One of the age old challenges facing small business owners today is how to get more customers to purchase their products or services on a consistent basis. We have our busy times and we have our slow times. The key is to get more people to think about and use our company’s offerings on a more regular basis.
Over the years, we have all used various ways to market our business. Some of the ways we have use to market have worked so well, we stopped using them. One of the reasons we stopped using some marketing promotions in our business was because we did not have a way to put it on automatic. In other words, it was out of sight, out of mind.
One way I have discovered, to prevent this from happening, is to create a 12 Month Marketing Plan. Here is how it works. Call a meeting with your managers and all pertinent employees, and brainstorm all the ways you have marketed your small business in the past, and new ways you could market it in the future. Some of the common ways companies have been marketing their business include:
- Direct mail
- Advertising on the radio
- Website advertising other people websites.
- Running specials and promoting them on signage in front of our building
- Stuffed mail boxes
- Fusion marketing (i.e. you provide coupons that promote another complimentary business and they provide coupons that promote your business)
- Customer loyalty program
- A fresh flower to all mother’s on Mother’s Day
- Running a weekly Manager’s special
Once you come up with a solid list, prioritize the ones you really want to use. Decide when and how often you want to use them. For instance, you may want to run your Manager’s special every Tuesday. Another example would be to run your Mother’s day flower program on Mother’s day weekend. Finally, you might run a direct mail campaign three times per year.
The key is to post all of the promotions you will run for the year on a laminated 12 month wall calendar. Remember what I said, if your marketing promotions are out of sight, they will most likely become out of mind. You simply won’t use them if you are not reminded to use them. A 12-month wall calendar is a handy tool that will help you make this approach a reality. When you use it, you will create a distinct advantage for your business operation.
My suggestion is to post the calendar on your office wall or a place where you can see it every day. At your regular manger’s meetings, you can review which promotions are scheduled to come up that month. Make sure that you delegate the actions that need to take place to make sure those specific promotions are successfully executed.
So, if you want to get more customers to purchase your products and services on a regular basis, create and use a 12 month marketing plan.