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5 Steps to a Simple Plan: Step 4 Strategies

5 Steps to a Simple Plan: Step 4 Strategies

So you have a vision, you know what you want to create this year, but how will you do it?

(If you have missed the previous steps in this business planning series, catch them here:

Step 1 – The Vision

Step 2 – The Values

Step 3 – The Goals)

Step 4 – Your top 3 strategies.

How are you going to achieve those goals you listed and prioritized? These are the simple strategies that will create the focus for your efforts in your business. Will you be speaking? Developing a better, effective website? Creating a quality list or tribe of hot prospects, customers, partners and fanatics? Or how about connecting with 20 great people each month?

You can see that each of these strategies will need to include specific steps and tactics. But for the purpose of staying focused and avoiding the “bright, shiny object” syndrome, selecting 3 strategies will direct your activities for yourself and your team. Still not seeing it?

If you know that your top strategy is to develop 20 monthly quality connections for clients, promotions, and cash flow, then your activities on Facebook will be focused on select connections who can support this strategy, thus supporting your goals of making more money and developing promotional partners so you can market less and sell more.

Making sense? Here’s an example:

Top 3 Strategies for Accomplishing Our Goals:

1. Shift programming from private consulting/coaching  – Build 3 small group coaching programs (5-8 clients in each program)

2. Communicate with more people – Share good information daily – utilize my content calendar for email, blogging & social media; teach classes, interview and be interviewed.

3. Offer my systems for measuring, strategy & success – develop training and support for group and private clients and their teams to access to expedite the learning curve; offers will include online programs, interviews, workshops and other opportunities to teach & empower change-makers

This one can get complicated for some, so here is another example:

Top 3 Strategies for Accomplishing Our Goals:

1.        Online visibility to include public relations, press releases, article marketing, blogging, social media, websites, online forums & events to attract, enroll, engage and reinforce our value to our market

2.       Online marketing to include websites that attract and build a list of interested customers and funnels them through a relationship building process to enroll into a consulting or training program

3.       Speaking Campaign that includes Joint Venture & peer development campaign intended to build awareness , and an engaged audience that become customers that generate cash flow from both speaking engagements and additional opportunities.

Hopefully, this is starting to make sense.

ACTION STEP:

Make a list of all the marketing activities you should be doing. Notice, I said “activities” and not strategies. The strategy will come in a few minutes. Now review the list for your favorite activities. I generally prefer that my clients stick to the activities they love. But if you have support from a team, then include some of the “have-to’s” that you can outsource.

Once you have narrowed your list, identify your top strategies that will lead you to meeting your goals and will support your vision for your ideal life and business. For clarification about the differences between marketing tactics and marketing strategies, read this article.

And stay tuned for the final step in completing your simple, strategic plan for 2013 success!

5 Steps to a Simple Plan: Step 3 Goal Setting

5 Steps to a Simple Plan: Step 3 Goal Setting

In creating our simple, strategic plan for 2013, we have clearly stated our VISION (which includes our mission, our market and our message) and our VALUES (this is HOW we do everything, and what makes us roll out of bed on the bad days).

Now we are ready to clearly identify our goals. Well, actually, we are only going to include 3 goals to focus on for the next year.3

I know this may feel limiting, but when you can focus on your top 3 goals, and state them specifically, concisely and measurable, then all your efforts become focused and your “bright, shiny object syndrome” is easy to manage.

Of course, as an entrepreneur, you are going to have ideas and opportunities that are just too cool to pass up, but narrowing your focus to 3 goals will allow you to start achieving greater success instead of being frustrated that your efforts are for naught.

So how do we do this? Take a few minutes to go through this exercise. You will want a paper and pen…or your favorite method of taking notes or journaling.

Step 3 – Your top 3 goals.

What are they? What do you want to accomplish and what is necessary to be accomplished to achieve success as you define it? Perhaps you want a more leverage business model–less private consulting and more group coaching? Perhaps you want to be speaking on stages and getting paid for it. Perhaps you  need to build brand awareness to reach more markets, get more clients and make more money.

When you can whittle your top goals to 3 that will help you achieve success in your life and your business, deciding what marketing tactics and strategies becomes easier.  Also, create measurable goals whenever possible. This will help you create realistic plans for achieving those goals.

