I read a lot of books. Some fiction. Mostly non-fiction. One of my favorites is by Larry Winget. He calls himself the "Pitbull of Personal Development". The title of his latest book reveals his character: Shut Up, Stop Whining & Get a Life. He gives advice without mincing words and I love it.
In one chapter, Larry talks about getting more of what you want from life. He tells us to change the results we get from our lives we need to change our thoughts, our words and our actions.
Of course Larry´s in good company here. Great thinkers throughout the ages have said the same thing for centuries. But it´s still good advice. It´s also good advice for us as we grow our businesses.
Too often small businesses plod along operating the same way for years. Things never get much better and the owner wonders why.
It´s easy to fall into this trap.
We get busy with a million things we need to do to "keep the doors open". There’s never a shortage of fires to be put out when you run a small business. So, taking time to look ahead into the future or step back and take a bird’s eye view of things falls to a low-priority spot on our extensive "To Do List".
When it comes to marketing, it’s even more important to not get stuck in a rut. I’ve seen too many people complain that they don’t have enough customers but they’ve never tried anything different as they promote their business. They do the same old things year after year and wonder why things never get better.
Remember what Benjamin Franklin said:
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
Now is the time to start thinking differently. It’s a brand new year. No excuses. We all have a nice fresh start so why not get creative and find new ways to get more business this year.
Here’s a way to make this year better than the last one. Get a blank piece of paper and write down these questions:
1.How much revenue do I want this year?
2.How much will come from new customers?
3.How much will come from existing customers?
4.What messages do I need to send to new people to do business with me?
5.How do I reach them with these messages?
6.What messages do I need to send to get my existing customers to do MORE business with me?
7.How do I reach them with these messages?
8.How much time and money am I will to spend to make this happen?
Over the next day or two, think about these and then write your answers to them. Use as much paper as you need to, just make sure you formulate some answers and commit them to paper.
You now have your 2006 Marketing Plan!
The next step is to commit time every week (preferably every DAY) to work your plan. Take your answers and flesh them out. Fill in the blanks. Figure out what actions you need to take and then do it!
Over the next few months we will revisit this topic. For now, get started on it and please let me know how you’re doing.
Make it great 2006!