Top Tips for Small-Business Marketing


Setting goals and achieving them is essential for the success of any business, no matter what the size. One of the key components in that process is supporting your strategic goals with an effective, sustained communications and marketing plan.

There are many pieces to the puzzle, so what can you do to put them all together and put them to good use? We've brought together some great materials produced by Heather Miller, an education specialist and successful author who holds degrees from MIT, Harvard, and NYU. These materials help you align the strategic goals of your business with your communications and marketing efforts. They show what is needed to achieve your goals and can help you plan out a schedule for achieving them.


Take a look at our communications and marketing materials, which include a Communications and Marketing Goals worksheet, a team checklist and a process and schedule checklist. These materials provide an overview of the communications and marketing process and the skills that you'll need to bring your plans to life.

Over the next few months we'll be adding to your knowledge base with a series of blog posts and useful resource items that take you through each stage of the process. We'll be covering topics like understanding your brand, how to stay on message with content planning, how to reach out to media and other important influencers, the role of design in effective communications and marketing, optimizing your website and the importance of measuring results.

At each step of the way we'll walk you through the essential information and give you worksheets, templates and checklists that help make it easy to understand and put what you've learned into action.  

For this post, we're going to quickly focus on three things: your goals, your team and the process.

Goals Setting

The Communications and Marketing Goals worksheet helps you identify your strategic goals and the communications needed to support them. What do you want to achieve? What are the steps for achieving it? What are the key benchmarks that let you know your efforts are successful? And what does your communications and marketing need to do in order to achieve your goals? Use this worksheet to align your goals and your communications and marketing plans so that your efforts are effective.

Identifying Your Team

Once you've outlined your goals and what you need to do to achieve them, you need to take a look at your resources, and what you have to work with, because executing your plan effectively requires having the right people in place. We've put together a checklist called assembling a communications and marketing team. It helps you identify the roles, tasks, and required skills of the communications and marketing team. For smaller businesses, it is common for one person to handle several of these roles.

Setting Your Process

With the right team in place, and with a clear understanding of what you are trying to do and who is responsible for each component, you can then begin to plan out a schedule. Our Communications and Marketing Process and Schedule worksheet helps you identify the steps in developing and implementing your communications and marketing strategy by creating a schedule for it. This will help you keep your priorities focused over time while ensuring that responsibilities and timelines are clearly defined.

Our next post about communications and marketing will focus on understanding your brand. Be sure to check back often for other useful tools, tips and inspiration. For instance, in the near future we will have an introduction to the budgeting process. It's great to have ambitions and plans, but if you don't have the money to make them happen, you need to adjust your goals. So the budgeting process can have a big impact on your strategic goals and therefore your communications and marketing plans.

In the meantime, be sure to look these materials over and become familiar with the process. There is something useful to be learned no matter what size your business or the scale of your ambitions. Simply knowing about all the steps in the process can help you start your planning and the allocation of resources (making sure you have the people, skills and money to bring your plans to life). No matter what size your business or what you are trying to achieve, effective communications and marketing takes time and careful planning. So get started now!

We’ve put a lot of thought into creating materials that can help you make the most of your time and resources. Take a few minutes to look through what we have to offer and see what you can do to grow your business.

related resource

Communication and Marketing Goals Worksheet