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Terry Boddie, Agency Liaison Director, Marketing Media ManagementGuest Blog post by Terry Boddie, President & Agency Liaison Director at Marketing Media Management

You don’t just get in your car and start driving if you don’t have directions to where you’re going do you? Of course not, so why do the same thing with your business by not having a business plan?  Having an updated and clear business plan is necessary for running a successful online marketing business, and not having one is something that should be avoided.

The most important reason to develop a business plan is to make sure everyone is kept on the same page.  When the business plan is created early on, you create the important base for your company to be built on.  This allows the management team to set specific goals, which makes them more equipped at defining what is important.  Without the business plan, management won’t be able to describe these goals, which leads to confusion with employees and customers about the online marketing.

Developing a usable plan involves specifying your business’ mission and vision, which is necessary to keep the company running smoothly.  When presenting to potential customers or investors, it is important that they are able to tell exactly why they should choose your business over your competition.  It also creates a blueprint that your employees can follow to focus their work and maintain standards with the online marketing. 

Businesses can’t survive or expand without the help of other individuals and businesses.  When you have a business plan it will assist with developing business alliances to grow your business, and will help you learn where those potential alliances can be found.  Other necessary professionals, such as attorneys, accountants, and consultants will need a business plan to properly help your business. 

Creating a business plan for your company doesn’t have to be something daunting.  By using pre-made tools such as LivePlan, a useful business plan can be made easily.  Tools like this also provide the ability to constantly update, which is what a business plan requires,  and ensures your online marketing business stays up to date and competitive.

farrahBlog post by Farrah Holder, CEO of ThinkNXT Marketing Group

As your online marketing business moves into the New Year, one essential aspect that needs to be researched and considered is how your finances are handled.  If you don’t keep a close eye on tracking your finances you run the risk of losing money and having your business operate in the red.

When deciding on the tools to use, you should first figure out exactly what your online marketing financial needs are.  The financial tools can work to give you a warning system for problems as well as the ability to check on the budget and financial growth.  Many tools can track and display the budget, your company spending, bills to pay, as well as debt levels and investments.  This of course can be done without the use of a financial tool, but the tool is able to organize everything into one convenient place.  Many also include online banking services and the ability to export data to tax preparation software, making both of those daunting tasks easier to manage and more error-free.  These financial tools allow for financial planning, letting you know what needs to be done to pay down debt, and easily create reports for the next year-end review.

When setting up the finances for the upcoming year, it is also important to analyze your budget for any accounts you may need.  If your year-end report from last year shows that sales were down in a certain month, create a savings account that you put extra money in the rest of the year.  This way, if the sales are down again this year you will be prepared and your business won’t suffer.