Plan to Save ££££s
It’s been a big week of significant announcements this week as the Government outlined its plan for reducing the deficit, addressing the crises in education and energy and kick-starting the economy with major infrastructure projects. It’s a long-term plan and finding the money to deliver it could still prove to be a sticking point but there are two elements to implementing any successful plan
- Have the vision to see what you need to do and how you can achieve it
- Have the drive and focus finding ways round the challenges to deliver a programme against targets and deadlines
These two basic principles of delivering a political agenda are just as true of achieving commercial goals. However daunting the task and however challenging the financial climate, without a plan, designed around achievable milestones and measurable targets, there can be no structure for growth and no prospect of competing in a challenging marketplace.
And yet, when it comes to marketing, many companies are still putting off the idea of generating a plan on the basis that they should take more of an ad hoc, wait-and-see approach until the financial climate gets a little warmer. The problem is, ad hoc activity generates ad hoc results: results that are difficult to measure, difficult to sustain and make any kind of fixed cost budgeting impossible.
While planning ahead to spend money that is not available does not make good business sense, assessing the financial resources available and maximizing those resources to their full potential is the basis for a viable marketing plan. Sometimes that may require a long hard look at what resources are available across the business and prioritizing marketing above other functions. It’s a realignment of budgets that many find difficult to reconcile but if you consider that marketing is the way-maker for sales and sales are the lifeblood of any business, it’s actually a very obvious choice.
So when you’re planning ahead here are our top three tips:
- Don’t ignore problem areas – address them head on and challenge your marketing partners to help you overcome them
- Know your proposition – if you don’t know what you’re selling, your customers won’t either
- Plan your budget wisely – gaining discounts with an ad hoc approach might provide short term savings but could end up costing you more than a properly costed plan