Business owners who feel intimidated by the thought of compiling a traditional “inch thick” marketing plan will finally be able to take action by following intrepid entrepreneur, Debra Gould’s, easy process for creating a one page marketing plan.
It’s been said that “failing to plan is planning to fail,” and while there is an element of truth to this statement, we often get carried away with planning until it paralyzes us from taking any action at all.
You don’t need a multi-page marketing plan to succeed as an entrepreneur.
If you’re the person responsible for marketing your business (which you should be since it’s the most important key to your long term survival) you don’t need the same kind of full-blown plan you would if you worked in a large corporation with layers of senior management executives needing to approve it.
Many marketers would cringe at the suggestion of a one page marketing plan and that’s certainly not what’s produced by firms getting paid to write marketing plans for big corporations. But as a small business owner, you might discover that you’re more motivated when you’re working with a shorter plan.
Debra Gould is an MBA graduate, former marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies and founder of stagingdiva.com. She’s been her own boss for more than 20 years and says, “I’ve always found that the longer the plan I write for myself, the less likely I am to follow it. Part of why I’ve chosen to be an entrepreneur all these years is the creative energy and inspiration that comes from being able to act on my ideas without sitting around analyzing them to death, or waiting to get approval from others above me on the corporate ladder.”
A concise one-page marketing plan can get you closer to reaching your goals than a fancy big report ever will.
“Writing large marketing plans can suck all the joy out of my ideas before I actually act on them,” says Gould. “Sometimes the activity of planning becomes a way of procrastinating on taking action,” she adds.
To replicate Gould’s process, sit down with a huge sheet of paper and start by “mind mapping” and brainstorming various ideas. Don’t sit at a computer to do this because doing it by hand on paper is often more conducive to idea generation. After much thought and brainstorming, Gould then makes a list of marketing goals and a list of specific steps she’ll take to reach those goals.
Gould says, “I find the more specific I am, the better. I also keep it simple so that I will take action rather than feeling overwhelmed.”
In your planning for the next 12 months, don’t do what you’ve always done if you’re expecting better results than you’ve had before. And more importantly, don’t just do what you see everyone else doing. Step outside the box and challenge yourself to break away from the pack because that’s where the real rewards are.
A Fortune 500 company veteran, Debra Gould has been a business writer since the 1980s and wrote a chapter of the book “Marketing Masters” published in 1998. She is also known as The Staging Diva and is president of Six Elements Inc., an internationally recognized home staging company that is frequently profiled in the media in both the US and Canada. Debra Gould developed the Staging Diva Training Program to create opportunities for others to grow their own profitable home staging businesses. There are currently over 1000 Staging Diva Graduates around the world.
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