Business-planning

Success is inevitable – how to ensure you hit the ground running for 2017. Sub Title: Business planning for the New Year

There is something invigorating and exciting about the start of a new year. You can put behind the previous 12 months and wipe the slate clean with the promise of fresh opportunities and new horizons. This is never truer when thinking about your business. You know that success is possible and waiting for you – so we want to share with you how to ensure you hit the ground running for 2017 with the right business planning for the New Year.

Setting goals and establishing a plan on how to achieve them could be one of the best things you do this year. It may sound like common sense but the mere act of sitting down and setting out a plan is in itself one of the stepping stones to success – and it’s one of the ways to ensure you hit the ground running for 2017.

Here are a number of the specific areas to look at in your business planning for the New Year:

In the area of money mastery, what are your financial goals for 2017? What are your revenue and profit targets? What are your reporting goals and how will your forecast look?  A great exercise to do in relation to your business plan is write down your three main objectives in connection to these.

Next you need to consider delivery mastery. How will you deliver your products or services to meet your financial goals?  How would you be able to improve on your customer service? What will you put in place to make it easier for customers to buy from you?  What’s going to make them say “WOW!”?

Think now about Time mastery. Define important and urgent tasks and learn to delegate appropriately to ensure that you’re spending more than half your time on the truly important tasks – those that will have a meaningful impact on the value of your business.

What about your niche? How clearly and compellingly is it articulated?  Can you get more detailed and specific about who you target?  How can you increase the frequency of purchase? Is there room to adjust your margins?

Another focus ought to be leverage.  Are you confident your team knows and understands your company’s vision and purpose? Is it clear to all who you are and what you do? How do you measure your staff’s performance?Are they empowered to do their jobs, is it clear what those jobs are and are you all accountable for your respective contributions?

It’s not always easy to turn the spotlight on yourself but how would you rate your management and leadership? This is an important key to business success. How would you want to improve on your management and leadership skills?  What else can you do to get the best out of your team?

Last but by no means least are two areas: synergy and results. With synergy, will you be factoring in time to launch a new product in 2017 or expand geographically? As for results, well, that’s the Holy Grail, isn’t it? What are your personal goals for your business? Make sure you factor in time for health and wellbeing as well. There is no point running a business if you are not well enough to do it!

Check out these great resources on business planning on our resources page here, you can download these for free. Happy planning!

lead-generation-strategies

What lead generation strategies will you be implementing for 2017?

We all want our businesses to grow and prosper.  Assuming that’s true for you, how were your lead-generating strategies this year?  Did they measure up to your business plan and expectations? If not, what lead generation strategies will you be implementing in 2017 to improve on that?

It’s a question you need to ask as it’s closely linked to small business success – or failure – and that’s often because the processes that have been put in place aren’t what’s needed. With each and every customer incredibly valuable to your business, you need to be clear on the best methods to generate leads.

 

So who are the best people to generate new leads for you? Sometimes we can’t see the woods for the trees: it’s your existing customers!  If you can turn your top customers into enthusiastic ambassadors of your business you have gone a long way to ensure the long-term viability of your company. Why? When one of your customers just loves your company, what are they likely to do? They will tell friends, who will tell their friends, who will tell their friends and so on.

 

How do you make sure your top customers are referring your business to their friends?

 

First, start with outstanding customer service. Train your team to know exactly what to say to customers and how to say it. In recent polls, customer service has been found to be the most important reason customers choose businesses, but also the most lacking category for businesses themselves. Too many businesses don’t concentrate on customer service, instead focusing on discounts.

 

Then, be sure to give your customers the ammunition they need to talk about you properly.  Do they understand who you’re looking for?  Do they know how to talk about your business?  Do they have “the story to tell”???

 

Another area to consider when planning your lead generation strategies for 2017 is your targeting and your customer acquisition costs?  It is vitally important for businesses to understand that you don’t just get customers, you buy them. When you have that mindset, you can begin to understand just what you need to spend on your marketing. And when you know what those costs are you can start measuring what works and what doesn’t from a return on investment perspective.  If it costs your business $5 to obtain a client and your product is only worth $4 per unit, then that would not be a great way to go about it. If it costs you $5 to obtain a client and your product will make you $100 then that would probably be a better return on investment.

 

Furthermore, for small businesses, in today’s world, it is important to have an online presence for lead generation. Having this, and especially a presence on social media networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, is a great way to market to potential customers without the concerns of outrageous costs while creating the buzz every business needs to thrive.

 

One of the greatest resources for generating leads for your business is other businesses.  Working in strategic alliances with other organisations that sell to the same group you target as customers, but sell a different product, can be incredibly beneficial to all parties, including the customer.

 

If sales and marketing is not your strength, check out this eBook to help you determine a few more lead generation strategies for 2017. Alternatively you can speak with one of our business coaches who have helped many businesses start the New Year off on the right foot with the right business plan.