Here is what you need to layout your business' Promotional Planning Calendar for 2015...and every year thereafter:
1) Promotional Planning Wheel - before Kodak ran into to financial difficulties, they used to give professional photographers a LOT of support: Studio Light Magazine, The Toolbox (a set of promotional planning ideas and tools), ad slicks, ad campaigns, and more. Sadly, as the number of professional photographers dropped...and Kodak's own fortunes slipped...this support dwindled.
This was a great tool created for the Times of Your Life promotion. You simply set SALE arrow on the date you want your promotion to begin; the other arrows will indicate your dates to PLAN and then LAUNCH. I doubt Kodak has any of these on hand...it is nearly 35 years old. But you could give it a shot: it is item P3-708A. I have scanned mine and reproduced it here. If Kodak no longer has them, you could print two copies, laminate the two wheels, and connect them with a brass fastener (AKA "split pin") that would allow the inner wheel to rotate.
2) Wall Calendar - I never paid for one...I received one every year from the fine folks at Shore Color Lab in Munster, IN. Unfortunately, like many small labs, Shore Color has closed. You will have to purchase one at an office supply store. Buy the biggest one you have room for. You will write ALL STAGES of your promotions on here (Plan, Promote, Launch, Results). You will also make note of your event dates (proms, reunions, sports, weddings, etc.) and your TOTAL sales for the month.
I would suggest if you have just one, use a paper calendar. If you have room for two, I would use a dry erase calendar as well. Why two? The dry erase calendar is easier to change if something gums up the works (print materials get delayed, your previous promotion is running into your next promotion, etc.). The paper calendar gives you a permanent record of your promotions, your sales, and your events so you don't have to start from square one each year. You can also see which promotions were good, and which ones may need to be replaced. It also acts as a reminder so you can try to rebook those events for the upcoming year, and lets you compare your wedding bookings...if you do those.
"But I keep my events on my computer's studio program!" Okay, here's what you do: you take that computer, and the studio program, and place it gently where the sun doesn't shine. If your machine tanks, or the program becomes corrupted, or the planets are not in perfect alignment, this information goes buh-bye! And you are what's commonly known as screwed, blued, tattooed...and most likely, sued. Take it from me: as much as I love technology, sometimes old school is best. If you still want to use that studio program, swell. Just have a backup. No one over all the years I was in business could ever convince me to stop using an appointment book. Yes, I had a custom made Xenix studio program that did ALL of that...that they failed to tell me would stop working after 1999. Five thousand dollars flushed down the toilet. Ah, well...I used it for nearly 11 years, so I spent less than $500 a year for the program. Can you tell I'm trying to convince myself?
3) Fine Point Colored Markers - RED to mark the plan date; GREEN for the start date; BLUE for the sales date; BLACK for the gross sales/ORANGE for the net.
Now...RIGHT NOW is when you want to start creating this calendar. Next time I will give you a list of promotions that I used. Many of them ran UNCHANGED for over 25 years! Until next time, may all your highlights read 245, all your shadows read 7, and all of your PHOTOGRAPHY be For INCOME! Happy Thanksgiving!