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:
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.
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.
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.
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!