I said I would do a post on putting together your business plan. And I did! I wrote a really good one, if I must say so myself.
In it, I said that putting together a business plan on a Friday night was just plain CRAZY and so I put together a short piece on what to think about on this fine Saturday morning as you sip your coffee and put together your plan.
I did all that. And the … I managed to hit some button on my computer that caused the whole thing to delete itself. Poof!
I wasn’t defeated. I was dang angry is what I was! Frankly I went off in a huff.
So here goes, here is what I can remember of yesterdays post! (You know that old saw about saving your work as you go along … pshaw. WHEN will I learn that?!)
We live in a world that has so many distractions and constant interruptions, a world where multi-tasking is a way of life. To build or rebuild momentum for our business we need to set goals and have a plan to stay on track and focused. Working up a business plan can be quite an undertaking and a GREAT DISTRACTION so … we are going to plan out small chunks at a time. Don’t let THIS be your excuse to NOT get started!
First thing to consider in setting out your plan is that your sales and marketing teams need to agree on the objectives of the plan and usually, they have different goals.
What, you say? I don’t have sales and marketing teams! I am just starting out. I am the chief cook and bottle washer. I AM MY BUSINESS.
OK, no matter what size your business … no matter if you just started yesterday or are just starting now, you HAVE different departments! Maybe your left hand is marketing and your right hand is sales but it is important to see that they have different tasks, different goals and it’s up to you to keep them working separately toward the same end result. The left hand definitely needs to know what the right hand is doing!
It will look something like this: marketing is generating traffic with the goal of getting leads; sales is looking to convert those leads to customers; the end goal would be that customers buy something or else you will not be in business and your two hands (or marketing and sales departments) will have no work!
As beginners, we tend to set out with a goals like: I want to grow my business. Toward that end, we buy some leads. Leads come in and no one buys. We are disappointed and wonder what we have done wrong. Here’s the thing:
Leads never buy. Prospects seldom buy. Customers buy.
There’s some time and nurturing that goes between leads and customers. Be patient.
So back to your plan, we need to spend some time in each ‘department.’ We want to spend some time and money in marketing to grow our list. Growing the list is the most important thing because it is what will bring you money. Eventually. Probably not today.
So for the marketing department, increasing the number of leads on the list IS success! If you are just starting out, you will spend most of your time here for the next couple weeks. You need to get some peeps here before you can nurture them!
- What is your marketing objective? i.e. add 300 leads to my email list.
- Take out a PPC ad.
- this will bring in a lot of leads quickly but remember they are not very targeted.
- Take out a solo ad
- this takes some skill and practice but when you get the hang of it will bring more responsive, targeted leads.
- Take out a PPC ad.
[A targeted lead is simply someone who is interested in what you have to offer. Let’s say you roofs. Most people live with roofs over their heads but few of them have the responsibility or authority to buy a new roof. So there is no point in advertising to all people anywhere, is there?
And of those people who do have the authority to buy a roof, most of them do not want to buy a new roof. Only people with leaking roofs are going to want to buy a new one. And of those … some will patch and live with a bucket under the leak for a long time before they will do anything about it. Your target market would be the folks who have the authority and the money to buy a roof and are tired of emptying the bucket!
It is a significantly smaller group. But it is a group with potential. Remember, we don’t want any old clicks for the sake of clicks. That is just throwing your money out the window.]
You took out an ad and are on your way to meeting that first objective. Let the ads do their thing.
Social Media Objective
Next, move over into social media. We want to use social media to our advantage and not have it eat up all our time. We need to learn to make every move on ANY social media platform count for our goals. We need to think in terms of every piece being multi-purpose so we can use it across different platforms.
With social media, the engagement is key. Whether we talk in terms of likes, comments, retweets, shares etc. our goal is to get seen and commented on! Google and Facebook are measuring ‘engagement.’ This impacts how effective your advertising will be and how/if search engines will find you so DO spend some time on engagement each week.
- What is your social media objective? i.e. get 100 clicks, likes, comments
- Do one blog post each day.
- Promote post each day to different platforms
- Get 100 comments this week.
Offline Marketing Objective
Offline Marketing. Don’t discount the real world that still goes on outside your front door! Even if your business is online only, be sure to talk about it to people offline. Have business cards and tell people your story. Invite them to come to your site. Offer them a reason to come to your site.
- What is your offline marketing objective?
- Prepare a give-away online for those who go to your site from your business card or offline meeting.
- Plan for an offline ad in classifieds or local paper.
- Do a press release for your area: i.e. Local Woman Working Online
- Get 10 visits from offline marketing
Now that your marketing is off and running for the week, how is the sales department coming along? If you are brand new and don’t really have a list to speak of yet, you might have to get old fashioned about this and actually call some people on the phone! Eventually, the marketing will build your list so that you can sell to the list but for now, is there anything you can do to make some sales this week, right now?
- What is your sales objective? i.e. 10 sales this week
- Send a sales letter to list.
- Send an email to friends telling them of your business and asking for referrals.
- Make some calls.
You see the goals of each activity are not the same. It’s easy to focus your energy in just one area and then find no sales at the end of the week. Each area is important, with different goals and you should be celebrating the wins in each category! I hope this helped you in setting out a plan for the week.
Patt Timlin is a marketing expert set on sharing her expertise with other online marketers to help them achieve the dream of working online. She is secretly pleased with the surge in content marketing as revenge of the English majors! Entrepreneur, blogger, guide, helper – Patt loves the online world and loves to share it!
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