Successful Business Plan
In the blink of an eye, September is here already. Spring has sprung in the Southern Hemisphere and the change of season always leads me reflect on what progress I’ve made in the three months just passed — an example of why planning is business is so important.
Writing down your plans and goals for the upcoming 3 months, and having them accessible and in front of you on a daily basis is essential to ensure you’re sticking to the plan and doing what you said you would. One of our core values at The Big Red Group is #sayitdoit…
Sometimes it is a good idea to reflect on the past – to help you create the future.
Looking back to look forward
Years ago I created marketing plans for organisations. I tended to follow a formula. Looking at what actions, tactics and activities fell under certain headings which were time and budget related. I reckon they were ok marketing plans.
First of all, I listed all the activities we would undertake to achieve awareness (how do we get people to know what it is we do). Then I’d look at what would make a customer consider the service (product). For instance, is there a valid reason for them to need or to consider buying a car. They might be aware of a BMW, but what would make them consider actually purchasing one…(I can’t remember which one but one of the car makers had the by-line of “please consider’ back in the day — was it Holden perhaps?).
Thirdly, we would look at what activities we would undertake to get people to prefer that product or service over another – that was at the top of the shopping list. We would ask: why would someone prefer to buy from you than anyone else?
But the most important thing of any structured plan, of course, was the fourth element of ‘purchase’ — this can simply be a transaction…a one-off instance (where the rubber meets the road to bring out an old sale cliché). But as far as I’m concerned that is not enough. A transaction does not a client make. That is mere ‘dancing’ – a test, a trial to see if you are who you say you are.
The goal is to have someone become more than just a ‘purchase’ activity. The opportunity is to create a culture that does not ‘reward’ performance for the transaction alone but rewards based on relationships built.
Essentially, any great plan to attract loyal customers articulates what is being done to engage and encourage advocacy. That is moving transactors into customers, then clients, but ultimately to become an extension of the business – and to be a walking talking physical or digital advertisement for your goods and services.
Break down your plan
Aquire customers with a specific plan broken down under headings. Take them on a journey from awareness to advocate:
4. Trial (transaction)
Much of the energy converting them is as loyal customers happens after the first sale is made. It is up to us as business owners to give our something worth writing home about, or Instagramming about… for that matter.