Leonard Bernstein once said, “To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.”
Never having quite enough time feels like a prerequisite for owning a catering business. Something always comes up to throw you a curveball. All we can ever do is roll with the punches.
The one thing we do have control over is the plan.
A Catering Marketing Calendar Needs to Start With a Plan
When I was first starting out, like many people, I had a lot of marketing ideas.
I would go from one to another to another, jumping from idea to idea.
It was incredibly arduous and exhausting, because even a successful idea was only so valuable without a next step. I wasn’t looking at the big picture. I needed a plan.
So, I took some time, sat down and started thinking ahead. I started planning on how to make my ideas work together.
Instead of looking at the next month, I started planning for the next year. All these ideas that I had suddenly started to look like a plan. I could tie things together more easily, which was better for my brand.
My overall marketing strategy felt so much more manageable once I had it in a calendar where I could see how everything fit together.
CaterZen’s marketing calendar is designed to make tracking multiple ideas and campaigns easy to set up and custom-tailored to your needs.
Then you can use our marketing calendar reminders to set yourself up for success by reminding yourself to follow through on the marketing plans you’ve designed.
Before anything else though, you need to make sure you’re making the best of your time all year round, not just during the busy season.
Getting Ahead By Planning Your Catering Marketing Strategy
The slow season shouldn't be an excuse to rest on your laurels.
It's way too easy at the end of the busy season to sit back and put your feet up for a bit.
But that's not going to help your business.
In fact, it's a waste of what could be the most impactful part of your year: planning your marketing strategies for the future.
It doesn’t matter if you want to think a month, six months or a year ahead. Even if you want to start small, it’s still a step in the right direction.
I often tell people, if they were to set aside some time during their slowest season, they could get a lot of their marketing for the rest of the year planned in a single day.
Save Time and Stress Planning Your Catering Marketing Campaigns
What do you want to promote and when? It's a strategy many large companies use because it lets you keep your forward momentum.
We all have urgent marketing needs on our minds. What’s coming next? When should it start? It’s important that we don’t forget to think ahead to the non-urgent marketing, further down the road.
It doesn't matter if you want to spend time designing postcards or writing sales letters. Time spent when you have it will save you tons of time when you don’t, and all the stress that comes with being unprepared.
Easily Set Up Marketing Reminders in CaterZen's Software
CaterZen has marketing reminders built directly into our calendar software so that you can set notifications for yourself or anyone else with access to your CaterZen account.
Notifications can be given either through email, text message or through pop-up windows, which will appear the next time you (or the selected account users) log into your CaterZen account.
Whether you want to remind yourself to check in on clients that haven't ordered from you in a while, or send out a promotion notification to certain specific clients, telling them about a limited time offer you are running, the options are limitless.
You can learn more about how to set these notifications HERE.
Staying Ahead with Catering Marketing Templates and Ideas
Of course, taking those first steps to get ahead and stay organized is a lot of work.
CaterZen's software system has many more marketing features built into it than just marketing calendar notifications, which can make a huge difference in long-term planning for your marketing strategies.
There are numerous links to marketing campaign ideas and templates in Restaurant Profit Point, which I recommend checking out. You can even download them from the site to easily reference later for ideas.
Restaurant Profit Point is a very exclusive, members-only site that is accessible to CaterZen users on the Marketing Pro-Plus plan, or to folks who purchase my Ultimate Catering Sales Machine program.
I've always found those marketing assets to be an invaluable resource if I'm stuck on how I want to execute a campaign. Occasionally, hearing about what's worked for someone else can be the perfect inspiration for you to find an idea that will work for you.
Of course, there are times where you'll want to sit on an idea for a bit, until it becomes ripe and ready to pick.
Our marketing calendar reminder system is the perfect way to set something aside until you're ready to act on it, without running the risk of leaving it on the back burner for too long. Or forgetting about it completely.
You can set weekly reminders for yourself, either in general, or for specific holidays or niche events you want to target.
It's a great way to hit all those target markets, without forcing yourself to put a plan in place before you've finished deciding what you want to do.
Plus, we all need a little kick in the backside sometimes, right?
Setting up reminders is quick and easy. Just follow the steps HERE.
Be Prepared for Bumps in the Road
As much as we don't like to admit it, we all know the catering industry can be pretty hectic at times.
When it's busy, it's often really busy. So much so that a single hiccup in your best-laid plans can throw everything out of whack.
Let's say you're just getting ready to sit down and plan your next big marketing strategy, but then you find out that one of your critically important team members quit on you.
You're going to have to jump in yourself and spend time, which you probably don’t have, putting out the fires they left behind and finding their replacement.
That's not going to leave you very much time for strategy planning, is it?
If you take the time to plan and arrange your marketing strategies ahead of time using CaterZen's marketing calendar reminders, you won't run the risk of having something like this throwing your entire game plan out the window.
The further ahead you've utilized CaterZen's ability to pre-plan and prepare marketing campaigns, the less likely that an issue like this will cost you valuable opportunities to target customers and grow your business.
And this is only one of the ways that CaterZen helps to give you all the tools you need for success.
If you aren't using CaterZen yet, I bet you're wishing you had the tools at your fingertips to make managing your marketing this easy.
So, why not sign up for a 30-day trial? It's absolutely risk-free, with no credit card required.
For a little more hands-on assistance you can either schedule a personalized product demo with Nell Herman, our Director of Enterprise Sales, or you can call us at 1-888-997-3433 and speak with one of CaterZen's experts.
With all these options available and talented, professional CaterZen staff ready and eager to help you get started, it doesn't take a notification to know that's a pretty sweet deal.