Mistake to Avoid: Not Having a Marketing Plan

Wednesday, August 05 at 09:15 AM
Category: Business Banking

It can often seem that handling the everyday aspects of your business takes all your time and then some. However, it can often be to your short-term and long-term benefit to take some time to consider how your business functions and where you want to take it. One of the key results of such an examination can be the development of a marketing plan.

What is a marketing plan?
In large organizations, there may be staffs of people dedicated to creating and updating the marketing plans for the organization. Needless to say, most small businesses don't have that luxury or the need. Often, the marketing plan is part of an overall strategic plan or can be a separate document. 

Developing a marketing plan for a small business can be comprised of only a few activities.  Think of it as a road map to help you get to where you want to go.
  1. Examine where your company fits in the market. 
  2. Analyze how your products or services compare to the competition. 
  3. Identify areas of weakness that can be fixed. 
  4. Identify areas of strength that can be leveraged. 
  5. Choose what marketing tactics you want to use. 
  6. Develop a plan of action to follow. 
Know the market
Examine who the customers are and who they will be. Then understand the needs of the customer. Also try to understand what the key reasons are as to why a customer buys. Is it product, quality, price, service or something else? Are there segments of the potential customer base that your product or service is uniquely suited for?

Know the competition 
What is it that makes your toughest competitor successful? 
What are your weakest competitors' weakest points? 

Know your own company 
What are your strengths and weaknesses in the market? 
How can you leverage your strengths and correct your weaknesses? 
Are there products you need to develop? 

Develop a plan 
Often just putting a plan on paper will force you to make decisions that are easy to put off when you are busy. The act of creating the plan will give you the discipline to make those decisions. Once the plan is completed, you can use it as a guide for making the everyday decisions about marketing. 

Decide on the tactics 
How you position your company and present your messages to customers and prospects is critical. The more concrete you can make the tactics, the more likely you are to execute them. Try to have some short-term and long-term tactics in your plan. 

Review and revise 
Your marketplace is dynamic. The changes that take place may cause you to change, or fine-tune, your marketing activities. Besides watching changes on an ongoing basis, it is usually advisable to do a somewhat formal review of your marketing plan on a quarterly basis. Make sure your road map is taking you where you want to go. 

Execute, execute, execute 
Most small business owners and managers don't have trouble making decisions. It is the execution of the decisions where the difficulty lies.

Don’t make the mistake of not having a marketing plan. And, when you have it, follow it!
 
Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking
 

6 Money Mistakes Newlyweds Should Avoid

Wednesday, August 05 at 08:40 AM
Category: Personal Finance

Summer wedding season is in full swing and newlyweds will soon be managing their finances as a pair. We encourage couples to waste no time addressing how they will handle money issues as spouses and financial partners.  

To help couples start their journey on a strong financial footing, avoid these post-wedding money mistakes: 
 
  1. Avoiding the money talk. Discussing your finances can be a bit uncomfortable for many couples, but those who tackle it head on will be better for it. Understand your partner’s financial goals and spending habits. While you may have different answers, this conversation can help you develop an approach to money management that works for both of you. 
  2. Not setting a budget. A mistake many couples make is not establishing a budget early on. After assessing your finances as a pair, determine how you’ll spend your money each month. Are there certain expenses that you should be cutting back on and others you should be saving up for? Coming to an agreement on these things and setting a budget will be beneficial for the health of your bank accounts and your relationship.  
  3. Not having a plan for your accounts. There is no ‘right’ way to manage your accounts. Couples can choose to have exclusively joint accounts, a joint account as well as separate accounts for saving or personal spending, or keep things entirely divided. Discuss your preferences together and decide what makes you both the most comfortable. 
  4. Failing to set up an emergency fund. Life is full of surprises and unfortunately, some of these surprises can be expensive. Having an emergency fund will help you avoid precarious financial situations should something come up. It’s important that you decide together how you’ll set aside the money.
  5. Not establishing a minimum cost for discussing big expenses. While not all purchases demand a conversation, more expensive ones that impact the family budget should. Determine what that threshold is as a couple. For any expenses above that cost, you both should be in agreement on whether it’s a necessary purchase. 
  6. Forgetting to update your beneficiaries. Now that you’ve officially tied the knot, you should likely identify your spouse as the person who will receive the benefits of your will, life insurance policy and financial accounts like your 401(k), checking and savings. Don’t make the mistake of waiting for an emergency to arise to handle this.  
Developing a financial plan can often take a backseat to the excitement of a wedding, but it’s important to remember that this is not only a marriage of hearts but also a marriage of finances.
 
Information courtesy of American Bankers Association.

Tags: Budgeting, Financial Education
 

Friday Financial Forum Aug. 7 in Bartlesville, Okla.

