Every six months, I plan the next six months. Recently, I was reminded of why this is so important (besides the fact that it's smart business). Lots of upcoming traveling combined with workshops, and I needed to see how everything related to each other. When am I going to be out of town? When am I offering my new free gift product? How many programs will I be teaching? When are my children's out-of-school days? When are our vacations planned? (And one I just thought of... when is prom?!)

Being able to see that all at a glance helped me plop things into my calendar. Does this eight-week program work here?

Nope. Let's try it here. Ah. That works.

Ooops. That's prom. Better not be out of town then.

A plan makes everything all better! (Mostly.)

How can planning help you market your business? Why even pay attention to this?

Because it's very easy to schedule in a vacuum or last minute. Think about it. You have a weekend coming up with nothing scheduled. The PTA asks you to help out by cooking two pans of ziti for staff appreciation day. You say yes. You have that easy weekend, right? But you don't think about the fact that you probably need to decorate for the holidays, that report is due first thing Monday morning, and the next week is jam-packed. All of the sudden, baking two pans of ziti isn't as easy as you might have thought.

The problem is that we don't put it all together. I like to call that "My two brains aren't communicating" or "I've scheduled in a vacuum again." Here I knew I had this lunch on Friday, and over here I planned on a big work block on December 13. Sometimes I don't always see that Friday and December 13 are one and the same.

When you can see everything at once, you have a much better idea of how to plan your time, how everything fits together, and even where you should do smart things like marketing and networking.

Plan time for your business. Marketing your business takes time. It doesn't just happen. So schedule planning time into your work schedule.

Networking. Look at networking events coming up. Have a workshop planned in June? What networking events can you attend in January through May to start planting seeds?

Marketing. Be a smart business-owner and plan your marketing campaign for each program or product you'll be promoting: blogging, Tweeting, Facebook biz page, Google+, Pinterest, infographics, networking, giving talks.

Speaking and Workshops. When are they? You might want to rethink the idea of doing 20 workshops in a month. Plan them out so you can see them. Include travel time and the all-important and often-neglected recovery-from-travel time.

Personal stuff. If you have kids, then this is even more important. Vacations, spring break, concerts, tournaments, practices, festivals, recitals. We can't clone ourselves and have our clone attend these events. It's all us. So include all your non-work activities.

When you plan in a system, as opposed to a black hole where everything is its own, disparate event, it becomes part of a whole. This doesn't have to be a chore either. You don't have to get huge, gorgeous calendars or an expensive planning system. You can do this on your Google calendar, iCal, or Outlook. You can write it all in a Planner Pad. You can print out calendars and write everything on those. It doesn't matter.

Start planning holistically, not haphazardly or off the cuff.

Your business will thank you.

Author's Bio: 

Dawn Shuler, Content Creator Extraordinaire, helps entrepreneurs and authors convey their deep message into compelling words, whether it's marketing material or a book, as well as to create powerful content to increase their credibility, visibility, and profitability. Her soul purpose is to help entrepreneurs unleash their authentic selves into their businesses through their content. She created the Writing From Your Soul system to help business owners connect more powerfully, reach more people, and make a difference. Download the free, 13-step system at www.WritingFromYourSoul.com.