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Where to Begin? Business Planning, 2017

You’re Late

It’s January 9th. If you are still researching articles on business planning, you’re doing it wrong. More specifically, you’re late to the party but, better late than never, right? If you get a handle on things now, next year will be a breeze, in comparison.

This is a very basic overview to get you started. Sometimes, too many intricate details can create confusion, so let’s step back and look at the basics of planning a successful year.

Here’s a little timesaver tip: Regardless of your plan, the key will ALWAYS be consistency. If you’re not committed to getting off your ass and working hard, don’t bother reading the rest. It won’t help you.

No two people are likely to do the same planning or have the same primary focus and popular advice from many sources is to begin by “finding your why”. While a heartfelt reason for breathing is certainly motivation to go to work each day, so is the upcoming mortgage payment. Now is the time to jump start this year by getting straight to the action.

Your key elements are: What, How & Who. What do I want? How will I get it? Who can help me?

Your “What”

Interestingly, picking a goal, an ambition, a target, your “What”, can stop you before you start. Worrying whether your target is too big, too small, too audacious, too humble, or way out in left field, can block you from moving on to any other steps.

Don’t overthink it.

This doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Just pick a target, any target. Maybe it’s a dollar amount, maybe it’s sales volume, maybe it’s an increase or decrease in working hours. Whatever it is, pick it and move forward. You’re only accountable to yourself. Next year, once you’re used to planning, you can pick a new What and apply the same principles.

Once you have the What, you just need the How and Who and you’re all set!

More on your What, here.

Your “How”

This gets a little deeper, as no two methods for reaching a target are likely to be the same. This is awesome, because when everything is the same, nothing stands out. Here is your chance to stand out.

Decide which steps you can take to get to your What. Reaching a goal often means increasing productivity, output, sales, etc, which means attracting more attention to your product or service. This translates to Marketing. Marketing does not have to be complicated or overwhelming. You do not have to have an art degree or be in any way creative, but you must be consistent.

Create a marketing plan that is do-able for you, right now. You can always adjust later, but you need to be able to commit to whatever you choose for an extended period of time. That might mean a quarter, six months, or even a year, before you have enough data and consistent marketing experience to re-evaluate. Got it? Do it.

More on your How, here.

Your “Who”

If you could spontaneously create wealth, independent of outside influence, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. You will need other people to reach your goal.

Specifically, you need to focus on the people who may need your product or service and make sure you’re staying in front of them with your awesome, new marketing plan. If you’ve lived in the same place your entire life, you may have a huge sphere of influence and, if you are new to an area, you may feel lost. I assure you, you know more people than you realize and the more you are out and about in your community, the more people you’ll meet! You should always be adding names to the list of people you know. You’ll market to these folks differently than you would to a neighborhood of strangers receiving your direct mail piece.

Also, you should rarely remove anyone from your marketing efforts. If you sell cars and your neighbor just bought a car from someone else, do not scratch them off your list! Maybe your neighbor needs another car, maybe your neighbor’s mama needs a car, maybe nothing happens for 3 years, but when the time comes to trade that car in for a new one, your neighbor remembers that you sell cars… because you stayed top of mind, through your marketing efforts.

More on your Who, here.

You’re Fashionably Late

It’s January 9th, but you’re here, looking and learning. You showed up and that’s half the battle. Now, scrape together a plan and start doing.

What do you want? How can you get it? Who can help you?

Right or Wrong can take a back seat to Experience and the Wisdom that comes with it. Let’s meet back here in October; next year isn’t going to plan itself.

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