When it comes to marketing your business, there are two very different kinds of initiatives—enabling and ongoing. But both are equally important. Do one without the other and your business development plans will fall flat. 

That’s because the two initiatives need each other and feed off each other. One acts as the foundation (enabling), the other as the execution (ongoing). Both are essential for successful business growth. To better understand why, let’s take a deeper look at each type. 

Enabling initiatives are your foundation

Enabling marketing initiatives are the creation of your overall growth strategy, programs, systems, processes and plans. It’s the research you do into determining your target market; and it’s the time you take to understand your market’s needs in order to deliver a product or service that they will buy. It’s the drafting of your business plan, the development of your key messaging, the building of your website and the writing of case studies.

Many business owners underestimate the amount of time and work that must go into creating these enabling initiatives. It is not meant to be a simple process; after all, every business development effort your business undertakes will stem from those enabling initiatives. Without them you have no plan and are simply throwing various business development tactics against a wall in hopes that something will stick.

But marketing is not an “if you build it, they will come” kind of situation. That only works in Kevin Costner baseball-themed movies. In business, you need to find an effective way to tell your audience that you have built it or they won’t know that they need to come. This is where ongoing marketing initiatives come in.

Ongoing initiatives are your execution

Ongoing initiatives are the activities you do to market the business on a regular and consistent basis. This can mean blogs on your website that showcase your expertise and boost your SEO (and therefore your presence with Google), sending out regular newsletters to your mailing list, attending networking events, engaging on social media or paying for advertising (to name just a few). All of these activities must be done regularly and be on message while speaking to your target market — details that are determined by creating enabling initiatives.

Have remedial plans

One final note on the subject: it’s important that both enabling and ongoing initiatives never be set in stone. Because sometimes the best laid plans can go awry. Despite thorough research and planning one or more ongoing initiatives may fall flat. If that’s the case, you’ll need to revisit your enabling initiatives to figure out what you can do differently. The opposite is also a possibility — ongoing initiatives may be so successful that some may need to be temporarily aborted so that your business can catch up and meet demand.


Documents from the CRA can be confusing. We’ll help you sort out the difference between a Notice to Reader, Financial Statements and Audits in our next blog.

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