The Ultimate 2015 Marketing Checklist To Guarantee Small Business Success

InTouch CRM1. A Quick Rewind of 2014

A great woman once said, you cannot spend too much time looking at the past or the competitors around you, focus on yourself. With that being said, I do believe that at the beginning of every new year we should take a moment to reflect on the last 12 months first.

Go back to your business plans and strategy and think about what you wanted to achieve on the 1st of Jan 2014. What were your goals? Did you achieve them? If yes, how did you do that? If no, why not? Are they still relevant to you and your business?

As well as looking into your past goals, the beginning of a new year is usually the time to look at your financial situation. Many business owners want to skip this step since it involves numbers, but without this knowledge you’re driving blind. What resources do you have for the new year and how are you going to allocate them? Think about your budget, where you want to invest and where you want to cut back on spending.

2. Think About Your Targets

What do you want to achieve in the new year? Making more money, growing our business and getting more customers on board are NOT business goals. Be specific and detailed about what you want to achieve and communicate that to your employees.

You want more revenue? How much more? If there is an actual financial goal to work towards, people will feel it is more achievable and tangible.

You want to grow your business? What does that mean to you? Do you want to be able to employ more people, or open another shop, or move into a bigger office? Define what you want to achieve and you will be so much more likely to achieve it.

InTouch CRM3. Look at Your Market

Prospects, leads and customers are key to your business’s success and future growth. Analyze how your audience has changed over the past 12 months. Have their needs evolved in any way? Has the way you communicate with them changed over the last year?

Maybe they spend more time on their mobile device meaning they are able to read their emails more frequently. How does that affect your marketing strategy?

You can quickly find the answers to these questions by looking at data and reports from the past months, or you can go straight to the source and create a survey. Ask customers to identify if they feel their expectations and requirements from your business have changed. Maybe there is something new they would like to see you deliver to them in terms of service or product design? This information will be worth its weight in gold and now is the time to ask the questions! Here is a quick guide to creating The Ultimate CRM Survey.

4. Look at Your Business Environment

12 months is a really long time especially in the business world when everything moves so fast. It is crucial that you take the time to analyze the way your environment has changed (it certainly has changed dramatically). Are there any major new players, trends that are taking off, certain elements of your service that are not up to the high standards that customers of 2015 expect?

InTouch5. Manage Your Sales Processes

In the current business climate, it’s critical to understand how your target audience buys from your business. Regardless of your company’s size and offering, customers go through a journey when purchasing from you. From finding out about your business to actually buying from you, is more like from A to Z than from A to B. There are many steps in between and in order for you to grow your business and gain more sales, you will need to know how to successfully manage the sales process. Assume that your shoppers will start the buying process with online research. Then what?

These are all things you should consider if you are to compete in business. The adoption of marketing automation technology for improving sales processes is expected to rise by 50% by 2015 (source) and that includes large corporations but predominantly we will see an increase in small businesses with skeleton staff on a shoestring budget adopting the technology. So what are you waiting for?

6. Develop a Content Strategy

Content marketing was the buzzword of 2014 and in that respect, nothing much has changed. Content continues to rule and this year, just like last year, we expect to see businesses with a well-documented and structured content strategy outperforming businesses with poor or no content strategy. Give before you expect to receive.

Here is a great guide to focusing your content on the people that really matter – your customers.

7. Develop a Social Media Strategy

Social media’s influence on business and marketing has only grown over the years and it continues to grow in 2015. We expect to see some major changes in the social media scene in the next few months. We’ve dedicated an entire post to it – Social Media Predictions for 2015.

InTouch CRM8. Invest in Technologies

Business runs on technology. Especially in this day and age when tech virtually drives businesses and everybody is chronically attached to one device or another, it’s critical that your business is up with the times or you risk being surpassed by a competitor who is. We all know that small business are strapped for cash, but some things are most certainly worth investing in.

From a flexible office suite, to an accounting software that meets your demands, from sales and marketing automation to social media management tools, the best not always means the most expensive. Here is our list of Wallet Friendly Alternatives To Essential Business Software. ‘Tis the season to oomph the tech side of your business.

I hope this marketing checklist helps you set and achieve some pretty fantastic goals for your business and help you keep up with the today’s evolving business environment. 2015 is the year to grow your business so dive right in and brace yourself to reap the results of your 2015 business strategy!

What is your business goal for 2015? Share in the comments section below.

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