Entrepreneurs often live with the hope that if they build it, customers will come. But in today’s economy, it takes a lot more than hope to get people to purchase your products or services.
If your goal is to generate new business opportunities, crafting a Strategic Success Plan is necessary, quick and effective. The result – a road map that will infuse new energy, enthusiasm, and profit into your company’s vision and bottom line.
So let’s get started.
Step 1: Believe in yourself and increase your faith. As a strategic woman entrepreneur and business growth, success and acceleration coach, I have discovered that you must believe in your own abilities. You must also have the conviction to withstand the tough times and the faith to believe that all things are possible. Never give up, never back down and never lose the faith in your business dreams.
Step 2: Focus on your core product. I believe that your clients and prospects buy when they trust that your value is applicable to them and they believe your company is stable and reliable. Keep this statement in mind as you go through the remaining steps, because internalizing this belief is key to a successful Strategic Success Plan.
Secondly, it is common for entrepreneurs in small, service businesses to feel that they must do everything that the “big guys” do to compete. Not so – it is essential for small businesses to differentiate themselves by focusing on their unique value and their innovative product or service that they bring to clients and prospects.
Specialization is a strategic entrepreneur’s greatest asset to achieve business growth.
Step 3: Keep your pitch simple. Remember the last time you asked someone at a party what their company offered? Did you get a clear, concise response? Or did your eyes glaze over by the time they got to the end of their explanation?
My best guess is – it was probably the latter.
Now imagine that same pitch being presented to prospects that don’t have a glass of wine or soft drink in their hands to distract them – it’s not a pretty picture.
What every entrepreneur needs is a simple “elevator pitch.” That’s a short, concise message that can communicate your message to a prospect in 30 seconds or less. It explains the value your product or service provides so the prospects understand why it’s applicable to them.
Try this little exercise to test your ‘pitch clarity quotient’. Ask someone who doesn’t know what you do to listen to your pitch. Explain what your company does, and watch for signs of fatigue – eyes watering, the eye roll, eye lids getting heavy, and so on.
Of course, you may have the perfect pitch. But if you don’t, you’ll recognize it right away from verbal responses and physical ques.
Step 4: Stay true to who you are. Knowing who you are and what gets you excited (or what bores you to tears) will help you reach your goals. Nothing can derail a business growth plan more than discomfort and procrastination—it’s simply human nature to procrastinate over things that cause discomfort.
There are dozens of daily business requirements that every entrepreneur detests. If you find that you put things off, it might be time to start delegating those tasks that would be best served by someone other than you.
Stay true to who you are and what you do best: Hand off those tasks that will blow you off course because you don’t like doing them! Stretch and grow your capabilities in alignment with your interests and expertise.
Step 5: Map it out. Defining your capabilities with your target clients’ needs in mind is an excellent way to determine your service strategy. You’ll find that while you may be perfectly skilled in many areas, you may be going after clients who don’t need your particular expertise.
One common trait among many entrepreneurs is the urge to “cast a wide net” by being all things to all people and companies. In almost every case, a small business flourishes because it has a narrower service offering. Remember, a small company’s value is that it can specialize in unique, top-quality services.
Develop a list of decision-making criteria that you expect your clients to use when choosing a provider in your industry. Then rank yourself (and be sure to be brutally honest) in terms of where you are positioned in each category. After this intense evaluation, make sure that your elevator pitch is still on target for your particular niche and not geared toward the entire target audience.
Step 6: Utilize marketing tools that work best for you. When deciding on a marketing strategy, implement one that fits your personality and the customers you serve. For instance, if you’re terrified of getting up in front of a crowd, don’t schedule yourself to participate on a panel in the hopes of generating new business – it’s not for you.
You will definitely derail your efforts if you don’t perform well.
Identify the top two marketing tools you’ve used in the past that have worked for your company. When selecting your marketing tools, also evaluate them from a financial and cost benefit basis. Decide what will yield the best return on your marketing efforts. Each tool should lead to a revenue-producing result in one way or another.
Step 7: Implement a plan of action. Your action plan will also give you the guidelines you should use to measure your progress.
Establish goals that can be reviewed at three, six, nine and twelve months. At incremental points within each three-month period, keep checking your Strategic Success Plan to see if you’re meeting your business growth goals.
If you find you’re missing the target – ask others to find out why.
– Were the tools appropriate for your target client?
– Did you integrate the strategies from your plan?
– Did you just focus on one of the tools?
– Did you only complete some of your strategies?
Now, don’t forget to plug in specific actions that you’ll do every day to help you meet your business goals. That daily strategy will keep the goals of your Strategic Success Plan top of mind.
Step 8: Execute the plan. This final step is very straightforward. Just do it! Complete the daily actions, and then do something extra to accelerate your Strategic Success Plan. If you are implementing your plan and get butterflies in your stomach, either get over it or substitute an action that you’re more comfortable with so that you stay on course.
Don’t let unplanned tasks waste precious time that should be applied toward reaching your business goal. And most of all – enjoy the process!© Copyright 2013 Laureen Wishom