By Annie Urban

As we enter 2021, many small to medium-sized business owners have new goals – especially after the year we just put behind us. Creating a plan to follow can keep you on course and accountable to be able to achieve those goals. Creating an efficient marketing plan might seem scary at first, but it is a process that helps move you forward. Here are some tips and tricks to get your business exactly where you want it to be.

Set your goals.

State on paper your company’s goals for the year. These goals can be anything from launching a new product or service to a renovation or adding employees. You need to know how you plan to grow your business before you decide what to promote!

Now you need to create a budget and timeline.

Set a budget and a timeline. These are efficient ways to lay everything out that you want to accomplish, and they will help you stay on track. You could start with the big picture of one year – then maybe narrow ideas down by month or even by week. The more specific the plan, the easier it is to follow.

What does a successful marketing plan do?

Three words: reach, engagement and conversion.


Reach is the number of people you touch with your message. The people who view your message – whether they visit your website, scroll through your social media or simply drive by your building and see your sign. The more people who see your message, the more likely of an impact it will have.


Think about the people who are seeing your message. Are they engaging with that message? You can determine this by viewing the bounce rate on your website or the number of likes, comments or shares on your social media post.


Conversion is where you convert the person who you reached and engaged with to the point of taking action. This person is now calling you to book that appointment or is making the final purchase – they are doing exactly what you want them to do. If your marketing doesn’t ultimately convert to sales – it is not effective.

Identify the best marketing assets for your company.

You can promote your company in so many ways these days – TV, radio, outdoor signage, sponsorship, online advertising, social media, direct mail, email marketing, newspaper, magazines, and, well, you get the point. We would point out that if your funds are limited (and many SMBS have this challenge), make sure your online presence is up to snuff before focusing any funds outside of digital. It is a must in today’s world.

Have extra cash to spend? Think about your geography next regarding what vehicle to use, then consider all the other demographic information. TV may be your answer if you want broad reach, whereas targeted reach to a specific zip code lends itself more to digital advertising.

Finally, place your media.

Place your advertising as appropriate, but don’t forget to monitor and track sales as you go. You need to measure your Return on Investment. Minimally, you want to get at least a 3 to 1 return on your ad dollars. If you are not getting that, your plan needs to be adjusted.

If this seems overwhelming, it may be time to outsource for some marketing help. TLC Marketing Consultants specializes in helping small businesses grow. Learn more at