Tuesday, August 04 at 07:35 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Join us Friday, Aug. 7 at 9:50 a.m. for our Friday Financial Forum. We will meet at the Friday Forum Room at Arvest's East Side Branch, located at 4225 S.E. Adams Rd. in Bartlesville, Okla*. Every Friday we invite customers like you to attend our one-hour Financial Forum.

This week’s features will be a 9:50 a.m. pre-forum comedic performance by the Downtown Radio Players, who are preparing for upcoming productions beginning on Aug. 15 at the Bartlesville Women's Club Building (located at 601 S. Shawnee). A talented cast will perform original, hilarious radio plays by writers from around the country, with live music and all new material each month.
 
Emily French, MUTUAL Girls Club, will be updating attendees on their newest student venture, MUTUAL Gold. MUTUAL Girls Club received a $10,000 Venture Grant for their MUTUAL Gold program, which is an innovative after-school pilot program for Bartlesville area girls in sixth through eighth grades. The program is designed to be an educational club for young teens to serve as a preventive tool for self-destructive behaviors and to promote overall well-being. 
 

What you can expect at the event:

  • Information: Community leaders share topical, local and state information (Sen. John Ford, Rep. Earl Sears & Rep. Travis Dunlap) 
  • News: "The Scoop" - all about business and community happenings in Bartlesville (Billie Roane, Arvest Bank) 
  • Stock Report & Economic Update: Josh Randolph*, Arvest Asset Management 
  • Hilarious Anecdotes: Jim Bohnsack, Arvest Bank

Each week is different with a few surprises! If you have any questions or would like to add someone to the email invitation list, please contact Billie Roane at (918) 337-4358. We look forward to seeing you there!

**Josh Randolph - Oklahoma Insurance License #122041

Tags: Bartlesville, Community Support, Oklahoma
 

Friday Financial Forum July 31 in Bartlesville, Okla.

Tuesday, July 28 at 01:15 PM
Category: Arvest Community News

Join us Friday, July 31, at 10 a.m. for our Friday Financial Forum. We will meet at the Friday Forum Room at Arvest's East Side Branch, located at 4225 S.E. Adams Rd. in Bartlesville, Okla*. Every Friday we invite customers like you to attend our one-hour Financial Forum.

What you can expect at the event:

  • Information: Community leaders share topical, local and state information (Sen. John Ford, Rep. Earl Sears & Rep. Travis Dunlap) 
  • News: "The Scoop" - all about business and community happenings in Bartlesville (Billie Roane, Arvest Bank) 
  • Stock Report & Economic Update: Josh Randolph**, Arvest Asset Management 
  • Hilarious Anecdotes: Jim Bohnsack, Arvest Bank

Each week is different with a few surprises! If you have any questions or would like to add someone to the email invitation list, please contact Billie Roane at (918) 337-4358. We look forward to seeing you there!


*Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.  

**Josh Randolph - Oklahoma Insurance License #122041

Tags: Bartlesville, Community Support, Oklahoma
 

Friday Financial Forum July 24 in Bartlesville, Okla.

Tuesday, July 21 at 05:05 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Join us Friday, July 24, at 10 a.m. for our Friday Financial Forum. We’ll meet in the Friday Forum Room at Arvest's Eastside Branch located at 4225 S.E. Adams Rd., Bartlesville, Okla.* Every Friday we invite customers like you to attend our one-hour Financial Forum. 

This week’s speaker is Dr. Jeremy Ross, the new executive director of the George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center in Bartlesville. He arrived by way of the Oklahoma Biological Survey at the University of Oklahoma, where for the past two years he served as a postdoctoral research associate under the supervision of Dr. Eli Bridge. He led a study on grassland bird conservation in the southern Great Plains in the face of landscape-scale habitat changes and, in doing so, explored much of the crosstimber and prairie regions of Oklahoma. 
 
Dr. Ross received his doctorate from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Before that he had completed his undergraduate in his native province of Manitoba, Canada. He is married to Elizabeth Ross and they are both very happy to be new Bartians.
 
Accompanying Dr. Ross will be Ryan VanZant, director of education at the Sutton Center. VanZant came on board five years ago following a career in training birds, working with Natural Encounters of Florida, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the Philadelphia and Tulsa zoos. He has found his passion in teaching avian educational programs to school groups locally as well as across the United State in the 300-seat amphitheater at the center.
 

What you can expect at the event:

  • Information: Community leaders share topical, local and state information (Sen. John Ford, Rep. Earl Sears, Rep. Travis Dunlap)   
  • News: "The Scoop" about business and community happenings in Bartlesville (Billie Roane, Arvest Bank)
  • Stock Report and Economic Update: Josh Randolph**, Arvest Asset Management 
  • Hilarious Anecdotes: Jim Bohnsack, Arvest Bank

If you have any questions about the event or would like us to add someone to the invitation email list, please contact Billie Roane at (918) 337-4358. We look forward to seeing you there!

**Josh Randolph, Oklahoma Insurance License #122041

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.  

Tags: Bartlesville, Community Support, Oklahoma

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