Recently I bought a new desk. Once the boxes were delivered to my house, I unpacked everything and organized the pieces by their letter and number. Ten years ago I would have been stressed looking at these 25 pieces of wood and bags of hardware. The task of making everything look like the display the store would have seemed impossible. But I’ve learned a thing or two over the years, the most important is to follow the instructions. I followed every word on every page and sure enough a few hours later I’ve got a beautiful new desk. This was similar to my experience over Christmas with my son and his Lego’s, everything went as planned, except for searching for an occasional dropped piece:)
I bring this up because I can’t help but think how detailed instructions could make customer service top notch. What if every time you hired an employee you had a multi-page document that outlined your company, what you did, why you did it and the expected result. If every task they were required to perform was written down to the smallest possible detail. Just imagine how many of your customer complaints would go away. How many times does a customer have a bad experience with your company because a few steps were skipped in the process?
Now, relate this to your marketing plan. Have you ever written down everything you are going to do each month to help drive sales and profits. Defined the goals of each marketing medium and outlined to your staff how this should be carried out? How can you expect good results without doing this? AND how can you judge a particular advertisement without setting the proper ROI goals and expectations.
My challenge to you is not only to sit down and write out instructions for your business before 2011 is gone, but to also map out your marketing plans just like you were leaving tomorrow to drive to Nebraska. Make a plan and stick to it, and I’m sure you’ll have a great looking desk in 9 months.
Matt Plapp is a the President of Driven Media Solutions, a Full Service Marketing Firm in the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky area specializing in small business marketing via grass-roots, events, guerilla, online and social media marketing. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.