Why business plans matter

When January rolls around each year, there is a proliferation of blog posts and newspaper articles outlining the importance of planning, whether it be for business, marketing, or life in general.  Why should the planning cycle just be limited to certain times of the year?

Goals help to create opportunities and provide focus

As a fledgling freelancer and ex-corporate girl, I must admit I do love a good plan and I duly noted down a few objectives for the following 12 months, mainly about growing my client base from 1 to…more than 1!  Four months down the line and its time to review progress.  The good news is that some opportunities moved on more quickly than expected, hence the lack of activity on my own blog.  I can now be found most evenings researching topics, writing, editing and wondering how I’m going to squeeze in an episode of Line of Duty as well.

All this to say that I think the plan helped, to frame conversations with people in my network, to realise what next steps needed to be taken and to be realistic in my approach of balancing work and family commitments.

Is your marketing plan a “living” document?

I admit I used to pay lip service to this particular element of the process and I’m sure I’m not alone. However, now that I am flying solo, I am re-visiting January’s plan already with the following 6-12 months in mind.  Perhaps this is due to the increased element of control and freedom that comes from freelancing.  If plans are only made in January to be re-visited the following year, this can be restrictive.  Apart from it being an added pressure, its not possible to know the macro-events that may be around the corner.

Networking can be fun

Especially when its with women who you have known for getting on for 20 years!  As a lover of words and books it will come as no surprise that I am quite introverted, so its great to be able to talk with people I started my working life.  I love to see the different paths we are all following and share our trials and tribulations along the way.  Another blog to follow on the power of the work “BFF” at some point.

Email has been my salvation in my working life, both technologically and in my approach to communications.  I am so thankful to live in this era of social media which can inform, educate and entertain us all, so long as we manage it properly!

How do you feel about planning?  Do you need help with goal-setting for marketing? The key point is to frequently refer back to your original goals and check that your business is moving in the direction you want it to go.  Just like a good recipe, adjust the details if necessary!