Strategy first, plan second! Your strategy should be the first thing you think about to get the best outcome for your business.
A strategy focuses on your overall goals for your business - long-term and short-term goals.
You should create this strategy at least once a year as you reevaluate your business goals.
Consider the calendar year - your strategy should be attached to industry calendar cycles. There are certain events - conferences, conventions, other industry events - that occur annually. So, plan a strategy according to your industry calendar year.
Next, your strategy should help you to differentiate yourself.
Research will help you become aware of what your competitors are doing. So if you decide you want to become the cutting edge authority within your industry, that will be what differentiates you from your competition.
Alright, now you have an awesome marketing strategy - how do you get there?
How do you achieve these goals?
Your marketing plan consists of your day to day operations. The marketing plan has all the dates, activities, and deadlines that you create based on your strategy.
For example, if you want to start a podcast, there are certain things you need to consider. You will need to think about the date you want to start the podcast, the content plan, who you will interview, what are the topics discussed - the podcasts need to lead customers to your business and ultimately, to a sale.
If you want achieve predictable results from your marketing efforts and get where you want to go -
That is how you will get the results you want to achieve for your small business!