Thursday, April 2, 2009

Evaluate Your Plan

With businesses struggling, counting every penny, and multitasking at a faster rate, when is there time to plan? It's easy to skip over evaluating your marketing plan, your product, your customer, your service, your budget and especially yourself. Wow! It does sound a little overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Taken in one sentence, planning sounds pretty meaty and time consuming. Break it down to a conscious lifestyle and way of doing business, planning is as natural as having lunch. But just like waiting until you feel like you are starving to think about lunch, waiting until you are in a crisis to think about planning can leave you feeling hungry.

It takes a little time initially to think about what drives you. But if you know your values, strengths, and why you are in business, you will be driven to succeed wherever that success takes you. As long as you hold the steering wheel, and you drive your business or career rather than letting it drive you, success will be at your fingertips. Marketing is important in the process, but it shouldn't BE the process.

Marketing plans are in the news. The March 20, 2009 Sacramento Business Journal article, "Get your marketing plan in order," suggests several steps for evaluating your marketing plan. Lori Prosio suggests: Analyzing your current situation; Knowing your target market; Setting attainable goals; trategic and practical planning; Budgeting; Evaluating often; and Seeking a professional consultant when needed. These are excellent steps that should be applied to your full personal/business plan. Putting your money into marketing without evaluating your business success plan regularly is like paying a resume resume writer before you've decided on a career path.

The trend is to market harder, better, and by whatever means necessary. But marketing should be your trunk full of goodies, your tool box, or persona, not your steering wheel. When your business becomes more about marketing a product, than having an excellent product to sell, you have gone too far. In her March 25th Roundtable discussion, Sraman Mitra emphasizes the need for an excellent product first. You as the business person are at the beginning of the plan and your marketing strategies will follow your product.

This website is intended for informational purposes only. Comments are open to the public and not endorsed by the author. For career advise, coaching, or counseling, please seek out a professional or contact Nancy for more information.

Nancy Miller, M.S., Career Management Consultant
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