A marketing plan is a strong component of any business strategy. It outlines how and where you will deploy resources to reach your target audiences. As with other strategies, such a plan is best utilized when it’s flexible enough to absorb market fluctuations. Developing an alternate course of action from the primary plan creates another pathway to reach your goals. It’s the “Plan B,” in case of an emergency.

Think of Plan B as an outgrowth of three considerations: assessment, contacts and action. To write an alternative plan, it’s essential to review your current strategies and note where changes could be implemented. While this review requires looking into the future and making educated guesses, it also prepares you for recognizing current consumer issues. Ask yourself this question: If your current markets experienced significant change, what would you be prepared to do?

With an alternative plan in place, you can initiate new strategies quickly and efficiently. You will know how to gauge what is needed in the short-term and what to implement for in the future. In contrast, fumbling to develop plans in the midst of chaotic markets could lead to negative outcomes.

Your Plan B should include listing and defining the role of important contacts. Who are the persons who can contribute to your efforts? Who knows your business and can help you brainstorm and implement new phases of your plan? Who do you value to offer guidance and feedback when changes are necessary? Putting together this roster and updating it regularly will provide you with contacts you can call on for advice and assistance. Be sure you communicate with each contact to gain their consent and willingness to work with you as needed. Seek out new contacts within your trade groups, business advisory associations, family and associates. Let them know you welcome advice and counsel especially during challenging market fluctuations.

Contacts contribute in another way as well. They may offer either informal or formal action agreements which can be activated when marketing changes occur. This may be recorded as a letter detailing what assistance is agreed upon, or as a more detailed Memo of Understanding (MOU) dictating a process that will happen at a set time or during certain conditions.

Each of these components adds a layer of content to an alternative marketing plan. It prepares you to adapt to market changes with timely and organized steps. From current worldwide issues, we now appreciate and respect how quickly our businesses can be caught up in turmoil. Make time to review your marketing plan, assess it for possible changes to come and develop contacts to stand with you. Finally, develop plans which can be activated quickly and that have solid backing. These steps offer a good foundation to market your product or service even in uncertain times.

The above information is provided for educational purposes and should not be substituted for professional business or legal counseling.