Dear Reader

In August we ordered our Christmas cards. We didn't do it because I'm a huge fan of Christmas and because we can't wait to put up the decorations (Iím not and we can!) We ordered our cards well in advance, because we have a plan for our marketing, which allows us to make the most of our limited budget and not miss any opportunities.

This issue of Scribbles is not about Christmas shopping. It's about how to plan ahead so you make the most of the opportunities that come your way, without costing you a fortune.



Plan Ahead to Save Time and Money!

Here are a couple of good reasons to plan ahead with your marketing.

Christmas is coming!

In July the Christmas card catalogue dropped through our letter box. Instead of chucking it into the recycling bin and trying not to think of all things festive until November, we went through the catalogue and picked our favourite design. Then we looked at our database and counted up the number of clients, suppliers and hot prospects to whom we want to send our cards this year. That showed exactly how many cards we needed to buy and we placed the order in the middle of August. The cards were delivered a couple of weeks later and they'll sit in the cupboard until November.

Why did we order the cards so early? Because the company from whom we buy them gives us a really great discount of 20% if we get our order in before the end of August. That's a really good saving! And the other reason for ordering so early, is because we hand write all the envelopes and write personal notes into every one. We each sign them and then stick stamps on, ready to go into the post box in the first week in December. That way, they reach our friends and colleagues in plenty of time to be enjoyed.

We're able to make the most of the early bird discount, because we maintain a database of our contacts. We keep it up to date all through the year, with all sorts of details, including who we'd like to send our Christmas cards to. That way, when it comes to early bird ordering time, we can do it quickly.

Having a Marketing Plan means that you can save money and grab good opportunities.

Publicly speaking

Over the next three months Iím speaking at four different events. The dates have been agreed in advance so that thereís plenty of time to promote them and to make sure we have the materials we need. There is a banner that shows graphically what we; there will be a pile of copies of Magnetic Marketing that people can buy; there will be workbooks and pencils. And there will be plenty of people at each event, because the organisers and I will have had lots of time to tell you about them.

If someone approached me and asked me to speak at an event next week, I would probably decline. Why? Because I might not be ready. And because there might not be many people there, if the organiser hasnít had much time to promote the event.

However, I know that running workshops is a great way to promote our business, so I look ahead and get the dates booked in early. Iím already booking dates for January and February 2014!

Having a Marketing Plan means that you make the most of the good opportunities that come along and get the best from your limited budget.

So what's in your Marketing Plan for the rest of this year? How is your Plan looking for next year? How will it help you save money and get better results?


One in Ten

Only 4% of businesses survive to ten years.

One in Ten is my guide to helping you survive your first ten years in business.

It will help you avoid many of the mistakes I made and give you the inspiration to keep going.

Click here to order your copy for just £10.


Speaking of which ...

Here are the next events at which I'm speaking:

7 November - GiveMore-BeMore in Swindon. A practical session on creating a Marketing Plan that works as part of this great exhibition.

22 November - 2 hour Marketing Planning workshop at Davenports Business Centre in Faringdon, Wiltshire.

December (TBC) - Promoting Your New Consultancy with The Consultancy Hub at the IoD in London. A full day interactive workshop.

Click any of the links to book your place.


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