Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The importance of a financial plan as part of your marketing plan

Just this morning, our professional women's networking group was discussing the importance of having a financial plan.

I tuned right into this discussion, because I've been preaching the importance of a marketing plan to my coaching clients -- in particular, a budget for marketing and advertising. So many bright-eyed enthusiastic health professionals think that enthusiasm is enough to drive the business. And, yes, although enthusiasm is expecially important, you'll also need to pay your bills while you build your business.

Even most frugal marketer needs a budget, if only for business cards, a telephone and a notebook to write your plans and ideas. More likely, there are more related expenses: signage, brochures, advertising costs for publications and places that reach your  ideal client and e-mail, a Web domain name and web site. If you offer gift certificates, there will be costs. If you need to rent an office or work space, plan for a minimum of six months of rent payments. You'll also want to consider:

Pricing of products or services
Permits and licenses
Required continuing education
Fees related to networking (membership dues, the cost of meals and coffee, driving and gasoline expenses)
To get you into the planning state -- or to help you get your feet stablized if your business is floundering -- check out the upcoming businss planning series sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Parkside's Small Business Development Center, Kenosha. The 14-week class, presented  with the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation,  is designed to walk you through the business planning process so you'll know what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
"Small Biz Kenosha" will hold its orientation on Thursday, Feb. 4, from 6-8 p.m. at WWBIC's Kenosha office, 600 52nd St., Suite 130. Classes will run Thursdays from 6-9 p.m. from Feb. 11 to April 15. "Small Biz Racine" will hold its orientation on Monday, March 1, from 6-8 p.m. at CATI, 2320 Renaissance Blvd. in Sturtevant. Classes will be held Mondays from 6-9 p.m. from March 8 to June 7.  To register, call (262) 898-7438 or

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