing each year, a lack of a solid plan. Planning out your year ahead allows for you to set out a road map to success for your business. Now this doesn’t mean you have to plan out every little detail a full year in advance, but planning little things like a big Easter sale generally means a few weeks in advance of planning, prepping your inventory, getting your marketing material ready, and planning out your launch date for such an activity.

Many successful businesses rely on planners to help them throughout the year as they work towards common goals of increasing brand awareness, finding new leads, and of course increased sales.

I’m happy to announce that our 2016 Planner is now available for purchase here.

Highlights from our planner:
- 2016 Year at a Glance
- Monthly planner
- Weekly Planner with sections for each day of the week.
- Brainstorming and Notes section at the end of each month. This helps you plan out upcoming sales activities, events, or new business strategies to execute.

Having a solid plan for your business for the year ahead is a great idea, but also keep in mind that as your industry trends change, so should your business goals and plan for the year. One of the best things to do is set out a solid plan for the year, but also leave room for adjusting your plan, brainstorming new ideas for seasonal lulls, and strategizing for new sales strategy ideas.

Need a little help with your strategic plan for the year ahead? MBucher Consulting can help you with 2016 your business/marketing plan. Contact us today!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Our Thanksgiving Planner Is Now Available

It’s almost that delicious time of year again, where we gather around the dinner table with our family to catch up on past events while enjoying a traditional turkey dinner.

Last year I published our printable Christmas Planner to help you stay organized over the holiday season. This year I’ve opted to offer a Christmas and Thanksgiving planner; reason being, we’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year – for 9 children and 8 adults. I’ve spent a bit of time online looking around for something that would help me with the planning process … but didn’t find what I was looking for, so I decided to make one.

I’m pleased to present you with our Thanksgiving Planner.

Here’s what’s included:
- Cover
- Guest List
- Shopping List
- Thanksgiving Event Planner
- Thanksgiving Menu
- Recipe Cards x 2
- Notes x 2
- November Calendar

I personal find working backwards is the way to go when planning our Thanksgiving dinner. First, I started with the calendar, mapping out what day we planned on having our dinner (Saturday seemed to work best for everyone in our family).

I then made our guest list, confirmed who was coming. This helped me build our dinner menu, and I used our Thanksgiving Event Planner to help map out things like pumpkin carving, kids activities, and snacks throughout the day. This also helped me map out what time the turkey had to go in the oven, and where my free time was so I could visit with family.

Once I did this, I was able to make our grocery list. I also used our notes section to mark-up reminders and create my own to-do-list leading up to Thanksgiving. I also used this section to write down some Thanksgiving d├ęcor items that I needed to pull out of storage, and a few new things to purchase. I then popped back into my calendar to mark up days that I wanted to get things done on, ie what day to go shopping on.

I personally find having a well mapped out plan like this really helps me stay organized amongst the chaos of little ones and visiting with family members. This is also a great way of preventing the need to run to the store right before dinner for those forgotten items, as you will hopefully think about them before hand in the preplanning stage.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and don’t forget to check out our Etsy shop for more printable planners.

You can also find our 2015 Christmas Planner here.
You can also find our 2016 Printable Planner here.

Monday, August 24, 2015

3 Branding Tips For Rocking A Great Twitter Profile


Twitter is a powerful tool for brand building. If you're a small business owner with a limited marketing budget, Twitter really is a great social channel for you to be on. When used correctly, it can yield some great ROI.

As a social media marketer, I work on Twitter on a daily basis for clients. Not only do I interact with a lot of people, but I also see a lot of Twitter profiles. I continue to be amazing with the amount of business profiles that I come across that are missing some key branding elements to their account.

A common comment I hear from small business owners is, "I just don't get Twitter."

Since this is such a common thing I hear, I figured I'd share a few key areas that offer great branding opportunities for your company's Twitter profile:

1. It starts with a great bio

Your Twitter bio is often the key to not only how people search for your company, but really what draws people's attention to your Twitter profile, and helps them decide whether they want to follow you or not. Unless you're a well-recognized brand like Nike, it's a good idea to have something in your bio so people know what your company is all about.

Your company's bio should not only reflect your company's brand voice, but it should also include such things as a link to your website, and your location (common things that are often missing).

Here's an example of why this is important; the other day I came across a retweet around lunch time of fish tacos. They looked delicious, so I clicked on the company Twitter profile to see where they were located (thinking maybe I'd head there for lunch if they were local). There was no location, just a company website. I clicked through to the company website and found they were located in San Diego, California.

When you're a location specific company, it's a good idea to include your location in with your description. This helps people find your company easier. If this company's bio said Vancouver, I probably would have considered going there for lunch. 

On the other hand, a company like mine - more of a virtual company, location doesn't matter so much, but it's more of a reference point for people to know where I'm based out of.
2. Cover Images 

Your cover image is a great opportunity to showcase your company's brand, logo or even products offered.

If your company is launching a new product or service offering, this is a great place to promote that product or service offering. I often see this with authors who've just published a new book, they feature details about the launch date and an image in their book cover.

Tip: if you're confused with what to put in your logo vs your picture; it's common that entrepreneurs will put their own picture in the profile photo, and use the cover photo for company branding. If you're a larger company, put your logo in the profile picture, and use your cover photo area for a larger branding opportunity. It's really to your discretion as to how you want to display your company information (if something else works better for your brand, go for it).

3. Personality

Social media has really evolved over the past few years, with many companies showing more of a human side to their tweets. Remember that social media should be fun; include your company's brand voice in not only your tweets, but also how you interact with people on Twitter.

With Twitter becoming more of a visual platform, you can also include quite a bit of your brand in your tweets through images. Remember that brand recognition comes with repetition; people being exposed to your brand multiple times. This can of course be achieved through branded images in your tweets.

Lastly, and the most important social media tip: engage with your followers, don't just run your Twitter account as a one-sided sales funnel. You'll build a stronger brand presence and loyal following base when you interact with people on more of a human level.

Need a little help with your social media? Sign up for a social media training session. Click here to learn more.

You may also like: 

7 Reasons Why Auto DM’s will Tarnish Your Brand
Tips For Hosting A Twitter Chat 
Here's Why Connecting Facebook and Twitter Is A Bad Idea 
Should You Outsource Your Social Media or Keep It In-House 
What’s In My Office: Social Media Edition  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Message On A Potato

As an entrepreneur, I’m always in awe when I come across a young entrepreneur who has found success at a young age. I’m even more in awe when I come across a business with an idea so silly, but rocks that coolness factor so well, that it’s become extremely successful. Take this potato messaging company for example, they’re said to be making $10K per month from its services.

Potato Parcel is the latest business to gain viral attention for a silly idea turned into a business. I’m not going to lie, the first time I came across this idea, I instantly thought of someone I could send a potato to. You simply select which message you want written on a potato, and have it mailed to someone anonymously for around $8-10 USD.

The idea for Potato Parcel came to the founder, Alex Craig, one night over dinner when he threw out a silly business idea to his girlfriend, who, to no surprise, through it was a pretty stupid idea.

One of the reasons why marketers have strategy sessions with others in their department is because we throw around silly ideas like this that often evolve into pretty cool product ideas, or viral marketing campaigns that capture people’s attention and drive high sales. Potato Parcel is a great example that no business idea is a stupid business idea, as long as there’s a demand for that product/service.

The power of social media has of course allowed this business to go viral, with lots of people sharing pictures of their potatoes they received using the hashtag #potatoparcel

Here are a few sample potato messages you can choose from:

If you could pick a potato to send to someone, which would you pick? Leave your comment below.