I’m not talking about trying to get planning permission for that humongous extension on your home. I’m talking about the complete reticence that some people have in putting the time and effort into creating a marketing strategy and plan.
So for fun, I thought I’d list here the typical objections I;ve heard when talking about the need for a plan.
I know what needs to be done
Of course you do. But do you know what are right things to do? Do you know what makes a difference? Do you know what people really respond or react to and what falls on deaf ears? That’s why you need a plan.
Things change all the time
Of course they do. A plan is not a static document. It’s something that changes and moves with the business. It acts as a guide. So if circumstances change or things alter, great. It’s a chance to review the plan and keep it on track.
No one will look at your plan
Of course they might not. First of all though, it’s not my plan. It’s ours. Second of all, that’s why you need someone to be in charge of the plan. That may be me. That might be someone in your organisation. Sounds like it won’t be you.
Whoever it is, someone needs to own and drive forward the plan. And the best way of doing that is to have regular meetings or monthly updates where the plan is front and centre. You review what should have been done. You plan what needs to be done. You change and alter as necessary.
I hate the way it looks
Of course you do. That’s fine. We can change the colours. We can change the layout but a plan is not meant to be pretty. It can be but that’s not really the point. It needs to be useable. So if it does the job, then don’t worry too much about it and definitely don’t spend hours and hours on making it look so beautiful it ceases to be useful.
You can’t tell me what to do
Of course I can. That’s why you hire an external consultant. I’m not doing this for any other reason than to make your company a success. So if that means I need to tell you what to do and when it needs to get done by, then I should do exactly that. If, however, that’s not the type of relationship you want, then I’m glad we’ve established it early because it looks like it might not work out.
It’s not in the plan so we can’t do it
Of course you can. I’m delighted that you’re using the plan, but we are not future predictors. Things will come up. Opportunities will materialise that you absolutely have to grab with both hands. A plan actually helps. You can see clearly what can be shifted around. You can make informed decisions about what you need to keep doing, you can see who has got spare capacity to take on another project.
So whether it’s a business plan, a financial plan or a marketing plan… your business needs them all. Question is are you ready for it?
All the best