Are you serious about growing your business? Then it’s time to ditch your old “catch as catch can” marketing approach and put together a plan that you can manage along with the daily operations of your business.

A well-planned marketing program helps you build sales year-round and is easier to manage because it removes the stress and anxiety of having to play catch-up every few months to jump-start sales. When creating your marketing program, it’s essential to include at least one marketing tactic to reach each of these types of prospects. The trick to successfully balancing all your marketing tactics is to have a written plan with a manageable timeline. That way you can create your campaigns and materials well in advance of your deadlines and have them ready to go when you need them. Most every small business has three types of prospects: cold, warm and hot. Cold prospects know little or nothing about your business. Warmer prospects are familiar with your company and are about midway through the sales cycle.

Your company’s hottest prospects are those closest to closing or who’ve purchased from you in the past. Tighter budgets sometimes require tactics that take a bit more hands-on execution. For example, a cable TV campaign will reach cold prospects, but so will home parties-and for considerably less cash.Generally only about a page in length, this section provides a brief overview of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Outline your company’s overall marketing strategy and the list of tactics you’ll use to reach prospects as they move through your sales cycle

Unless you’re creating a marketing plan to help win funding (in which case you’ll need a more elaborate, in-depth document), your company’smarketing plan  can be simple to create and easy to follow.