Tag: business planning

5 Essentials to Include in Your Business Development Plan

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.

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So there you go! Simple business planning with the essentials you need to kick goals.

Have fun with it. Here if you need help.

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CLEAR business planning infographic

BD101-Core Focus Model

Do you find yourself getting distracted and working on non-core business tasks? Or you aren’t sure how to prioritise the million business development tasks in front of you?

In this short video I give you a great little strategy for categorising what to focus on. It is extremely effective, especially for businesses that need to focus on more sales. You only have a finite number of hours in the day. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to focus on what matters. Otherwise 6 months go by, a year, two years and your business is still in the same position.

If you have any questions or want me to run through it with you or help you prioritise what you should focus on, I’m just a email of phone call away!

http://www.davidlennon.com.au/contact/

  You can download the slides handout here: >> BD101-Core Focus Model_lesson handout_2017

 

 

CLEAR Business Development Steps – Part 2

Part 2 in the CLEAR business development planning system is ‘L’ – what are your target Customers (identified in Part 1) looking for?

Not what you want to sell them, what do THEY want to buy? And why? Successful business development requires us to regularly walk in our customer’s shoes and appreciate what they are looking for. Part 2 helps us check-in, reflect and counter our bias wanting to sell what we have and what we believe they need.

LOOKING FOR?

What are your target Customers, that you have decided you want, looking for throughout their journey in searching, assessing, buying, and using your product/service?

You want to create raving fans because word of mouth is by far the cheapest and most common lead generator in any kind of business.

What are your Customers looking for specifically?

Not just shallow stuff, I mean the deep and meaningful stuff. The emotions of using or buying your product/service, the core drivers such as pain points they are wanting to eliminate. And any new innovations or trends they might be aware of. The clearer you are on this the more your message and marketing actions will hit the right buttons. Leads and conversions will increase.

How to Identify What the Customer is Looking for?

To succeed in business development you MUST be in-tune with your Customers needs. And it’s an ongoing process. You never stop seeking to understand your customers.

The fisherman that doesn’t pay attention to the lack of bites, change in preference of bait and where the fish are moving to doesn’t eat!

Here’s a reminder of some of the ways you can confirm what your customers are looking for and I can help you identify suitable strategies and the format:

  • Brainstorm ideas on a whiteboard with the team, especially those talking to your Customers a lot. Segment your Customer’s experience down into it’s stages and list the things they are looking for in each stage – and review if you are providing them.
  • Ask them when next speaking with them. Can be a casual question or more detailed discussion over coffee, lunch or brainstorming session with their team.
  • Suggestion box on your counter – make sure staff encourage Customers to fill out the form and keep the form really simple.
  • Online survey or post purchase survey. Keep them short! No more than 5 questions. It is important to design your surveys well otherwise they won’t tell you anything useful. I can help you if you need.
  • Testimonials – notice what your customers say they liked! This is gold and gives you great insight to what they valued. Make sure you weave this into your marketing copy.
  • Read. make sure you stay up to date with your industry and where it’s going. Subscribe to online forums, newsletters etc. Take note of what the trends are overseas because this can give you a competitive advantage if you are one of the first to introduce a new feature/service/product here in Australia.
  • Attend conferences, tradeshows etc.

Make a list.

Then make sure you are covering these features/feelings/benefits in your marketing material, website, emails, conversations, POP displays, newsletters etc.

WOW FACTOR – where’s the WOW?

To create raving fans that work for you as your marketers and sales team, you need a wow factor. It’s not hard! Or expensive. Often just the simple little touches add the wow factor. I was standing in line for Christmas and a shop assistant was handing out bottles of water – not expensive but was a welcome jesture and made me feel significant as the customers. Remember one of the six core needs we all have is to feel ‘significant’. I love the fact with Uber I don’t have to pay cash or take a card out of my wallet and go through that process of tapping, waiting for the machine to connect and approve payment, waiting for the taxi driver to print his receipt and then print mine.

What can you do to add some wow? Something worth talking about?

Knowing what your Customers are looking for will help you identify a wow factor. Is it an easier way to purchase, a thank you note/gift, a follow up call, an easier delivery system, a simplified booking system, better labeling, better presentation, better Customer service…?

January is a great time to touch base with Customers and ask them what they’d like to see you provide in 2017, or what they’d like improved. The trick here is to encourage them to suggest anything, regardless of what they think your limitations are. Customers have a preconceived idea of what you can provide…right or wrong.

If you need help coming up with a wow factor, let me know.

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So there you go. Steps C and L in the CLEAR business development planning strategy.

