Business plans don’t have to be insanely difficult to understand, or use more paper than a Grisham Novel. But they can’t be done on a cocktail napkin either.
That’s why we’re spending some time outlining what I like to see in a business plan. So far we’ve covered Why You Should Write A Business Plan and Business Plan Mission And Vision, and now we’re on to Goals and Selling Strategies.
In the post Goals? In June? Crazy Talk! I discussed in-depth how to set goals. For a refresher, let me explain goal setting. Most people write down a list of items they would like to accomplish in a specific year and call them goals.
To me, those aren’t goals, those are dreams. Dreams without vision and goals just don’t work. Vision is what the dream looks like when it’s complete. Goals are every step needed to take to accomplish the vision. In other words, you need to list out EVERY step needed to make the journey a success.
For a business plan, I don’t need every step but I sure want to see a 30,000 foot view set of goals that I know I can drill down on. Enough so, I am able to see we’ve thought through the process enough that there shouldn’t be any surprises.
Along with goals, we have to actually have a plan to sell our product.
- What are we selling – The most important part in selling strategies is to clearly define what it is you’re selling. If it can’t be explained quickly and without difficulty, you might rethink your desire to go into this business.
- Who is the RIGHT customer – It is absolutely unrealistic to think that every person is your customer. Unless you sell toilet paper, in which case you’ve got a pretty good chance. Spend time doing “market research” to find out who buys the product you’re wanting to sell. Some examples of Market research are – Interviews, Surveys, Questionnaires, and Focus Groups.
- Build a platform – If you’ve been in business for a while, you may already have a great platform. If not, the best way is get as much momentum possible with as little investment possible. Focus on building a tribe through social media where people who are sold out for your product, share it with their circles. This is assuming you have a great product. A fantastic resource is Michael Hyatt’s book Platform.
- What is our marketing – If you have money to spend, then it might be a great idea to focus on some low cost marketing. Perhaps Google Adwords and paid advertising, Facebook for Business, Twitter for Business, Pinterest for Business, etc. Be sure to use Google Analytics to see where your traffic is coming from. A fantastic resource that I HIGHLY recommend for SEO is Smarter Searches.
With goals and selling strategies you are on your way to a successful business plan. Yes it takes time and research, but it’s considerably less time than running in circles without a plan.
Question: What selling strategies do you use for your products?
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