The importance

of planning

(Failure to prepare

is preparation for failure)

Often when we talk with retailers it very quickly becomes clear that many businesses are being run on a day-by-day basis.  It can be difficult to break away from serving customers and ordering in stock to give yourself time to plan tomorrow, let alone 6 months ahead, but your business will benefit if you allocate time once a month for planning (and review).

Download PDF Marketing Planner FREE Download Excel Marketing Planner FREE

You can download our free marketing planner as a PDF to print at any size and put up on the wall in the staff-only areas of your store.  We recommend involving your team at the planning stage and also displaying the completed planner in a position that your team members can check - so everyone knows what's going on and when.


If you prefer to use a computer to plan out your activity, you can download the excel version here.  It’s still a good idea to print out the calendar and display it in a staff only area as it gets updated (you can hide the rows you don’t want to be seen by everyone, if necessary).


We encourage setting a theme each month and working with your team as well as your suppliers to organise events and displays for the store each month based on this theme.  Don't forget to include your mission statement at the top so that your team are on board with this and can fully get behind it.


Work with your suppliers and give them plenty of notice regarding your upcoming activity plans.  Send them regular updates and ask their marketing teams to consider opportunities to collaborate.  Consider display sections to each have a value to your suppliers.  Supermarkets charge brands significant amounts to get their products featured in key areas of the store.  Although you might not be in a position to charge for space in the same way, recognise that a window display does have a value to your suppliers and if you are looking to negotiate on any particular deal, offering fixed time periods of display areas in your store might help your position.


As your marketing plan unfolds it is important to keep records of your results.  You'll notice that the bottom row of the marketing planner is for you to record your results.  This is a really important part of the whole planning process  - you need this information so that you can review what worked well and what could have gone better, but depending on where you display the poster you might want to use this row to display results as a percentage format rather than actual figures.  For more detailed tracking of your results and the ability to compare your marketing spend directly against results (both in terms of sales and also social media audience) please click here to download our free 'marketing dashboard'.

Marketing for Independent Retailers

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