Small business owners are the busiest people you’ll ever meet. They get in early to open to store, to load the delivery trucks, to meet with vendors, to pay the bills, to meet with clients, to fix the toilet….and if they have time….to drive future sales. Rarely do they invest the needed time in to clear their heads and developing a business plan for the next quarter or year. Half of all new businesses fail in the first five years, and 60% of those who make it are unfortunately falling short of financial goals.
Let’s take five minutes to be better. Get out a piece of paper for your notes.
Competition – What do you offer that the competition doesn’t offer? I highly suggest that you don’t just say that we deliver better service. The competition just wrote down the same thing. Do you have a unique product? Do you deliver the service differently? Now, what does the competition do better than you? How can you overcome that objection? Take one minute and jot some notes about the differences between you and top competition.
Business Plan – Do you have anything in writing about your future plans? Have you formulated something new or is your plan the same as the day you opened your doors – “work hard”? Take a minute and note how you will communicate your vision to your staff.
Marketing – Specifically, who are your target customers? Are you doing something significant to reach them? Television and the internet can now pinpoint your audience to minimize waste. Don’t waste your modest ad budget reaching the masses. Target your prospects geographically, demographically and psychographically. We all may hate that big brother knows everything that we do, but take advantage of the research at that cable and digital advertising sellers will give you for free.
Adaptivity – The world continues to change quickly. Technology is making it change faster than ever. If your plan for next year is the same as the plan for last year, you’re losing ground to the competition. Your industry, your community and your media will change next year, so change with them.
Hopefully, you have a few notes. Now, take one more minute and share them with someone. Maybe everyone in your work circle. Ask for their input. Do they agree with your strengths, weakness and opportunities? What is the one thing you need to improve now? Who can facilitate that change? When will you get working on it? Get your team involved. Hometown Advertising can help small businesses with their plans too.
Don’t wait for word of mouth advertising to help you grow – that could take too long. Don’t invest ad dollars reaching people who have no interest in your product. Talk to your television and internet partners and see how impactful your 2020 business plan could be.
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