The summer is coming to a close and many businesses are now starting to think about finishing the year strong. It should also be a time to begin planning for next year. This is especially true when it comes to your marketing plan. Even though the first leaf hasn’t yet fallen, the end of 2013 isn’t far away. Anything you plan to do to impact next year will take more time than you think. Here are some ideas to help you jump-start the marketing plan for your property management business in 2014.

Set Your Goals
The first step of your marketing plan is to set goals. How will you know where you are taking your business unless you have specific goals in mind? To have a major impact on your business in 2014, use SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

Examine The Big Picture
The next step in developing your plan is to take a 30,000-foot view of your business to ensure you will achieve your goals. You can do this with a simple SWOT analysis. What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats surrounding your property management business, both internally and externally?

Some of the things you’ll discover during this exercise will require immediate attention if you hope to have it affect your business next year. For example, if you determine that you need to upgrade your website, you’ll have to spec out what you need, go out for bids, select a designer and developer, and then implement. Having that in place for 2014 will be difficult if you don’t start now.

Look Back To Plan Ahead
Review your financials year-to-date, last year, and for the last three years. What are your revenue sources by property and service? Which ones generate profit and which are draining your resources? If you want to expand on profitable revenue sources to impact next year, you need to develop an action plan now. If there are properties you want to exit or services you want to discontinue, you need to begin that transition now as well if you want to avoid more losses next year.

Outline Your Prospecting Plan
Define your most profitable properties and services and determine how you can expand on them. Establish your marketing budget and outline how much you’ll spend online vs. offline. Plan any needed website updates or enhancements. Detail what your social marketing strategy is going to be. What is your networking plan, direct mail and email marketing plan? What organizations or associations will you join? All of these actions take time to implement, so you’ll have to put a plan in place now to have them in motion to impact your business in 2014.

Putting together a comprehensive marketing plan for your property management business takes time and effort. New Year’s Day 2014 is not that far away. You’d better get started.