Back in the eighties I was in the time management training business. One of the concepts we taught was to have a planning meeting with yourself every day. If you have a staff, include them in on your weekly meeting after you’ve done your daily plans.
If you’ve got a plant, some drop stores, a route and maybe some dry cleaning lockers; you really need to spend alone time with yourself planning all of this. You cannot do this on the fly. You cannot spontaneously make decisions on the run. You need to sit down with yourself and make a weekly and daily marketing plan.
This is the most important time you can spend each day. Without this planning time, you’re just a wandering generality. You have no idea where you’re going or where you’re heading. You just wake up every day and decide what to do based on putting out fires or whatever your emotions say to do that day.
This time is to be spent planning and following up on your marketing plan. Here are two great questions to ask yourself about the past week to help you better plan for the following week and beyond:
What did I do great last week?
What needs some improvement?
Answering these two basic questions will help guide you to the following week and beyond. You should also go over your list of marketing strategies you’re using and plan on using. Get one more of those in place and going every month or so. And make sure you have all of this in writing. Keeping all of this in your head will accomplish nothing. If you don’t write it down, you’ll be bouncing from idea to idea and task to task with no real direction. If you have employees, this is a great way to get them involved wholly in your business and make them feel like part of the team.
Your marketing plan can be planned on one page. It doesn’t have to be this complicated multiple page document. Just write out everything that you must do today and during the week. I also recommend that you write out an abbreviated plan on a calendar. You can get one of those big ones for your office or if you’d like, you can do it electronically, you can dedicate one of your Google calendars to your marketing plan.
What kinds of tasks could you include as part of your marketing plan?
First there are the daily tasks. If you have a counter business, write out hand-written thank you notes every day. Review those every month or so to make sure your CSR staff is using them. Making sure your CSRs are asking your counter customers if they’d like to join your route. This is all marketing. This should be part of your CSR’s job description.
What promo are you running this month? These monthly promos should be decided at the beginning of the year. You shouldn’t wait until the middle of November to decide to put together a promo that coincides with Thanksgiving. It’s too late! It’s too late for your newsletter and any mailers you’re going to do. Not too late for your e-mail marketing if you have all your customers e-mails.
Every month you should be mailing the “new-movers” coming to your town. You should be testing that mailing to see if you’re getting the best results you can possibly be getting. You can map out the different promos your going to be using during the year with your “new-mover” mailings.
As you can see, there is a lot to be planned and if you do it on the fly, you won’t be doing justice to your dry cleaning business. A simple 5-minute meeting with yourself to keep you on track is the best way to go. Go to it!