This week I’m spending time at summer camp in Ohio with my son’s Boy Scout Troop. While on this excursion, we leaders are taking our Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills training as well as our CPR re-certification training.

The Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” rings true every day I’m here at camp. It’s been rather rainy and unseasonably cool out here. In fact, nearly every camp site is swampy and flooded a bit. However, those who followed the instructions for being prepared are warm, dry,  healthy, and having fun. We’ve remembered to pack tarps, some extra supplies, and everything is projected to be “okey-dokey” throughout the rest of this week.

Is your marketing prepared for stormy weather? Are you ready for great wins and the fulfillment of your promises to your customers? If not, you may want to consider some careful planning to ensure that you are anticipating what may happen so your successes or failures may not take you by complete surprise.

3 Tips for Successful Planning

Creating a marketing plan sounds daunting to many. However, it’s really not all that hard. Follow these tips to facilitate your planning process:

  1. Start with taking an assessment of what you have already at your disposal. Getting a good reality check and doing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis can help you get a healthy dose of perspective on what you have with which to work.
  2. State clearly who you are and who you want to be. This is the foundation for your Mission and Vision. It’s important to take this step to guide you in your branding efforts and keep in you and your team aligned to your mission and vision. It’s easy to veer off into something unrelated and detrimental.
  3. Set clear, concise, and achievable goals. As trite as it sounds, defining SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Constrained) goals, and choosing only a few that are short-term and long-term is a “smart” thing to do. Reach for the stars, but be sure that you take the necessary short wins to get there… and celebrate in between.

In a future post, I’ll discuss further more tips to craft an excellent marketing or general business plan.