Too many small businesses are operating without a Business or Marketing Plan, often protesting that they are just not sure how to prepare such complex documents. But Plans need not be complicated and such businesses should take note of Eisenhower’s remark that “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything”. The Plan is only the documented record of the planning.
Take this One Page Marketing Plan for example – now, how hard could it be to move from no Plan to this Plan?
This Is Where I Am
I currently attract 100,000 visitors each year
They spend, on average, $25 each
So my total sales are $2.5 million.
My EBIT on those sales is 10% or $250,000.
My customers come via: tours (50%); passing traffic (25%) and telephone ex advertising (25%)
My advertising expenditure therefore generates (directly) $625k of sales and, pro rata, $62,500 of EBIT. My advertising budget is $150,000
My product and service offering has not been significantly altered/updated for three years
The total market in which I operate is growing at 5% per annum. My own performance is static.
This Is Where I Want to Be
I want to generate an increase in total Visitor Numbers of 10%, year on year, for each of the next three years (i.e. double the market rate of growth)
I want to increase the average spend per visitor by 10% (to $27.50) by the end of the next financial year
I want to increase the return on my advertising expenditure by 50% by the end of the next financial year
This Is What I Am Going To Do To Get There
I am going to negotiate a joint venture marketing arrangement with four other high performing attractions in the same region (i.e. The Big Fun 5), offering Visitors discounts on the purchase of a 5 in 1 Ticket. This will be ready for launch in three months.
I am going to commit 50% of my advertising budget to the Big Fun 5 “pool” for next year.
I am going to develop a monthly schedule of Special Attractions at my site and promote these through my existing promotional channels beginning with immediate effect.
I am going to target the domestic market more effectively by isolating the six primary centres from where domestic visitors come and target specific promotional activity/direct marketing at those areas, including the targeting of clubs, associations etc. within those centres with custom designed packages. This will be underway in six weeks.
I am going to build a database of all domestic visitors and develop a programme of relationship marketing ensuring at least one contact with each visitor per annum and offering incentives for return visits, friend-get-friend programmes etc. This will begin in four weeks.
I am going to host two educationals per annum, one aimed at the local hospitality industry and the other timed to coincide with the annual Travel Trade Convention held in my centre.
I am going to finalise a programme of product/service development designed to ensure that we offer the leading edge visitor experience in the region, coupled with the ultimate in service experience, not later than the end of the next but one financial year.
I undertake to implement and constantly monitor and measure the effect of this Plan and amend whenever necessary.