Whether your business is home-based or a fortune 500 enterprise, no individual and certainly no business can predict the future. Especially in these volatile times, businesses must prepare for unforeseen circumstances and have a plan in place well in advance for disaster recovery. A shocking reminder of this is the Boston Marathon bombings. Not only did innocent people lose their lives with hundreds injured, all businesses in that area were forced to close down for an undetermined amount of time. And let’s not forget about the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy along the U.S. east coast a few years ago.
Home-based businesses and SMB’s working out of their home need to have a plan for building a business or creating a good job for themselves. If you only see your business as providing a job, then the plan is simpler than if you are going to grow into office space or other commercial real estate. In particular, if you plan to grow then you should consider starting with mail and messaging service to provide a stable address and phone number – or at the very least, getting a prestigious mailing address or mail forwarding service from a good business centre who also provide virtual offices and assistants.
In the event of infrastructure or even office equipment failure for whatever reason, it is crucial to review and update your business and marketing plans. There is an old saying in the small business world: “Not Planning is Planning to Fail” that is actually taken from a quote by entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin – “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” This is particularly true for start-ups, but still important for businesses that have been in operation for a number of years. What would you do if your workplace or office for rent building were damaged? What about backing up your critical files?
A survey of 500 businesses by TD Bank showed that only 86% of companies claimed that they would review their business plan once a year, and only 30% would do quarterly updates. An even smaller 20% would conduct monthly reviews of their business plan. Some business experts insist that besides annual or regular reviews of your business plan, you should also review your plan when events happen to other companies in your industry. If two of your competitors merge or one of the companies in your supply chain makes major changes, it is important to review how these changes will affect your business – and take actions to adjust your plan so you are not left behind.
Most businesses today include at least an overview of their marketing plan as part of their business plan. But many small business owners will tell you that, in this Internet age and given the rate at which technology and social media is changing, they will often review their Internet marketing on a monthly or sometimes bi-weekly basis. There are some entrepreneurs and small business owners who even review their marketing goals on a daily basis to ensure that they are staying ahead of their competition. Since the goal of a marketing plan is to inform and persuade a specific audience, it is crucial that you know exactly where your core customers are looking – and make sure your message is ‘up front.’ You should also ensure that you are using the correct platforms of communication that will give you maximum influence over them.
Basically, your business needs to keep up with not just threats to your business infrastructure and data. It needs to keep abreast of the changes going in your industry that affect your business plan and how you market your business. Today, waiting for the changes to happen is not an option. Being ahead of the change is what will keep your business thriving. Knowing the changes that are coming in your marketing planning and strategies is one of the keys to the success of your business.