Well 2016 is coming to a close. We’ve had a great year at BforB. Our members keep it real, and have helped provide some fantastic stories for our website and our BusinessNet magazine. The third edition is now out and will be available at BforB groups in January, digitally and by post if you want to email me at mel@bforb.com.

Karen Randall at Sixothree is a member at our Ladies group in Manchester. She’s passionate about marketing and has shared with us some helpful tips for getting your marketing plan for 2017 in place now. So whether you’re a small or medium-sized business this time of year is an ideal opportunity to revisit last years marketing, what worked and what didn’t! Then strategise what needs to be done for 2017.

“What do I need my marketing to do in 2017? It seems like an easy enough question, but it’s an important one that can really set the framework for your strategy. Depending where you are in the life-span (and size) of your business, your marketing goals could include such things as increasing revenues or attracting certain customers by creating awareness of your brand.

What resources do I need to make my marketing more effective? Once you have established firm goals for the year, it’s time to think about what you’ll need to do in order to achieve them. Do you have a clear marketing message? Do you know who your target customer is? Do you need to invest in a new website or rebranding to kick-start your marketing in 2017?

How – and when – should I implement a marketing plan? Again, this depends on the type of business you’re running, but having a proactive agenda, clear goals, and a target schedule – rather than reacting to things as they come up – will help you stay focused and goal-oriented. Create a roadmap for the year by setting up a calendar to plan ahead for seasonal campaigns, and to mark down your monthly or quarterly objectives for the business.

How can I tell if it’s working? Alongside your goals for the year, set out clear benchmarks so that you can gauge how your plans are working, and what needs re-adjusting. Measurable goals might include increasing sales by a certain percentage, getting more hits on your website, or growing your client base by a set number. Having quantifiable benchmarks along the way will allow you to assess your success and make improvements if necessary – or even to aim higher”!

We hope you have a great Christmas and all the very best from the BforB team.
Very best regards
Mel Fisher