A Short Marketing Plan Helps Entrepreneurs Take Action
By Debra Gould
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.
I've been a business owner for more than 20 years and 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 your ideas and sometimes the activity of planning becomes a way of procrastinating on taking action.
To develop your own one page marketing plan, I recommend you 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 usually more conducive to idea generation. After thinking and brainstorming, make a list of marketing goals and a list of specific steps you will take to reach those goals. 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 2009, 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.
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, president of Six Elements and creator of The Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with 1000+ Graduates worldwide. Debra is the author of two home staging guides and offers a Directory of Home Stagers to help homeowners and real estate agents locate home stagers who will decorate homes to sell quickly and for top dollar. To learn more visit http://www.experthomestagingtraining.com.
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