Home > Becoming an Entrepreneur > Being a Successful Entrepreneur STEP 3: Marketing Planning

Being a Successful Entrepreneur STEP 3: Marketing Planning

Bonfires. Birthdays.  Completion. Lag Ba’Omer is today. My 2nd son Aviv is 17 today! I submitted my final written exam for my international coaching certification (CPCC) today!!! Bringing NEW starts, reflecting BACK & looking FORWARD.  Planning for the next step.  Putting into action business plans.  Transforming plans into reality. 

Our topic this week – Marketing Planning.  It’s reported to be the “grief” of many small business owners and service professionals.  In this article, I’ll outline a simple template for a 28-day repeatable marketing plan that I have found VERY useful in my business.  Based on a book that I recommend:  Get Clients Now! By C.J. Hayden.  The book & plan helped me to have both a simple Marketing strategic frame-of-reference along with a workable action plan – Along with some supportive coaching from a colleague that was in my international coaching program study group.  I love the holistic approach – it’s NOT just business; it’s me!  So it’s my pleasure to share my learning & this method with you – to help you move forward in your business…  Be happy to answer your questions & provide additional support for YOU…  Enjoy! 

Initial State?!  Sales & Marketing – who wants to do that…  It takes selling ourselves.  Our products.  Doing all the “junk”…  NOT working on the product, services or creating.  NOT being part of the profession that I prepared for.  BUT this is the CRUCIAL step in the business.  Focusing on the RIGHT customers & clients.  Our messages.  Planning how to attack the market to achieve our business goals.  Using the RIGHT media & techniques in a cost-effective manner.  Stop spinning-wheels… 

Before you read on, CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE!  Open your mind.  Once you understand the basics & change your mindset – you’ve taken a GIANT step forward.  Most of it depends on you and your PERSISTANCE! Circumstance is only one parameter.  (we all know the current economic client is VERY tough)  Persistence is the KEY more than ever….   

To convert work into business, see where you’re STUCK in the Marketing Cycle:  a) Filling the Pipeline to b) Follow-up to c) Getting Referrals to d) Getting Presentations to e) Closing Sales

The “recipe” for getting on-track is:

–         Setting your overall business targets (# clients, revenue, etc.)

–         Understanding the motivation & reward that will help you get there

–         Setting short-term targets within the place you are STUCK in the Marketing Cycle

–         Determining your success ingredients & daily actions to get you UN-STUCK!

–         Understanding what’s holding you back to advance in this step…

–         Monitoring & correcting targets in a structured manner, taking into account your results, mind & body

If it’s the first time that you’re structuring or starting up, the following areas may be your focus: Researching the Market, What is your niche?  What is your target client/customer?  Defining your message.  Filling your pipeline.  You have several strategies by which you can further your efforts: 1) Direct Contact & Follow-up; 2) Networking & Referral Building; 3) Public Speaking; 4) Writing & Publicity; 5) Promotional Events; 6) Advertising 

Each of these strategies will help you in your path.  Focusing on activities within these strategies that will bring outreach, outreach/visibility credibility and visibility – with varying effectiveness depending on your needs, inclinations and what fits you best as a person.  But there’s no shortcuts – passing up what must be done…  You must do it all & work through the cycle:  Getting a list of people who are right for your business.  Contacting them – and contacting them again – and again…  Reaching out to your target market & colleagues & whoever…  Building your name as a guru or person to go to for what you give.  Putting your name out there & building your brand…

If you’re already a seasoned business and looking to transition or grow or rejuvenate, the following areas may be your focus:  Follow-up on first contacts or calls or emails.  Utilize your network for referrals and more contacts.  Focus your message more.  Target a specific sector.  Work on your sales presentation.  Present a specific offering.  Understand your target market better.  Build your credibility by lectures and writing.  Start a blog.  Utilize the social networks.  Persistently refining.  Believing that you are on the right path & will succeed….  

The SECRET to being effective is to be SMART in WHAT you choose and HOW you stick to it…

The final part of this series is: Managing Operations – coming next week…

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