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  • Have You Been Caught Off Guard?

    If you live in the Southwest United States, Arizona specifically, or have visited during the summer months, then you know about our Monsoons. They build and build all day long and sometimes nothing happens, but most times we get a huge dust storm, high winds, and rain if we are lucky. However, our yards and homes sometimes don’t fair very well. For the areas that get hit the hardest they spend the next few days, weeks cleaning up. The news media all summer long reminds us to be prepared for the Monsoons, whether it is in your vehicle or at home.

    Well, if you are like most of us Arizonan’s we are sometimes caught off guard and some of us are fortunate to make it through unscathed, and others not so lucky, but is that a good tactic? Is that being prepared? We know it comes every summer, yet most of us are not prepared for when it happens.

    You can be caught off guard in your business too, by not having an effective marketing plan. There are many reasons why most small businesses don’t have a marketing plan:

    1. Don’t have the funds to hire a professional to do your marketing for you.

    2. You think you can do your marketing yourself.

    3. You don’t have time for it, because you are too busy running your business.

    All of these are very valid reasons, but at some point if you want to be a successful business you are going to need a marketing plan. It doesn’t matter if you are a mom and pop business or a huge corporation, a marketing plan is an essential tool for your business, yet it’s the one tool that never gets used. It is also a tool some think they don’t need. They think “I can do this myself.” Have you ever heard the saying an Estate Planning Attorney’s never have a plan in place for them, or a mechanic who drives a car that needs repairs. The same goes for business…It’s hard to do your own marketing plan, because believe it or not the closer you are to something the harder it is to be objective.

    Marketing plans don’t have to be big or elaborate nor do you need to spend thousands of dollars to have a marketing person market your business, especially for small businesses. It really depends on what you want and how impactful you want the marketing to be.

    It doesn’t matter what the business is. Marketing, these days, is completely different then 10, 20, or 30 years ago. It is more about a theme or certain image, and the story. People look for a story or image they can identify with. Starbucks, car companies, micro brews all have an identity and story that is told throughout all the marketing pieces. It doesn’t matter if it is a little business in a home office, or a big corporation. People these days look for a story they can identify with, or an image/look that they can relate to. Does your business effectively communicate that?

    These days, to be successful, you need to be on all the major social media platforms on a daily basis, keep your website up to date and relative, post live videos, write a blog, and sponsor things in the community in which your business is in. As a business owner do you have enough time to even do one of those things effectively? Do you have time to maintain all that going forward?

    If you have a marketing plan for your business than then you can make sure your image and story is seamless thought everything you do in, and with, your business. So, don’t get caught off guard during your business monsoon. Are you prepared to handle it?

    I’d love to hear your comments.

    Geoff Cummings is President | Founder of On the Level Marketing & Consulting, LLC. Successfully helping businesses with all their marketing needs by branding their businesses and keeping marketing simple and straightforward.

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