Here is an example:

Top 3 Goals (Financial, growth & accomplishments)

1. Bring in 100 paying clients in 2013

2. $15,000 monthly income with a profit margin of 60%

3. Build a leveraged business that allows me to support my family & my health.

Can you see that, with these specific goals, my marketing efforts are going to be easily directed. If I need a profit margin of 60%, then I probably won’t get involved in a project that is a start-up or that is focused more on list-building (where profits are low due to the back-end return). If a business model that supports my family and my health is a priority, then spending too much time traveling might not be a good option (of course, “too much” is relative… but you get the point).

ACTION STEP:

What are your top 3 goals for 2013? List your goals and identify WHY each is important to you. This will allow you to start sorting and grouping your goals to select the BIG goal for yourself. Make sure to include details that you can measure and identify your success on this journey.

And stay tuned for Step 4 of the Simple Strategic Plan, The Strategy that pulls it together.

5 Steps to a Simple Plan: Step 2 The How

5 Steps to a Simple Plan: Step 2 The How

A good plan is one that is simple, to the point, and useful in your everyday tasks to build your business.

The other day, I shared Step 1 in creating a simple, effective plan: Have a clear vision.

Today, let’s talk about HOW you will do your vision. This maybe the most important step that most people ignore. This is the step that allows you to attract the best customers, hire the best team, and create the most profitable, inspirational and fun partnerships for promotional support, masterminding and business development.2

Step 2 – Have clarity about HOW you will do your work.

This is all about your values–what motivates you and gets you up in the morning everyday. These values are also the connection point to your team–what is important to you better be important to them or it will be a short-lived relationship.

With your clients, these values difference between a client who leaves you exhausted and feeling taken advantage of, or a client who leaves you feeling like you are on fire.

Your values are the reasons people resonate with you, like and trust you, and are willing to invest their hard-earned money with you to help them.

So be clear about your values. List them and then explain succinctly why each is important. This list should be 3-5 items long. That’s it.

Each descriptive sentence should be packed with power words that further describe the experience you are creating for everyone involved-including yourself.

Here is an example:

How we will accomplish our mission:

Ø Impact: Your mission and your message are important in this world and in our lives. We believe that through systems, strategic analysis, positioning and effective messaging, you will impact this world and your purpose will serve.

Ø Integrity: We work to create integrity in your business so that it has a foundation to support the mission. The systems & methods build for your business will create sustainability and long-term support.

Ø Service: With generosity and commitment to you and your business, we partner to serve your mission and your message.

ACTION STEP:

Make a list of your top values. I like to use a large white board where I can “dump” all the values that feel important. Then I sort them into groups. From here I select the top 3, identify my primary value and use the other words to help describe what I do.

This step may take some time, especially if you are doing it alone. Make your list and then come back and revisit your work. Make sure that this is YOUR true self and not some voice that is telling you what is important to you.

Once this step is completed, we will be ready to start working on our goals. Stay tuned for Step 3 – Goal Setting!

5 Steps to a Simple Plan: Step 1 A Clear Vision

5 Steps to a Simple Plan: Step 1 A Clear Vision

Creating a plan is often daunting, overwhelming and once you complete the plan, you never look at it again. It doesn’t have to be that way.

A good plan is one that is simple, to the point, and useful in your everyday tasks to build your business.

In fact, I have a model that I use for myself and all of my clients, big and small, that creates simplicity and ease in our business-building strategies, our team development and even our partnership and promotional conversations.

And it includes only 5 things. Simple.

So let’s take the next two weeks to create our plan for 2013. Are you ready?

Step 1 – Have a clear vision of what you will do.

This is the mission and the message that you are going to impact your market with. And yes, you need to be clear about your market–who are they? What are their struggles? What is their motivation?

Once you are clear about your market and what they want, then you need to understand how YOU fit into their equation for success.

Be able to share what you do, who you do it for, and why this is important. This should all be concise. You should be able to share this in a 2-3 sentences.

Here is an example:

At Strategic Results Marketing, we provide business coaches and consultants with the tools and support they need to build a sustainable, leveraged business. We create systems and methods that are replicatable and support the goals of the business and the lifestyle of the business owner. We’re committed to being a catalyst for our clients to have a greater impact, be more purposeful and share a great message.

ACTION STEP:

Write your VISION of what you do, who you do it for, and why this is important. Make sure you are considering your client’s wants and needs as this will help you position yourself in the market place, in your messaging, and in your marketing conversations. This will also allow your team to have a clear understanding of who they work with and why it is important, creating motivation and synergy.

And stay tuned for the next step, HOW you do what you do, everyday, and with everyone, when it’s right!