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Simple whiteboards or butcher paper can be effective visual planning tools.

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” While all of us have heard this old adage, how many actually take it to heart? As the Thanksgiving leftovers draw to an end, now is the time to take action on your strategic plan for 2013.

One key element of any business strategy is marketing. MarketingMel offers an Economical Marketing Plan that will give you/your business a template from which to operate all year.  It involves providing you  with several questions in advance, then meeting (or Skyping) with you for an hour, and then providing you with a Power Point summary follow up. We cover everything from points of differentiation to competition, etc. I will also provide quarterly follow up reminders to you to see how you are coming along with the plan.  The clients that have used it really like it.

“Mary Ellen Miller of MarketingMel and I worked together to create the economical marketing plan last November and then referred to it throughout the year. Having that plan helped me stay on track with my Williamsville, NY real estate business. I was ranked #1 in sales this year so we must be doing something right.” Kim Addelman, Williamsville, NY Realtor

Aside from MarketingMel’s original business plan that I created in a class at the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, this is the third year I am working on my company’s strategic plan.  I always seek an outside adviser because, even for the self-employed, you can’t operate in a vacuum. The outside adviser will offer insights you otherwise may not have thought of. I know that I helped one of my clients create a strategic plan in early January and they followed it through almost to the letter! (I still have the butcher paper wrapped up in my office. Meanwhile, the results of the “plan” can be seen in their financial statements!) Just use whatever tools work for you. There are several online. I find that a white board or butcher paper and Sharpies help to get my creative juices flowing and they provide the visual stimulus for thought too. Good luck and please let me know if I can assist you with your 2013 marketing plan. Feel free to share some of your favorite planning tools and tips with us here!

Photo:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidwilson1949/7040689457/

Follow me on twitter @MarketingMel.

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12 Responses to “Do You Have a Strategic Plan?”

  1. Thanks again Mel! Your plan has helped me keep my eye on the prize- can’t wait to meet with you and put 2013 in motion!
    Kim

  2. I appreciate your comment about working with someone on your strategic plan, you’re right, it really is hard to operate in a vacuum when doing this. Kind of like, none of us can get out of our own boxes when we are in the throes of it.

  3. I totally agree with you on this, Mel. Now is definitely time to make sure you have a strategic plan for 2013. And it is always helpful to have the input and insight of someone outside of your business to help you see things objectively and from a different perspective. I love the butcher paper tip, too!

  4. Writting down your vision or plan is a great way to achieve your goals since you are making a commitment when writting it versus just thinking about it.

  5. This also reminds me of a saying my husband uses all the time, “Failure to plan on your part, doesn’t constitute an emergency on mine.”

    Planning and thinking strategically is not only important for you and your own success, but for those you with with and for those who work for you!

  6. Rebecca Henderson says:

    When you put the strategic plan – or anything else that’s goal oriented – in writing, it really does help to make it happen.

    • maryellen says:

      Rebecca, you are so right about the importance of writing down the plan. It really gives you a road map. Thanks for working with me on mine!

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