When you drive your own business, marketing is the thing you use to put your name out there and get new customers. It is a passive way of actively acquiring new customers. But how do you organize this for yourself?
Why scheduling marketing
Marketing is a very effective tool to get your name out there and to get new customers. It can also be used to effectively let people know about specials you offer, and even discounts. But you have better things to do than to concentrate on what you have to do with this whole marketing thing. You are making long hours, working hard and don’t have the money to hire a professional (yet). So to make things easier for yourself we can try to schedule and organize your marketing activities. This will help to create more clarity and structure, and will give you insight in when you need to make time for certain activities.
Create a Commercial Calendar
A Commercial Calendar is a year long calendar with specific events and happenings on it. It’s not difficult to create this, and it will allow to schedule activities way before they even have to be done. You can create this calendar on paper, digital or even just in the calendar app in your smartphone.
Let’s say that there an annual fair in your city. A big happenings where companies can promote their company. It will have small rides, some second hand bazaars and a few food vans. This is every year in the last weekend of June. You can write this date down in your calendar, and 4 weeks prior you set a notice “sort banner for annual fair”. 7 days later you set a reminder “double check banner for annual fair”.
And your done. When you keep an eye on your calendar you will be remembered about this in time for you to take action. When you are booking in jobs in advance, you’ll also see the notice and you won’t double book.
You might also notice that their are certain difference per season. In the summer people mostly want their car polished and corrected, in the winter they just want to have it clean. So you can schedule a date in your calendar to check your stock for this. You can also remind yourself way ahead of time that you need to place an ad in the paper for “winter-protection details”. This way you don’t have to think about this anymore till you see the notice in your calendar.
This calendar might take a day of your time, but it will helps you to focus on your work instead of your marketing planning. The first year you do this, it might not be 100% correct. But with every year you grow, you’ll get better at it. Eventually you’ll have a calendar that does most of the work for you. You can focus on your job, and the calendar will tell you what you have to do this week.
Divide your budget
When you have some years of experience, you might decide to set aside a fixed amount of money for marketing. Let’s say that this is 10.000 pounds a year. This does not mean you spent 833.33 pounds a month. Because there might be moments in the year where you won’t benefit from marketing. And there might also be moments where you need to spent some extra.
Make a list of the major activities you want to be part off this year. You might include carshows, detailing-events, car meetings, the annual fair, an annual tradition, Queensday and others. Anything you think might be worth getting involved in. This can be done with a stand, a demo-car, giving workshops or just a banner. Try to think where your customers are, and get them to see you or your name. The biggest events might cost a lot more money, but many more people will see you or your advertisement. Make a list of the things you want to be part off, and divide your budget over these events. If there is anything left, you can spread this over the year on smaller things.
Get a professional involved
When you get a banner made to be displayed at a big event, you want to look professional. You want to look credible. So unless you are a professional designer, get somebody involved who is. They are not cheap, but you of all people know how important the details are. A banner that looks unprofessional can put people off, even though you are an exceptional detailer. A professional designer can design a banner for you that you can use throughout the year. They can also help you to design stationary, business cards and even clothing. A professional and clean look you can use throughout the year. It might cost you a few hundred pounds, but it will serve you by getting more customers and building a professional reputation for yourself.
A professional marketing expert will also be expensive, but a few sessions with a proper marketing consultant will give you the tools to build your business in major steps. Helping you to get more customers and grow your business. That expensive professional is an investment in yourself and your business skills, which will serve you the rest of your life.
Don’t forget the online world
A professional website and social media is very important these days. The digital world can even be more important that many other channels, depending on how you use it. A professional website doesn’t always have to look fancy, the contents of that website is just as important but also often overlooked. Focusing on providing information and clarity is just as important as making sure your text is optimized for search engines (SEO). The post you place in social media say a lot about you and your company. Post quality pictures, with text and information.