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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/

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