Every business is a marketing business! No matter how large or small your business is, you need income to survive. To get the income, you must make sales, and to make sales, you must make potential customers aware of your business, products, and services. That is the task of marketing. Your life will be much easier, and your business will be more successful if you use a marketing calendar.
A marketing calendar is more than taking that wall calendar your local real estate agent gave you, hanging it up, and scribbling ‘to-dos’ on it.
Instead, it is a schedule of all your planned marketing activities, designed to give you an “at a glance” overview for the days, weeks, and months ahead.
More specifically, it includes key dates and events, marketing goals and objectives, target audience, and marketing campaigns and activities timetable. It can also include details about the marketing channels and resources used for each campaign.
Okay, I know that you already have a lot on your plate as a small business owner. But, as we have already discussed, your marketing is critical to the success of your business.
It helps you plan your marketing efforts and ensures that you consistently reach out to your target audience. Having a plan for when and how to market your products or services can be incredibly beneficial as it enables you to effectively allocate your resources and budget, maximize the effectiveness of your marketing and measure the success of your campaigns.
As a self-employed business owner, it helps you get ahead of the curve and be more organized and effective in your business.
Consequently, a marketing calendar is an essential tool for small businesses.
The first step is to adopt a tool for your calendar. You can find free marketing calendar templates at Evinex in both Excel and PDF formats. Projectmanager.com also has an excellent free template for Excel, and Google Calendar is yet another option depending on the level of detail you drill down to.
Here is the process to build a small business marketing calendar:
Okay, let’s think about this for a moment – direct mail in the internet age? And public speaking?
According to a Forbes article in July 2022, “Direct mail marketing remains one of the most effective advertising strategies to target your customer demographic and increase foot traffic at your small business.” And doesn’t Google use direct mail? When most businesses have eliminated direct mail from their promotions, the reduced competition can offer a great way to get noticed by potential customers. But you must do your maths when planning the campaign.
Personally, I used public speaking as an effective marketing tactic when I started my accounting practice. Many people have a deathly fear of public speaking, and as I had developed confidence in my band days, I had an advantage over my competitors. So I often spoke at events related to my target market, which built my authority and credibility in the marketplace.
So be open-minded, consider which channels are most effective for your business, and allocate your resources accordingly.
The first metric you need to know, even before embarking on your campaign, if possible, is the breakeven point. This is the point at which a marketing campaign’s cost equals the revenue it generates. To calculate the breakeven point, you’ll need to consider the following factors:
Once you have this information, you can use the following formula to calculate the breakeven point:
Breakeven point = Total cost of campaign / (Revenue per unit – Cost per unit)
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you’re running a marketing campaign for a new product that has a price of $100 and costs $50 to produce and sell. The campaign costs $5000.
To calculate the breakeven point, you would use the following formula:
Breakeven point = $5000 divided by ($100 minus $50) = 100 units
This means that you need to sell at least 100 units of the product for the campaign to break even. If you sell more than 100 units, you’ll start to turn a profit.
Some other standard metrics include:
There are various options for small businesses looking for help with their marketing efforts.
One such resource is outsourcing to virtual assistants or experts specializing in small business marketing. This enables you to access expertise that may otherwise not be available due to budget constraints.
Virtual assistants can provide a wide range of services, including managing social media accounts, creating content, tracking analytics, and website updates. By outsourcing to virtual assistants or experts, you can save time by having someone else take care of the tasks involved in marketing your products or services.
Utilizing automation is also an effective way to ensure you stay on track with your marketing initiatives. Automation tools can be beneficial in automating mundane tasks such as scheduling posts or sending out emails, saving you time for more strategic endeavors. Automated systems also provide insights into customer behavior so that you can adjust campaigns accordingly.
Using a marketing calendar and automation software will help keep your campaigns running smoothly and keep communication between your team members clear and consistent.
In conclusion, creating a marketing calendar for your small business is a great way to stay organized, on top of campaigns, and create a successful strategy. Taking the time to plan ahead will save you stress and chaos later on. It also allows you to measure the success of your campaigns and adjust accordingly.
This article is part of our series on Business Hacks. Other articles in this series include:
The 80/20 Rule: A Powerful Business Productivity Hack
How to Transform Your Business With 90-Day Goals
Unique Selling Proposition: Why Your Small Business Must Have One
Online Hacks for Local Businesses
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