There are many benefits and pitfalls to working off-site, whether it’s strictly in a home office or in a generic mobile environment. One of the things on the problem side is communication, making sure that the off-site employee is in sync with the game plan.
In today’s world, thanks to the advances in mobile technology, communication is easier and further reaching than it’s ever been. Unless someone is totally off the grid, it’s practically impossible to consistently miss a call or message. And yet, just because people can reach each other easier doesn’t mean that everyone’s on the same page, or that said pages have even been disclosed to all concerned parties.
Let’s take a look at how a marketing plan can help the work at home employee to work smarter and more efficiently.
A marketing plan can help the remote professional still stay in the loop and contribute effectively.
What is a Marketing Plan, and Why Have One?
It may help to actually take a look at what a marketing plan is. That’s the problem with buzzwords and phrases; people bandy them about, sometimes not even aware of what they actually mean. A marketing plan is a document that a business creates that describes the company’s current marketing position and what its strategy will be in the coming years.
Businesses create marketing plans in order to outline the company’s marketing objectives, and what steps need to be taken in order to accomplish this. It’s where goals are established, budgets set, the competition sized up, and what the plans are, going forward.
If you need to know how to create one, the article “How To Write A Successful Marketing Plan” will be of great help.
Clear Budget Considerations
Marketing plans help set up the budgetary parameters for everyone to abide by while they’re in the process of implement the company’s strategy. If a stay at home employee gets certain expenses reimbursed, it’s good to know what will and won’t be covered. There’s nothing like knowing what the rules are in advance; you spend less time wondering if you’ve crossed a line, and more time focusing on the work.
Who knows, sometimes having a budget to follow can bring out some creative money-saving strategies from the out of office. As the article “Is Your Marketing Budget Giving You The Best ROI?” says, although you work from home as an entrepreneur and run your own business, you should still know how to deal with budgeting issues.
Less Wasted Time and Effort
Nothing is more frustrating than putting a lot of time and energy into something at work that you were under the impression was needed. Then once, you’re done, someone looks at you oddly and says “We changed our minds and decided not to go in this direction. Didn’t you get the memo?” And the sad thing about that scenario is that you very well may have been told to do that particular task, but no one communicated the change to you.
With a business plan in place, if the goals and the tasks needed to accomplish them are all clearly outlined and shared with everyone in the company, it dramatically cuts down on the likelihood of such an unfortunate scenario.
Not only does this in turn result in less wasted time and work, it also helps the stay at home employee save big bucks on home repairs, since there will be fewer reasons for them to put their fist through a wall.
There’s nothing like having deadlines and milestones in place to help the work at home employee pace themselves and not fall behind. The previous section spoke of wasting time, but here we’re addressing the idea that having a schedule to follow helps the off-site worker to pace themselves, not rushing through things (and possibly doing a haphazard job in the process!).
Better Morale Through More Information
One of the bigger problems facing the stay at home employees are the feelings of isolation from the rest of the group, since they’re physically not there. Even in these days of enhanced communication, it’s hard to feel like you’re working towards the same goals as the in-house co-workers if there’s no spelled out plan that everyone’s in on.
By having a marketing plan that all employees, whether they’re at home or on-site, can actually see and follow, there’s more of a sense of everyone being in this together, which in turn creates better morale. For a freelancer, that better morale manifests itself as a happier and more productive team member.
As can be seen from the above, a marketing plan’s benefits extend beyond simply the staff that works under the same roof. Keeping the freelancers in the loop and guided by the plan means that they’ll be able to do their jobs without having to be micromanaged.
John Terra has been a freelance writer since 1985. He’s worked from home and thinks it’s overrated, but then again, he was never given the advantage of a marketing plan.