We’ve officially put the Halloween candy away, which means we’re in for a mad dash toward turkey, holiday shopping and then the end of the year. So long, 2012, howdy, 2013. Unless the Mayans were right.

For many businesses, a new year is a new start. You’ve got new budgets, new dreams and the drive to get it all done. But the time to start cultivating those new year dreams is right now. With proper planning now, you’ll be ready to smash your way into 2013 and show the world exactly what you can do. With a clear map for the year to come, you’ll be able to spend your money more wisely, spend your time more efficiently and make sure you’re reaching all those dreams.

Before the ball drops, make sure you’ve got these pieces in place:

  • Goals. What do you want to accomplish this year? How do you want to grow your business? Be concrete. “I want to increase sales by 25%.” “I want to hire three new employees.” “I want two new clients in industry X.” If you don’t understand what your business wants to achieve, how can you go about doing it? Spoiler: You can’t.
  • A marketing budget. Maybe you feel flush with cash; maybe you’re wondering how you’ll even manage to afford hosting for your website this year. Whatever your budget is, you need to be clear about how much you can spend and on what. This document should work in tandem with your calendar so you make sure you’ve got enough to last you all year long.
  • A marketing calendar. Map out, month by month, your major marketing activities. In many cases, these will be tied to the seasonal ebbs and flow of the year and of your business. Accountants will want to have a heavy push of services at the beginning of the year in the run up to April 15, while a retailer might want to make their big splash toward the holiday season. You know your business–now figure out how to spread your time and attention to make the biggest impression.

These are documents you should have prepared anyway, but the end of the year is a great time to gain a perspective on the year past and prepare for the year to come. And if you need a little bit of help getting these ideas together? Give us a call.  Or download our free marketing budget tools: