Summer’s Coming……Time to Plan for New Year!
It’s been a long time coming this year, but finally spring has sprung. And as the evening’s get longer and we amble towards the lightest night of the year that mid-way point in the calendar signals the start of something else for marketeers……planning for next year! It may seem like madness to some to say that June is the time to start planning for January but effective planning takes time, and by November you should be tweaking your plans in line with financial forecasts rather than sitting down with a blank sheet of paper. Once we’ve reached the mid-year point in June, it should be clear to see which of this year’s marketing plans are working out well and what should be revised for next year. You should also be able to see how the year is working out for your competitors, what market trends are affecting your business and theirs and where the pitfalls and opportunities lie in the year ahead.
In the middle of the year, in the midst of the ebb and flow of normal business life, it can be hard to take time out of the day-to-day to focus on future strategy planning…..but time invested now will deliver rewards later. Often, it’s a good idea to seek a neutral perspective and work with an external consultant at this time of year, as this will enable you to take a step back and assess your strengths and weaknesses on a more objective basis. An external consultant with experience in your marketplace should also be able to supplement your own knowledge with valuable market intelligence from your sector, insights into current trends and proven strategies for overcoming any challenges you might face or maximising any opportunities.
So if you thought that this time of year was all about maximising Q2 profitability prior to the traditional ‘crunch quarter’ in Q3, think again. Here are our top tips on how you can start planning ahead to maximise your profits in 2014:
- Review your marketing and business strategy for this year – is it still relevant, dynamic and goal-oriented?
- Assess your marketing activity to date this year – is it on strategy or have you been tempted by ad hoc opportunities? What tactics are working well for you and which ones are taking up too much time or yielding too few returns?
- Research what new opportunities may be open to you in the year ahead, both in terms of business development and in terms of marketing tactics, aligning the two where possible
- Contextualise your success/challenges within your marketplace and look again at your goals: do these need to be revised for the year ahead?
- Work with marketing partners that can give you an objective perspective on your achievements and the ways in which you can improve next year
And if you’re looking for new ways to gain a significant advantage in your marketplace next year, why not call CME for a free consultation on tel: 0843 5065202