What the heck a Promotion Plan is and why your business needs one
One of the things that has surprised me the most about the results that people are getting in their BOSS Health Reports, is the number of businesses that don’t have Sales or Marketing Plans.
What’s NOT surprising, however, is that I can see a clear link between having a sales/promotion plan, and the cashflow score. Basically, those that don’t have plans usually score lower in their cashflow.
This is a big fat problem.
Because without healthy cash flow, a business is unsustainable.
That has led me to prioritise teaching about Promotion Planning. Because I hate to see so many businesses struggle with their cash flow when I know that I have some tools that will help.
What is a Promotion Plan and how is it different from every other plan we’ve talked about?
To quickly recap my video, the main differences are:
- Business Planning is your big picture plan which you design your system of success around to help you achieve your overall biz objectives.
- Marketing Planning is all about getting your brand awareness out there to your key peeps
- Sales/Promotion Planning is based on selling a specific product or service, for a specific time period, to help you achieve your revenue goals.
They build on each other, so in a perfect world, you’d have a Promotion Plan, based around the objectives of your Marketing and Business Plans.
But this is entrepreneur land – where most of us live in the world of struggling to put our underwear on the right way in the morning and imperfect action. So, if you don’t have any plans, and improving your cash flow is your priority, I recommend establishing a Promotion Plan.
It’s the quickest and easiest to put together of the Plans, and the most focused at helping you get some $$$ money flowing into your biz.
But even if you DO have healthy cash flow coming into your business, it’s still vital to have a Promotion Plan, and I’ll share with you why…
Let’s talk Promotion…
Ever heard the saying, “you can’t sell a secret?”
Most of us know this.
How many times in our business do we wish we could though?
Especially those introverts amongst us – as an introvert I’d love to have the reality of “build it and they’d come”. But sadly, that’s not real life. At least for most of us.
Hence, if we want to sell our products and services, we need to plan to sell them and promote them.
Unless you’re one of those magical unicorns that love promoting (in which case, can we talk? 😉 )
and even then,
chances are you could still do with telling more people about your products/key services in a targeted way that will make them buy from you.
Types of ways to Promote:
Option 1: Wing It
Of course, one way to promote ourselves would be to ‘wing it’.
E.g. tell people when we feel like it.
Follow that “build them and they’ll come” mentality I was just talking about.
Not have a strategy.
And we might get lucky.
Depending on the business model, and the quality of our work, referrals might even keep us going.
Organic growth might happen at the speed we want it to.
Until one day it doesn’t anymore and we get caught out without a plan.
Because, as I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, this method is not reliable.
And, if we’re not careful, it can lead to us having our cash flow sitting in Infrared.
Even if we have healthy cash flow now!
Option 2: Be intentional
We could be intentional about creating our success.
And we could create ourselves a Promotion Plan
A way of introducing a consistent stream of new customers to our business.
The main points are that a Promotion Plan is a profit based plan.
However it looks, it needs to help you improve the revenue or bottom line in your business.
I have to be honest with you, I only remember starting to use a templated Promotion Plan a year ago.
I’d been one of the lucky ones, and because of the business model I had in my first 2 years of this business, I had more work than I wanted. It wasn’t my goal at that time to grow any bigger, because I had family stuff going on and that was my priority.
Then my circumstances changed (my Dad passed away from his cancer, my husband recovered from his head injury, and my children grew older in case you were wondering), I changed my business model and decided to grow.
At this point, a Promotion Plan became the necessity I hadn’t previously realised I’d needed.
Main point 2: if you are a business that wants more customers, you’ll benefit from a Promotion Plan.
What do you put in a Promotion Plan?
To create a successful promotion plan, there are several must-haves to clarify in your plan.
1. You need to be clear on your WHY – why are you doing this Promotion Plan – your over-arching goal for it.
For example, if you have a revenue goal of say $30,000 for the quarter, it’s about working backwards from there with what actions you need to take to achieve that.
2. WHO – are you running it for? (Your ideal customers)
3. WHAT – is your offer? Think specific. What specific products(s) or services are you going to push this period.
4. HOW – are you going to offer it? Or WHERE are you going to offer it.
5. WHEN – are you going to offer it? And how long is this promotion period for.
Lastly, the most important aspect – you need to have a way to track and review it all so that you can measure if you are on track with it or not.
I’d recommend starting with a quarter promotion when you are first starting with one. That suits most businesses.
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I hope that helps you with the basics of what a Promotion Plan is and how it can serve you in your business to improve your cash flow
Want a step by step guide to working out your plan?
About the author:
Kat Soper is the Founder and Head Trainer of The Helpful Academy Online Business School.
Kat is passionate about helping start-ups and small businesses succeed and achieve their business goals so that they can achieve the lifestyle they desire (and deserve).