With the new calendar year just a few weeks away, you really should be thinking. Thinking about what you are going to do to make 2024 a really successful one for your small business. Maybe 2023 has been a quiet one for various reasons. Whatever happened, 2024 is a new year and you cannot simply assume that you will get the same results by doing the same things. Here are the four steps you need to take to make 2024 a great year…
What worked in 2023?
Have you reviewed and measured your marketing performance for the last year? If not, it is time to start. By measuring your marketing performance, you can quickly make decisions about:
- what to continue – because it is working.
- what to review – because you believe it can work better
- what to stop – as it is simply not working.
If you have had a really successful year, imagine what next year could be like if you cut out what marketing hasn’t worked and did more of what has been working! We have an ROI calculator that you can download: Click here to our download ROI calculator.
If you haven’t let’s identify what channels haven’t worked so they can be reviewed or stopped. The time and money saved can be re-focused.
How many new clients did you acquire?
Not gross, but net new clients. Deduct the number you lost from the number you won. Compare this to 2022. Did your overall client number increase or decrease? Is it higher because you won more or lost fewer?
- Which marketing channels did the new clients come through?
- How much did each new client cost?
- What is your lead conversion rate?
- What is the value of a new client (average)?
By answering these questions, you start to develop a picture of how much marketing you need to do in 2024 to hit your business goals.
- Your business goal for 2024: increase turnover by £250K
- A typical client spends £10,000 per year with you.
- Last year you added 15 new clients, but lost 3
- Your marketing spend was £30K
If the ratios stay the same, you will need a marketing budget this year of £60K – assuming the ratio of clients lost to clients gained stays the same, as does cost per client acquired.
What does your Ideal Client look like? If you look back at the clients you acquired in the last year, how many of them match the description of your Ideal Client? If you are acquiring clients that don’t match this description, do you need to review that description or add another?
How many of the clients you lost last year matched that description? If they were a long way from being Ideal Clients, it may be that you simply weren’t able to properly meet their needs. There are times when you need to consider walking away from a sales opportunity if you cannot properly meet their needs.
Reviewing your Ideal client description, as needed, will help to re-focus your marketing messages so that they work more effectively. The marketing messages will be different for each Ideal Client you have as they have different needs and may use your products/services in different ways. Just in case you’re interested, this is one of our Ideal Client descriptions.
Planning your marketing
If you have followed the recommendations above, you will know what marketing worked for you in the last year. If they worked last year, it is likely they will work in 2024, so it is now simply a case of scheduling the activity into your marketing plan. Then decide whether to do the same amount, or more, of this marketing.
Now, what else will you be doing this year? If your growth targets are higher for 2024 than for 2023, you need to be doing more marketing in the coming year. You know what hasn’t worked, so what other marketing is likely to work? If want to discuss this, give us a call on 020 8634 5911.
Do you have the time?
If you managed, or even did, your marketing last year, will you have the time to do it again in 2024? If you are planning to do the same amount of marketing as you did last year, you probably have. If you are planning to do more, you may need some help. Of course, once the sales start coming in, more of your time will be focused on delivering what your clients want. Unless you have no need for a work/life balance (??), no worries. But if you do want some time away from your business (it is recommended), you need someone who can manage or do your marketing for you. Our Virtual Marketing Director service is ideal for owners of small businesses who don’t have time, but aren’t yet in a position to employ their own marketing team. Does that sound like you?
Why do all this?
Too many owners of small businesses spend too little time working ON the business, rather than IN the business. This leads to “stuff happening” rather than planned activity. As the old saying goes : fail to plan – plan to fail. By investing a few hours in planning for 2024, you will see a significant uplift in performance and more growth.