SITUATION: You feel you need to write a business development plan for 2018 but the thought of it bores you to death, or you can’t decide what to put in it, or you don’t have the time…or all of the above!
SOLUTION: Try my C-L-E-A-R business development plan format. It might be just the thing you need. It’s quick and simple but covers the absolute essentials that will make a difference.
C = customer.
What customers do you want in 2018? Most businesses have three main types, A, B and C.
‘A’ stands for awesome. They buy big, don’t mind paying and they love you.
‘B’ are bread and butter customers. They are the regulars, they just keep coming and provide the bulk of your revenue.
‘C’ are the complainers. Never happy, haggle on price and take the most time to serve.
You can’t buy more time in life. Don’t waste time chasing customers that aren’t going to take you to your goal. Do you need to change your mix of customers in 2018? Who will you focus on? Get real clear on this. Your marketing, your presentation, your strategies, your staff, your product, your pricing…everything, is dictated by who you want as a customer.
L = looking for?
What are your target customers looking for in 2018? Features, pricing, packages, service etc. Get clear on this. Brainstorm with your team, customers, partner, colleague, customers, suppliers, customers, coach, and customers. Hint: ask your customers what they want! 🙂 In order to win more of a particular customer you would like in 2018, what do you need to provide?
E = earnings.
How much do you want to earn in 2018? How much do you want to pay yourself? How many customers do you need to achieve this? Or how many sales of products XYZ?
There is immense power in writing this number down. It makes a very powerful statement to the universe and your subconscious. Our brains prioritise what they focus on and notice. They have to. Our brains are processing millions and millions of bits of info every second. If our brains didn’t filter this info they would bog down like a computer with too many programs running. By writing your goals down, you help your brain know what it should focus on. The result? You will ‘miraculously’ notice opportunities you didn’t before because your subconscious is showing them to you. It’s the red car effect. You buy a red car (or a particular model) and suddenly there seem to be hundreds on the road.
A = actions required?
What actions are required to achieve the above? You might want to break it down into monthly actions, quarterly actions. Or weekly. Just as you don’t plan a dream holiday and then do nothing about it, get clear on what actions need to be taken. And this can include what different actions you need to take. What type of person do you need to be?
Workshop the actions required with your team. Very important if you want them to be clear on your plans and vision for 2018.
R = roles and responsibilities?
Now you have your action list, put names and dates to each action. Who will do them? If your team is involved, it is best to workshop this with them so they are on board. Do you need an accountability buddy to keep you on track? Break actions down into bite size pieces so they get done rather than delayed.
If you have staff that are not doing the actions you want, I have a module on the 5 common reasons and what to do about it. Email me if you want to know.
So there you go! Simple business planning with the essentials you need to kick goals.
Have fun with it. Here if you need help.
If you don’t have a vision for your business written down and regularly used, you are missing out. Here’s 3 ways you should be using your vision statement to boost your business:
1. Assess existing staff and candidates you are interviewing by asking yourself this question, “Will this person take my business towards my vision?”
You might be surprised at the answer! I’ve seen business owners that are chronic bad hirers – rarely getting the right people for the job – turn things around just by doing this.
You also attract better candidates when you include your vision in your job ads. It can scare away the one’s that are not serious and motivate the one’s that resonate with it.
And that is what you want. Employees are one of your biggest expenses in business and are like the wheels on your car, you will go nowhere without them – therefore make sure they are the right wheels to take you to your vision.
2. Test your marketing material with your vision statement.
Hold them side by side and ask yourself if there is a match. For example:
- Does your website, your branding, your choice of wording, your offers, your pricing…match your vision?
- Will your marketing and branding take your business towards your vision?
There HAS to be a match. And this technique of testing your marketing against your vision is a great way to reduce the time required deciding what marketing to do.
3. Share it!
Don’t hide it. Put it on the wall in a respectful frame, put it on quotes, on your website, in your email signatures. In essence if it’s your vision, it’s worth sharing.
And being proud of. If you can’t be proud of it, then your staff won’t be and guess what that means? You are not likely to achieve it.
Remember, to achieve any vision, you have to first be sold on it yourself. With any goal, you have to have it in your heart and head before you can have it in your hand.
FREE VISION WORKSHEET
If you are having trouble figuring out how to describe your vision, I have a worksheet that might help. Shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you.
Troubleshooting Expert and Business Coach