Careful Planning Trumps Just Wishing

By Stacy Cornay for the Times-Call
Publish Date: 08/05/2012

Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it.

Many of the things that I've wished for have come true over time. When I was in high school, I wished to win the state softball championship. Later on I wished for a handsome husband and a child that I could be proud of, for a successful business that I would build myself from the ground up, and for a large yard with many gardens to provide relaxation and solitude.

My team did win the softball tournament, but I got a nasty knot on my forehead (I'd rather not go in to details). I have an awesome husband and son, but the accompanying responsibilities are equally awesome. My business, now nearly two decades old, is something I'm very proud of. However, it takes blood, sweat and tears to make it work year after year through good times and bad. I love my yard, but I hate gardening. My flowers are whiny. The more attention I give them the more they demand.

Marketing can be like that. A friend recently told me about her son's new job. He likes it and seems to be doing well.

However, his company developed and implemented a major advertising campaign. My friend's son is now over-worked and stressed out trying to deal with a flood of new business. The company got what it wished for – many new customers. But it didn't plan for what to do next.

Creating and implementing effective marketing campaigns is vital to business success. So, too, is being ready to deliver when the marketing campaigns work. How will your business respond when you start getting more calls, more visitors, more inquiries? Do you have the staff and inventory to handle the increases? How will you meet the needs of new customers and keep them coming back? What on-going strategies will you employ to ensure that your current customers aren't neglected?

Crossing your fingers and wishing for more business only works in fairy tales. In the real world, getting more business starts with effective marketing campaigns. And effective marketing campaigns start with comprehensive planning. Who will you target and why? How will you reach them? What mediums can you afford? But it doesn't end there. Effective plans encompass taking care of both new and existing customers, of following up on all new contacts, of being able to bring in extra help at a moment's notice and if incentives are offered, of having the promised incentives on hand when new customers start coming through your door. Failure to think ahead and prepare for all contingencies can sabotage your best efforts. You can get what you wish for and end up worse off than when you started.

Short-term wishes to bring in new customers or clients can be turned into long-term gains with a little creative and strategic thinking. A good example may be found in the rush for businesses to acquire "friends" on Facebook. Facebook links may be an excellent way to advertise your business, but simply collecting "friends" is not a marketing strategy. What are you going to do with all the new “friends” you acquire? How can you motivate them to buy your products or services? How can you turn your new “friends” into new customers?

In our current economic environment and world of uncertainties, wishes alone aren't enough. It's better to leverage our wishes with strategic thinking and creative approaches.

Still, wishes are good for us. Wishes have warmed my life.

However, I'm afraid to say what I may wish for next.


Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising. 
Visit www.comm-concepts.com or call 303-651-6612.