Why Business Plans Fail or How to GPS Your Way to Success in 2013

Your Secret Sauce to Success

Tis’ the season to make plans. Business plans and strategies abound when the calendar turns to a new year.Cooking with Dan

Resolutions – both business and personal – are made with great intentions. And most are doomed to fail. Why? Because business plans are over-rated. They fail because you might just hit it.

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are in. My advice to you is to eschew a business plan and create a powerful marketing plan. Having a business plan without a strategy on how you’re going to bring business in is like taking off for a secluded vacation getaway without a GPS, a map, or a Boy Scout compass. You might end up getting there, but it took you longer and wasted more of your valuable time.

Here is your GPS to success for next year (Just imagine my voice imploring you to recalculate when you go off track. I think many of my coaching and mentoring clients can relate!)…

  1. Determine how you improve the condition of others. What is the value you bring? What sets you apart from your competition? If you can’t sum it up in your own words, ask your best clients. Find out why they do business with you. Two things happen. First, you learn why people do business with you. Second, they remind themselves why they should continue to work with you!
  2. Who is your target market? Are there new audiences you should be reaching? How do you get yourself and your brand in front of them?
  3. Put referrals on the top of your list. Most businesses get referrals, but do a poor job of asking for them. Develop a system and language for your sales professionals (and you) to mine for gold. Asking for referrals is not difficult once you know how. Make it a priority.
  4. Create your own intellectual property. That means webinars, teleconferences, articles, columns, blogs, and podcasts. Create new services, products, and offerings. Become an object of interest.
  5. Stop wasting time and money on tactics that aren’t working. Does anybody even own a phone book anymore? Find out where people hear about you and go there.
  6. Find ways to speak publicly. You aren’t there to “pitch.” However, if your presentation is deemed as valuable then you will get opportunities to speak. The thundering herd of people approaching you afterwards to talk to you is your sign that people might like to hire you.
  7. Be better at following up. We have all been guilty of getting great leads and then letting them slip through the cracks. Set up a system that doesn’t allow that to happen.
  8. Set metrics and review data to see what is working and find out why. If it isn’t working, adjust and re-try. If it still isn’t working, stop. If it is working, rinse and repeat.
  9. Be shameless in your promotion.

I recently heard a colleague and friend of mine, Alex Goldfayn proclaim, “Marketing is no place for modesty.” He is absolutely correct. If you provide a great value through your services or products, you should be telling the whole world. If you genuinely believe that you are improving the condition and lives of others, then not aggressively tooting your own horn is actually selfish. You have great value; believe in yourself first.

Bottom line – ditch the business plan and create a powerful marketing plan. A marketing plan that works well will ultimately blow away anything your business plan would have set as a goal.

Take a left at the next light. You have reached your destination…

Here is hoping all of you slide in under the tag in 2013!

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

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