On the road when we want to get from A to B, most of us opt for the direct route. However, for some, taking a shortcut is faster and somehow more gratifying. After all, shortcuts can make us look good; we get the task done. For example, attracting more customers may seem as straight forward as printing more coupons or finally setting up that Facebook page. It’s tempting to act but we have to be more thoughtful. We have to plan.

As an involved business owner, you can unwittingly skip over planning when it comes to altering your marketing goals.  When you’ve been in business for a while, it seems quicker to make additions to your marketing plan on the fly and then move on to the next item on the list. Unfortunately, this kind of shortcut is costly both in time and money.

Clients come to us with varying needs, but in the end all of them need more customers. Many of them already have marketing plans in place and need our help with adjustments while others want a new plan all together.

Are you planning on expanding your customer base? If so, ask yourself the following  to help you avoid shortcuts:

  1. Who is your customer?
  2. What are you doing now to reach your customers? Is it working?
  3. Do you want to augment your existing customer base or are you looking to attract a different kind of customer?
  4. Who’s your competition?
  5. Which marketing tools will you use to attract your target customers?
  6. How much will you spend?
  7. What benchmarks will you set in place to see if your plan is working?
Regardless of the change you’re looking to make, it’s useful to think about where you want to go and how you want to get there.

photo credit: Nicholas_T via photo pin cc