bigstock-A-stopwatch-or-timer-with-the--SmallYes, I know we still have all of November and December before 2013 is over. However,  my statement has to do with  business marketing.  At the end of the year businesses are focused on sales not marketing. There are sales to close right?

So how did sales go in 2013? Were sales up, down or about the same? If in 2013 you achieved your sales goals then you don’t need to read the rest of this blog. What I have to say from this point forward won’t interest you.

For those of you who are disappointed with your sales, did you actually execute your marketing plan in 2013 like you had hoped to? All of us are motivated in January with optimism and big plans for growing our businesses. As the year rolls on we keep saying that we will get around to it. We get caught up in the day to day operations of running our businesses and marketing continues to wind up on the back burner. The enthusiasm wanes. Before we know it, the year is almost over. No marketing… no sales…no growth.

How can you avoid a repeat of 2013? I suggest the following.

Establish goals for 2014

It’s strange how the human mind works. If you actually write down your goals, you stand a better chance of actually achieving them. What are your sales goals for 2014? Are you looking to target new markets, sell a new product or service, or get more referral business? Whatever it is, write it down and put your goals in a place where you will see them daily.

Start planning for 2014 now

They say the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now. Putting a great marketing system in place takes time and you don’t reap the benefits immediately. The holiday season allows you time to think strategically about your marketing. Who is your ideal client? How are your products and services different? What is the ideal customer experience? These are important questions to ask yourself before 2013 is over.

Get help

There is so much information online that may be able to help you create a marketing plan on your own. The question is, do you really have the time and inclination to make it happen? Business owners are crazy-busy and there doesn’t ever to seem to be enough time in the day. The other concern is doing it right the first time. If we don’t have time to do it right the first time, why would we think that we have time to do it over?

Leap Innovation has three options to help you implement a marketing system in 2014 that is simple, affordable and effective. To find out more check out our Ultimate Marketing Program.