Every fourth quarter countless business owners attend seminars to prepare for the New Year. They take their team on retreats, analyze the past years performance, read industry magazines to pick up on the latest trends, and then diligently put all that information into a plan. Some business owners won’t make a single buying or hiring decision until their plan is complete.
But how effective is a business plan that gathers dust? It’s time try something different. Consider taking action with these six steps:
1. Identify Your Biggest Fear
Fear is the number one issue that prevents business owners from achieving success. There are many types of fear that can trap entrepreneurs, with the most common including fear of rejection, fear of success, fear of going broke, and even the fear of what others think.
Before you say you have no fear, think again. Everyone has fear; successful entrepreneurs simply do a better job of managing their fears. Fear can and should be managed with the right the methods. The first step to success is simply identifying your fear.
2. What is Your Marketing Personality?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all marketing solution that works for every business. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new website or advertising on Facebook … the silver bullet doesn’t exist.
Before deciding on any marketing, consider your personality. Do you enjoy being on the phone? Do you have a passion for reviewing headlines on sales letters before they go out? Do you like reviewing endless analytics?
Understanding your marketing personality will help you select the right medium, and you will enjoy putting it into action because it’s the right match!
3. Craft a Marketing Message
Ask yourself why people choose your business, and how you differ from the competition. If reasons such as “we provide great service” or “we have been in business for many years” come to mind, then you don’t have a marketing message. Yes, you certainly do a great job, or you wouldn’t be in business… but you don’t have a message.
A marketing message should quickly tell a total stranger, in less than 10 seconds, why they choose you. It isn’t a slogan, but a killer message that piques the interest of a prospect and makes your business irresistible to them.
4. Systematize Your Business
When it comes to your business, does every day feel like you are fighting fires?
Far too often entrepreneurs fly by the seat of their pants and are constantly reinventing the wheel. In order to grow and to avoid the income roller coaster, defining systems is essential. Systems can be as simple as the scripts your front desk uses to answer the phone, or an email auto-responder that stays in touch with prospects, customers, and vendors. Look at each area of your business and create systems that will save you time and increase your net income.
5. Understanding Your Numbers
Avoid the trap of looking at your gross income monthly. Look deeper into the numbers of your business and you will start to notice where you can start making more money.
Ask yourself the following questions when you want to understand the numbers that will dictate your income:
The deeper you dive into the numbers of your business, the more success you will enjoy.
- How many leads does it take get a customer?
- How much am I spending on marketing?
- Which marketing medium is the most effective?
- How much does it cost me to get a customer?
- How many prospect calls do I receive?
6. Avoid Getting Trapped by E.I.D. (Entrepreneurial Idiot Disease)
E.I.D. causes business owners to end up with numerous projects stuck at 80% completion. It can also cause entrepreneurs to chase the next silver bullet or get stuck in attending endless conferences hoping for magic answers.
To avoid being plagued by E.I.D., entrepreneurs must identify their fears, select marketing that matches their personality, engage in goal setting, and keep a consistent focus on sales and conversion.
Toss that dusty business plan and cancel that fancy retreat. By putting these six steps into action, you will be able to watch your business change for the better.
About Todd Bates
Todd Bates is a leading business consultant, speaker, author, and President and Owner of Todd Bates Systems. A graduate of Colorado State University, Bates immediately made a name for himself as an entrepreneur. Using his talent for business marketing and with years of success behind him, Bates dedicates his career to teaching other businesses and entrepreneurs how to thrive. Over the past 20 years, he has worked with over 25,000 individual business owners and has shared his proven techniques with over 250,000 people at speaking events countrywide.