Why Planning Is The Secret To Success For The Coming Year
Do you set aside time regularly to plan what you want to do in your business? If it’s not something you currently do, I strongly encourage you to embrace it for the remainder of this year as well as the one coming up. Setting aside time at the end of the year, to plan out what I want to do and more importantly what growth I want to achieve in the coming year has been crucial to my own success. Once I have a clear picture of what I want to accomplish in my business, it's time to put those goals into a marketing plan that will guide the strategies and tactics that I will use to achieve my goals.
Sounds great, right? It is - but it is also hard. Most of the small business owners I meet don't have either a business plan or a marketing plan, even though they know that they should. Here are a few of the reasons I have heard over the years:
• "I don't have time to focus on my marketing."
• "I'm not sure what to do to get in front of my ideal clients."
• "I'm overwhelmed and struggle to be consistent."
• "I don't know where to start."
All of these marketing challenges can be fixed by creating a plan.
Why Planning Is So Important
Let’s start off by taking a look at why planning is “the secret” to success. There are a few different factors that come into play here. The first is efficiency. When you go in with a clear plan, you can focus on what’s most important. Instead of spending time trying to figure out what you should be working on, what pieces of the puzzle are missing from your sales program, or what you need to do to break through to the next income level, you know exactly what needs to come next.
With a clear goal in mind and a plan for the year, it becomes easy to walk backwards to create effective and efficient daily to-do lists. Work on what needs to get done each day and you will reach your goals.
Get Outside The Box
Next, setting a big goal for yourself helps you think outside the box. If you don’t believe me, try it. Decide on a big income goal for the coming month. Write it down. Keep it in front of you. Then get to work and start to notice what happens next. You start to think of things that didn’t occur to you before. You come up with creative ways to get more traffic. You decide to run a fun promo that adds dollars to your bank account. The same happens when an important deadline comes up unexpectedly. Think back on that time in college when finals rolled around, or the last time your in-laws told you they would stop by later in the day. You got very creative about studying and cleaning respectively.
Planning Is The Key To Business Growth
To put it very simply: A marketing plan is the bridge between where you're at now and where you want to be. Planning and setting goals is important because it helps you grow faster. That means you end up with more time and money for yourself and your loved ones while spending less time slaving away at your desk and wondering what to do next.
Help Is Available
Need some help? Visit the Next Level U Resource Library and download my Marketing Plan Template. Don't want to tackle it alone? Call me at 316-223-1921 or email me ([email protected]) to start a conversation about how I can help you through the process of creating a simple strategy, effective tactics for how your business will accommodate growth, and a set of action steps to get it done. I'll walk you through the whole thing.
To your success ~
Create Your Ideal Client Avatar in 3 Easy Steps
When you started your business, did you put any thought into who your ideal client would be? Or did you just open your doors and accept anybody who needed help and was willing to pay? Did either of those scenarios work out well for you?
will struggle trying to be all things to all people. You just simply can’t be
good or great at everything without something being forgotten. Often times,
people will say they’re being stretched too thin when they try to accomplish
too much, which is a telltale sign that you either need to hire help or rethink
your business model.
What is a Client Avatar?
Quite simply, your ideal client is the person you most want to help; the person who needs your specialized experience and can benefit from what you have to offer. This ideal client is also someone who recognizes the value of your services and is willing (and able) to pay the price of your product or service.
Your client avatar is a very detailed description of this person’s characteristics - their demographics. Before you can find your ideal client you have to identify the characteristics of this perfect client so you can target your marketing efforts. Think about the answers to these three exercises and develop your ideal client avatar. Keep track of your answers in a journal or computer document so you can reference them later.
1. What are the demographics of my ideal client? Include their sex, their name, their age, their marital status, where they live, whether they have children, the ages of their kids, their employment history, etc. Get as detailed as possible in identifying these demographics so you can create an accurate picture (aka avatar) of this client in your mind. Maybe you know a person in real life who is your ideal client; use those demographics and modify them if needed. Or maybe you are your own ideal client; use your own descriptions to identify others in this market.
2. What is my ideal client’s biggest struggle or pain point? In order to best tailor your services to your ideal client, knowing what they struggle with is very important. This may change over time or you may identify multiple struggles but rather than producing a product that doesn’t resonate with your market, start off with this market research first, then offer the services or products that will resonate with your ideal market.
3. Where can I find my ideal client? You will likely have multiple answers to this question and you should be extremely specific with your answers. If you ideal clients participate in a particular Facebook group, join that group yourself and be active, offering advice and answering questions. If your ideal clients reside in your home town, participating in community activities will help bring awareness to your name and to your services. Determine where your clients are, then create a marketing plan to reach those clients.
Need some help? Download the FREE Ideal Client Profile Worksheet from Next Level U! It will take you through all the steps to build your client avatar!
To your success!
P.S. If you are a small business owner (or want to be one), whether you are just starting out, or have been in business for awhile, I hope you will become part of the Next Level family. Visit our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/NextLevelAd) for tips, tools, and resources to help grow your business. We now have a Facebook Group, Next Level U, for those who are interested in joining a private community of small business owners and marketers.
Laura Olson-Oxley is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, marketing and business consultant, and sales professional. She has over 25 years experience working with small businesses in a variety of industries, focusing on strategic business growth through effective marketing and advertising. Also a strategist, numbers nut, project manager, and life-long learner, Laura looks at the big picture to analyze and recommend the most effective tools to take businesses to the Next Level.
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