"Never be late. When you're late, what you're saying is…
by Sarah Petty
Now that the new year is upon us, I love to use this time to do my planning. The word “plan”
scares many small business owners, but if you want to succeed, you need to embrace the process. There are several definitions where many people get confused and overwhelmed. Let me simplify this process to hopefully clear up some confusion and get you on the right track for 2013.
Business Plan – This is the scariest of all of the planning words but if you aren’t looking for venture capital funding, this can really be simple. Take a look at what you want to earn, then how many sales at what average. For example, if you want to have gross sales of $100,000, that could break down into 200 clients at a $500 average.
Marketing – This is the big picture of what defines your business. This is where you create your identity (the way you look) and work on your brand (how people feel about you). You need to decide positioning and be able to clearly define what makes you different. This needs to be decided before you start to promote your business.
Marketing Mix – The marketing mix is like a cake mix consisting of 4 ingredients you need to bake your “business cake.” The first three (products, prices and packaging) need to be determined before
you start the fourth, promotion.
Promotional Planning – This is the 4th element of the marketing mix. These are the activities you do that bring in new clients, such as sending out a direct mailing piece. Most people talk about
“marketing” when they are really referring to the promotional planning element of the marketing mix.
Sales – You must go into every sale with a goal. After you create your business plan and you have set a sales average of $500, you must create a sales plan to help you achieve that in each sale. This is created through pricing and selling strategies.
Sarah Petty is the owner of Sarah Petty Photography and founder of The Joy of Marketing. She is also an internationally sought-after speaker, marketing and branding strategist, MBA & co-author of Worth Every Penny: Build a Business that Thrills Your Customers and Still Charge What You’re Worth, a book that explains in depth how the boutique business model works.