In the 2nd part of this series we reviewed the realities of your business environment – political, economic, social, technological, and your own business’ strengths and weaknesses. This month it’s time to use all of that information to set some workable goals and plan the most effective strategies for making your business successful.
A few months ago we covered the components of creating really useful goals for your business. Don’t forget to keep them “S.M.A.R.T.” –
- Specific – Give yourself as many details as possible. Not just “I want to increase sales”, but “I want to increase sales of blue widgets in the state of Kansas to owners of Chihuahua dogs.”
- Measurable – How will you know if you’ve met your goal if there isn’t a way to evaluate your accomplishment? So with your widget sales goal mentioned above add a condition like “by 15% over 2015 totals”.
- Attainable – Is this a goal that is possible for you to achieve? If the sale of widgets depends on face-to-face interaction with your customers, is it possible for you to meet this 15% increase?
- Realistic – Similar to “attainable”, is it realistic to expect that you will be able to strive for this goal? This is more about your own, personal drive, motivation and other conflicting interests. Keep it real!
- Time-Bound – Another important factor for measuring your accomplishment of a goal is to give yourself a time frame within which to get it done. You can set very short-term goals (hourly, daily, weekly) or longer term goals (monthly, quarterly, annually, or longer). Just specify the time frame that works for you and your business.
For more details about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, look back at our December 2015 blog post.
Next you need to set specific strategies for how your business is going to operate. Old school marketing training still applies as it’s still important to address the 7 P’s:
- Product – What are you selling? This can be a tangible product or an intangible service.
- Pricing – Are you going to compete to offer the lowest price, or charge more and sell the idea of the greater value that you have to offer, or find a completely different pricing model? Any of these answers, or a different one, could be right for you.
- Place / Distribution – Where will you conduct business? Do you have a brick and mortar storefront or office, or is your business entirely on-line? Perhaps you work out of a local coffee shop, or your home, or your vehicle.
- Promotion / Communications – How will you get the word out about your business? Do you have a web page, a business page on Facebook or other social media? Are you going to hire a publicist or issue press releases? What will help your customers remember you best? (FYI – Your promotional products professional can really help you with this part of your strategy!)
- People – Who will help you with your business? Will you hire employees and sales people, look for unpaid interns, or work with independent contractors? Be sure to get professional advice about compensation for the people who work with you.
- Processes – How do things get done in your business? Do you need a system for processing and tracking orders? What about handling billing and payments? How is the product or service actually delivered to your clients?
- Physical Evidence – What impact does your business leave behind; what change do you effect? How does your work make things better for the clients who work with you?
Whew! We’re almost there. In the next, and final, part of the series we’ll talk about setting up a plan of action and implementing the steps of that plan in a way that will work for you.
As before, if you would like to get started on your own right away, I’ll be happy to send you an outline of the basic ingredients for a successful plan. You can enter your contact information on the left side of the screen to get signed up for our newsletter. If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, then visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AndradePromo, “Like” our page and leave a comment with your email address. Or just email us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to forward it to you.