Business Calendars : Stay Prepared, Get Accomplished

Getting prepared for the year ahead is a great way to set your business up for success. Take some time before the first of the year to put together a business calendar that includes holidays, deadlines, goals, and marketing promotions. Try to jot down as many details as you can for each event or promotion, such as whether it will be highlighted by special prices or whether it can be seen as having some kind of educational benefits. The details could also include what you need to do to ensure that each of your ideas comes to fruition. Don’t just make this calendar a wish list– make it a list of how you can realistically achieve everything you’d like to.

Take some time to brainstorm and come up with some basic ideas that you can start to translate into writing, or designing. Consider asking yourself some questions about each of your ideas. What elements need to be designed? This should include things like collateral material (brochures, flyers, and postcards), advertising, indoor and outdoor signage, displays, and even your website. Who will be creating the written copy? If you have multiple employees that could write the pieces needed for you, then try to decide which should attend to what parts. If you don’t, you can consider how to outsource or work on the writing necessary yourself. Is photography or video needed? If so, knowing when it is needed will be beneficial so that you can plan what pictures you can start taking right away.

Don’t let lengthier projects like getting the right photos or videos needed pile up. How are you going to get the word out about your campaign? Will you be using newspapers, magazines, billboards, or social media to accomplish your marketing? If so, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to know which kind of collateral you’ll need to be printing yourself, and which you can rely on other sources for. When do these items need to be mailed to give your customers enough time to act on your promotion? Whether it is months or weeks ahead, making sure your mailing is timely is a key part of sending out printed materials.

When including your marketing plans, also take into consideration the expenses that go hand in hand with what you have in mind and be sure to schedule them accordingly to other financial obligations. It is also incredibly important that when scheduling, you are giving yourself, your employees, and any vendors enough time to execute what needs to get done. Consult everyone involved with the projects to see what time is needed to use some estimates in your plans. With these estimates, you can create a likely timeline for when each project should be started and when each part should be getting accomplished.

For example, let’s say your business was going to send out holiday cards. Do you know what images you will be using? What message do you wish to share? Who will be in charge of taking the images and writing any copy necessary? Do you know how many you will be printing and mailing? Do you know how long it will take to get them printed and mailed out? Figuring out each leg of even the smaller ideas you have for your company can be a huge help in accomplishing any task.

If you start with making a yearly business calendar, it can help you start a fresh year on the right track and at the right pace to accomplish your goals. Start planning your upcoming year today– why not?