2021 Planning and Tracking for your Small Business

The new year is almost here and today I’m talking about planning and tracking for 2021. And OF COURSE it needs to be quick and easy… or it just won’t get done. Right?

Goals – Know Your Numbers

First off, what are your goals for the year? Do you know your sales goals? Your income goals? Are you developing any new products or courses during the year?

I have my goals mapped out. I know how much revenue I want to generate and what I want to sell to get that. I’ve mapped out my yearlong plan and the strategic tactics I will use to get prospective customers in front of my offering… (all my methods will only cost me time).

I first start with the end in mind and break it down into quarterly goals and then break those down into monthly goals.

From there I can set my weekly tasks. Some of my tasks only happen once a month (like writing my Instagram feed posts).

My marketing strategy includes:

  • writing a monthly blog post
  • emailing my list weekly
  • creating enough content for social media at a rate of 3 times per week (I schedule most of it)
  • and then reaching out to potential clients on social media to create a connection and build a relationship.

So out of that what do I track?

  • My post count – 1 blog post, 4 emails, 12 Facebook/Instagram posts, my Facebook/Instagram story count
  • my engagement
  • my website visitors
  • my email subscribers
  • my number of reach outs – how many people did I direct message to building a connection with

You can keep track of this on paper or in a spreadsheet. I like using a spreadsheet in Excel.

Achievable schedule

One of the keys to make this marketing plan work is to make your activities as efficient and effective as possible.

The top way to do this is to stop task switching. Instead of trying to write social posts each week, I block time to do it once per month. I post more sporadically “on the fly” with story posts, but not for everything else. If you already know your topics to cover for the year (or quarter), it makes this focused time much easier.

A second way to deal with achieving the schedule of content you plan for yourself, is to scale it down a little until you can find the perfect rate. You might not be able to produce as much content as your competitor. Find what you can do, and do that. Perhaps your focus for the first quarter of 2021 is to just show up on Instagram/Facebook 3 times per week. Then when you are more comfortable achieving that, add in another layer of content creation/connecting with your followers.

If you find you can’t keep up with your ideal content production schedule you have a few options.

First you can hire pieces of your production out. Where do you find your biggest bottle necks? Those are areas you either need to find a way to deal with personally… or hire it out.

Marketing can seem redundant. But to have a flow of ongoing new clients, it has to happen.

Second, if this process feels overwhelming, break it into manageable chunks. You also might consider getting some additional training.

If you need more help with fast, easy marketing for your business, get my new helpful tool: 2021 Planning Guide.

Planning your Marketing Messages

Alright, now lets get to the fun part of planning out your marketing messages. On your calendar first put in your big promotions… at a minimum you want these to happen quarterly. They could be wrapped around holidays.

Next fit in your smaller promotions… at a minimum they should happen monthly.

Then weekly have a regular schedule of ongoing things to promote/talk about.

What to say you ask?

Who is your ideal customer… what would interest them? Are there seasonal items that correlate well. What products or services could you add online to “round out your business?” What are their biggest struggles/issues?

Here is an example:

Yoga instructor who is finding it’s hard to have actual in person classes. She can: host online classes, run challenges, and provide video consultations.

Her seasonal (quarterly) promotions: (Jan) get 2021 started right, (March) spring into spring, (May/June) Summer preparation… swimsuits, on-the-go classes if unpredictable schedule, ie traveling, (Aug/Sept) Get back into the swing of things… prep for business of fall/holiday season.

Quick Content Tip

Get in the habit of recording ideas when they hit you. When a customer asks you a question about a specific topic, write that topic down in your phone. Then, when you are figuring out what to talk about, you can refer back to your list.

The main thing is to get the promotions/topics on your calendar and refer to it often. It can change, but it gives you a working framework.

I hope 2021 is a strong year for you and that you meet all your goals. Do grab my 2021 Planning Guide as I know it will help.