Small Business – 5 Steps To Avoid Marketing Plan Fizzle

Avoid Small Business Marketing Fizzle 

Small Business Marketing Plan

It is day 2 of the New Year.  Now is the time to take a deep breath and get your small business ready for the other 363 days of the year.  You’ve got your marketing plan in your hands outlining how you’re going to move your business forward and your engines are all revved up.  You are ready to start.

Zoom.  Zoom.

Or are you?

Let’s be honest.  Typically, as a small business owner, you get distracted.   In addition to marketing, you have to run your business, manage the staff, handle the books, work with vendors, creating products, and keep a dozen other balls in the air without dropping one.

You’ve been here before.  You know that it is sooo easy to take a step or two, but very difficult to keep on track so you actually see some results from your marketing efforts.

There also is the possibility you included some lofty goals in your small business marketing plan – goals that will take a lot of energy and where you could feel a touch guilty if you don’t achieve them.

Before you know it, all of your marketing plan efforts have fizzled, failed, and your dreams of a different year have disappeared.

What can you do?  There is a way around this dilemma.

First, recognize that you’re not going to do it ‘all’.  If you try to do it all you’ll probably burn out before achieving any of your goals and you’ll have pushed marketing to the back burner where it will stay.

Second, get smarter about implementing your marketing plan. Here are five easy steps to help you do just that.

1.  Focus

Take a fresh look at your marketing plan and select one game changer you want to accomplish in your small business the next 90 days. Just one of your goals.

You want to select a game changer that is truly inspirational so you will be motivated to keep at it.  It should also be one that is realistic and one that will have a strong positive impact on your small business.

What is the one result you want to achieve in the next 90 days?

  • Grow your email subscriber list by 20%?
  • Increase the number of website or in-store visitors per week?
  • Introduce a new product you know your customers want?

Be absolutely clear why you feel this one result is a game changer for your small business and why you want to tackle this goal now.

2. Identify the HOW

Determine which two or three HOW strategies you can employ that will accomplish this feat in the next 90 days.  What needs to happen to achieve your marketing game changer?

  • Do you need to enhance your website, create a free ebook to encourage email subscriber sign-up, offer a webinar, etc.?
  • Do you need to increase your awareness in your local community so more people are aware of you and your products – through advertising, networking, increased social media engagement, etc.?
  • Do you introduce your new product through an event, joint partners, email marketing, etc.?

You want to select the strategies that will truly leap-frog your small business from where it is today and that will produce a fast result so you can see success at the end of 90 days or sooner.

3.  Prioritize

Determine exactly what has to happen in order of priority to implement your strategies and ensure success.

Example:  If one of your strategies to introduce a new product is to use joint partners online or in your local community, then you may need to prepare by taking the following steps…

  • Identify the best partners.
  • Invite them to participate and explain why its a benefit to them.
  • Provide them with some promotional material, etc.

4.  Break into Bite Size Bits

Break each strategy into smaller bite size bits and, if possible, delegate the task to a staff member, a family member, a vendor, or to yourself and assign a realistic due date to each task.

In our example above, the first priority is to identify the best joint partners.  The breakdown might be as follows:

  1. Pull together a potential partner list
  2. Review potential partner’s website to determine who they are targeting and if their product lines compete with our new product line
  3. Size of social media audience that can be leveraged in promotional efforts.
  4. Capture contact information

5.  Action & Adapt

Now you are ready to work your plan.  You understand what action steps need to be accomplished, in what order and when each step needs to be completed to achieve your desired result.

But you also need to be prepared to adjust your plan.  Things happen.  There will be unexpected developments.  There will be new opportunities.  You’ll need to be sufficiently flexible and willing to change your plan to take advantage of these developments and opportunities.

Remember, your goal is to achieve a desired result.  It is NOT to blindly follow the steps in your plan.  You’ll need to adjust, refine and tweak your plan as you move toward your big result.

By embracing the changes that will inevitable occur in the next 90 days, you may find that you can accomplish a goal in 30 or 60 days.

Then you can move on to your next desired result.  Before you know it, you will have implemented much of your marketing plan, focusing on those goals that will deliver the greatest bang and will be reaping the rewards – making 2013 a great year!

What are your thoughts about your marketing plan for 2013?  Are you ready?  What other tips can you share about how you implement your plan?
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Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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  1. Hi Sheila
    Great article. You have effectively covered all areas of the marketing arena in an easy digestible way! The main thing is to stay focused even when one does not see immediate results.



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