Identify your Customer and identify what they are looking for and make sure you are not just meeting but exceeding their expectations. And make sure you are covering what they are looking for in your marketing.

Next step is Earnings. What you want to Earn and how. I’ll cover that in Part 3.

CLEAR – Business Development Steps – Part 1

Love this time of Year! 🙂

I’m enjoying a nice morning with no work pressure, a great coffee, birds singing and it’s not cold or too hot. I find this time of year is such a great time to start planning 2017.

If you are wanting to do some strategic business development thinking for 2017, I’ll be sharing a few tips and strategies over the next couple days that will help. And as always, PM me or email if you have specific questions.

Step 1: WHERE’S YOUR DEPARTURE POINT?

It would be absurd to go into a travel agent and say,

“We want to go to New York…can’t confirm which airport we will be departing from…but can you tell us your best deal and route?”

First step in planning your #businessdevelopment is to know your starting point. Second most important step is to know where you want to go. I find many businesses are good at knowing the target, the destination but fail to reflect on the starting point. Therefore their strategies are no where near as effective as they could be.

You may have read my CLEAR business planning acronym in a previous post.

  • Customer
  • Looking for?
  • Earnings?
  • Actions required?
  • Responsibility

Checklist for the priority topics to cover as a minimum in your planning.

The CLEAR business development system is quick, simple and helps you cover the essentials and identify your starting point as well as where you are going.

Customer

Who were your best and most profitable customers in 2016? Make a list. It helps the brain process data when it’s on paper because you only have so much RAM (working memory) in your computer-brain to hold ‘stuff’ and think of new stuff.

Typically a business has around 3 different core customer types. Generalisation but I find most businesses will have the ‘B’ customers, the ‘bread and butter’ customers that are steady, always there and generate a large portion of revenue. Bread and Butter B customers keep the cashflow going, keep the business machine oiled.

Then there are the ‘A’ customers that are Awesome and buy big and pay well and are profitable. They tend to be less frequent or less in number, but still essential.

Then there are the ‘C’ customers that cost you time and money to service. You know the ones. 🙂 They might be Cocky or Complainers and take a lot of your time. Remember, you CAN’T buy more time! once gone it is gone. Therefore what would be more beneficial to your business…to spend time on the A and B customers or the C’s? Every 20mins with a C customer is time you could have been wowing an A and B customer so they become raving fans and recommend you to more A and B Customers.

Get clear on which customers you want more of and the percentage mix of A and B and C customers.

For example, I’m a big fan of working less and earning more. Therefore I recommend:

1. Reviewing the ‘C’ customers you need to cut loose. You can do this by raising the price of the current deal they are attracted to or currently on. They will leave of their own accord…and you will be grateful! One of the best ways to increase productivity and profits is to reduce your C customers.

2. Look at what you are doing, saying, promoting to attract the C’s. Fix it!

3. Look at your own thinking. It all starts with you and your thoughts. This can be a harder one to tackle and identify and you may need my help. Do you believe you only deserve C customers?

Now you have cleared up your plan for the C customers, estimate your current number of A and B customers (preferably on paper) and decide how many you want to have in 2017.

I suggest 3 month goals. For example:

By March 2017 I have 5 A customers, 15 B customers.

By June 2017 I have 8 A customers, 27 B customers

etc etc etc

I’ll end here.

In summary, get clear on where you are starting. Identify your current customer mix. Make a plan to reduce your C customers. Set targets for the number of A and B customers you want.

In Part 2 I’ll cover the CLEAR step of identifying what your customers are looking for.

Get CLEAR Cheatsheet for Business Planning

ARE YOU PROCRASTINATING ON YOUR BUSINESS PLANNING BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT SURE WHAT TO COVER?

I’m hearing this a fair bit and I totally get it.

There is so much that COULD be covered in a plan, (where to start!) and there is so much happening in the lead up to Xmas and holidays.

So I’ve made it easier for you. Here’s my recommended TOP things to cover in your business planning for the new year. I even managed to come up with a handy acronym! 🙂

  CLEAR-cheatsheet pdf  

Just spend 2 hrs with your team on this and you will be a 100% better position…and it’s done and you can get back to everything else.

Checklist for the priority topics to cover as a minimum in your planning.
Checklist for the priority topics to cover as a minimum in your planning.

  Enjoy!

And of course if it would help force you to set aside some time to do this, I’m available to facilitate a session with you and your team. This way it gets done and you get my fresh perspective and experience, and I’ll ask the questions that will make sure you uncover some gold next year.