I love this time of the year. It is a time to reflect on the past year, to see how far I have come and to understand why some of the things I intended to achieve over the year haven’t gone according to plan. I am a planner by nature, and I don’t feel content if I don’t have a clear plan in place. Are you a planner to or do you tend to drift from pillar to post?
If you are not a natural at planning, picture this for one moment. Imagine what it would feel like if you had clarity in your business and you were always on top of your game? Crushing your goals seamlessly and overcoming obstacles in your way. Being crystal clear about what you are going to do, why you are going to do it, how you are going to do it and by when as opposed to ‘winging’ your way to success.
To do this, you need to have a plan. Without a plan you become reactive to your circumstances, rather than proactive, bouncing from one situation and opportunity to another. Whether you call it a business strategy, a marketing strategy, a plan or a road map, it doesn’t really matter.
Your plan should be a working document, with a clear vision, purpose, goals and timelines that you can use to make your decisions and to guide you and your team from a marketing perspective, across your retail and online channels, your stockists and retail partners, from a social media perspective across each month of the year. Your plan should support and elevate your product development.
Your plan is a document and a direction that you all believe in and agree to, that you don’t allow excuses and unplanned events to stand in your way. I tend to refer to this form of planning as a marketing strategy. It is your marketing strategy, plan and budget that drives your sales and builds your brand. As a product based business, your new product development and your new product launches are very closely linked to your marketing strategy.
* Your marketing strategy is your overall plan for the year, every year you will review the previous year’s performance, see what has and what hasn’t worked and create a new marketing strategy for the year to support your product development and your new product launches. This is prepared in the last quarter of each year. At this time of the year you will have a clear idea of how the current year has progressed and what you have and haven’t been able to achieve.
* To create this plan, you need to understand your marketplace, your competitors and your customers and then based on analysing this come up with a plan of action in terms of how you are going to compete and position yourself as a brand in your marketplace and communicate this message to your customers.
* Your plan will be broken down into goals, objectives, tactics with a cost associated with each. It will take into consideration your product development and key event activity. To support your plan, you will then create your budget and your marketing calendar by month across your various channels, retail partners, advertising, PR, trade shows, events, videos, podcasts. A content marketing calendar is also developed by channel to support your marketing plan for the year.
* As you roll out your brand across retail channels and into different markets, you will need to provide this to your agents and distributors and to your retail partners together with very clear brand guidelines, sales targets, and your marketing collateral for them to execute.
I am sure you can now appreciate why having a plan can provide you with a clear steer in moving forward with building your business. If you haven’t started planning for 2019 yet, good luck and if the idea of sailing as opposed to drifting sounds a bit more appealing to you this year, and you are looking for support in achieving this, get in touch.
‘Through Janet’s management skills, expertise and proven track record on the job she successfully managed the purchasing of our retail operations and ensured the integrity of our brands in-stores. Her enthusiasm and total dedication, delivered results in any project she was involved in.’
‘Janet is one of the best people I have ever worked with in my career. She fully understands the whole process of product development, supply chain and marketing. Janet has in-depth experience of toiletries and international retailing. I would recommend her to any company or client.’
‘Janet has excellent beauty market knowledge. Level headed with clear vision, direction and the ability to drive business forward, Janet led the teams through a complete product design change advising on what the key marketing messages should be, incorporating her technical knowledge and beauty expertise.’
‘I highly recommend Bespoke Advantage to business owners across the beauty, spa and wellness industry. Janet has been a fantastic support to my business. Through her in-depth knowledge of the beauty industry she has provided me with strategies specifically tailored to my business needs, to help me to grow my business across the marketplace’.
‘Janet has a wealth of experience across retail, buying and marketing. She conducted a full strategic review of our cross functional business and the travel retail market to develop a comprehensive buying and quality control strategy that was signed off at board level. I highly recommend her as an asset to any business.’
‘Janet is extremely professional, knowledgeable and thorough, an expert of her field. This shone through from our first conversation, which instinctively led me to want to work with Bespoke Advantage. As a new skincare brand the expertise of Bespoke Advantage has been invaluable.’
‘Janet, absolutely fantastic to meet you today. Thoroughly enjoyed The Beauty Workshop. You definitely excel in your area and beyond.’
‘We have been really pleased to work with Janet. Through her 6-Month online coaching program she showed us exactly what we needed to do each step of the way. Really look forward to having future opportunities to work together.’
‘Many thanks again for all the help, support and words of encouragement, as I said before, best and most sensible thing I’ve done in developing my beauty ideas is to engage with you!’
‘It’s been inspirational working with Janet. We are in the process of launching a skincare brand however have received conflicting opinions from so many people we were really confused. I am so impressed by Janet’s knowledge and experience in product development, marketing and retail and the way she explains everything so clearly. She is very motivating and positive, and so much fun to work with. I have much more clarity and confidence in how to move things forward.’