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HOW TO SET UP A MONEYMAKING BUSINESS PLAN
EVEN SMALL ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD HAVE A SMALL
BUSINESS PLAN AND A PLANNING CENTER
As discussed in a previous post, there are three principal functions of a good online manager or general manager.
They are planning, directing and controlling the functions of his business, website, or organization.
Time spent establishing a plan for where you want to take the business or organization will pay dividends in the long and short run. Planning will also improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
It will assist management, no matter the size, in establishing a set of explicit objectives.
It should also help manager define and focus on the completion of the firm’s organizational goals.
It will sometimes reveal better, less costly alternatives for achieving organizational goals.
It also can provide management with the identification of organizational inconsistencies which needs correction among various parts and sectors of the firm.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE PLANNING PROCESS
The process of looking ahead(planning)guards against being
caught unprepared by significant external or internal changes,
which may have the potential to not only disrupt operations but can,
at times, totally shut down your ongoing operations.
Setting up a good basic sales plan as part of a final overall
business plan will many times force the planner(s) to analyze and review
current activities and find new and better ways to get things done.
It will also assist the planner(s) better pinpoint marketing and sales goals.
DAILY DECISIONS MADE BY A FIRM WITHIN THE STRUCTURE OF A
BUINESS PLAN ARE
EASIER TO MAKE AND ARE MORE CONSISTENT.
Whether your firm is a large or small corporation, partnership, or a sole proprietorship, you need to to start with a large or small business plan.
Don’t become overcome by the thought of creating a business plan.
Creating one is not easy, but, it also, is not rocket science or brain surgery.
For a business to succeed it is an absolute necessity for it to have a
business plan or at a minimum a small business plan.
A sound well-thought out business plan will improve managerial and operating control, and many other managerial functions.
It will also give the firm’s managers the ability to measure actual results against planned performance and locate troublesome operating or performance areas requiring immediate attention.
Planning will improve profitability and will be a road map to a course for the future.
The business plan is a written document that spells out, in considerable detail, where an entrepreneur’s current business is, and more importantly where it is going versus where the business person wants it to go.
This business plan is not the type of plan used to get a bank loan or to borrow money from a venture capitalist.
It is a directional type of plan.
Meaning it furnishes a roadmap about where your business is at present and where you want to take it in the future.
A good business plan can also be used as a strategic marketing tool.
Begin the process by starting with a well-detailed sample business plan.
Here be careful, set up your business plan so that it leads to the improved organizational performance, understanding and the better profitability that you desire.
We suggest you put in writing the kind of overall thorough document that will set a course of action and direction for a business or operation for 12 months or more.
If you or your business have an online presence, within your total business plan don’t forget to write an online social media plan.
SMALL BUSINESS SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN
Your business plan is probably the most exciting and dynamic document you’ve ever had the pleasure of creating.
It is a dynamic document and plan. At times it’s going to require the planner(s) to analyze and review it for performance or other operating issues and revise it.
Your business plan is your roadmap to online or offline profitability.
Once you’ve wrote a previous business plan which also included a general media business plan outline.
Periodically review the plan for possible duplications or other problems.
Review your business plan, if it’s more than two years old,
its shelf life, useful life, has probably expired.
It has expired because of the rapid new global economic changes taking place almost yearly requiring a whole new way of looking at the planning for the current business world, whether it be online or in a brick and mortar situation.
In my opinion, business assumptions made based on market
conditions prior to 2017, just aren’t a clear photograph of the
real world anymore, especially online.
Now that we’ve got our ideas for a sample of a business plan set up let’s begin to write a business plan.
Pull out a pad of paper and a pen or pencil, and let’s get started.
Let the thinking begin!
In a previous post about marketing to the social media, we stated that any marketing effort had to have a strong belief on the part of the marketer that the effort was going to be successful.
We did this, however, without defining what is meant by success.
Since there is no one definition of success begin your plan with your own definition of success for the plan’s set milestones and timetables.
Your definition should be what the end result is that satisfies you as being successful.
In other words, know and understand what your success goals are and
write them in your General Business plan, and your sales business plan.
BELOW ARE SOME WAYS TO DEFINE AND MEASURE SUCCESS
Below are ways to define business success for a year or any given set of time:
–NEW PRODUCT PENETRATION
–MEDIA COVERAGE AND ENDORSEMENTS
–NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS
–PERCENT GAIN PRODUCT SALES
–IMPROVE BRAND AND INDUSTRY CREDIBILITY
Other than the above, there are many other goal discovery and penetration possibilities you may think of or already have in mind.
Keep in mind that a success can, at times, be more than just money or a large income.
However, earning money is your reason for being in business.
Therefore, your plan should have a target amount of money you wish to earn over a set period of time.
LET’S BEGIN OUR BUSINESS PLANNING BY SETTING UP A BUSINESS PLANNING
First, on the planning agenda, write down your top three business goals for a set period of time.
Give them some measure of priority by grading these priorities from the most important to the least important.
Now sit back analyze and think about what you’re doing, for example, do these goals match your definition(s) of success?
Will your advertising and marketing efforts align with the prioritized sales business plan goals?
After an analysis and review, if there is misalignment between any of your goals and the milestones and parameters you established for success then there is need to retune the thinking on the subject.
In this phase of your plan you need to begin to set marketing goals, sales goals, set performance and operating goals and standards, and target organizational performance alignments and responsibilities.
Next, to the prioritized goals discussed above, write down the target customers you’ve named for each prioritized goal.
You may have to be precise and slim down your target audience for each goal.
For example, next to your first goal you should write the target audience for each e.g., (White females at a certain age,
locality, and other demographic information about this class of the population).
There may be cases where it will be necessary to have the same target audience for all the firm’s established goals.
This is OK.
After matching planned prioritized goals with a target audience, write down and conduct an inventory of everything you need for a full-blown marketing effort to this audience.
Establish a step-by-step plan here for your marketing effort.
For example, if your business is online, plan for a website,
direct mail efforts, print and radio ads, signage, social media
ads, email marketing, newsletters, speaking appearances,
press releases, and anything else that’ll contribute positively
to a firm’s bottom line.
Once the above steps are done ask yourself does your
comprehensive list of marketing avenues compiled above match
the necessary marketing effort needed to reach the total target audience
it is supposed to reach?
Check for disconnects!
Analyze and review you marketing and sales plans for disconnect issues.
Are your marketing efforts reaching or not reaching your particular audience for a goal and
are you communicating effectively with the audience for that particular goal?
Your message must be in agreement with the target audience for the right prioritized goal.
Although this post here is discussing a general business plan, our goal is to ultimately discuss
a social media business plan within our general business plan.
A business plan should link your target audience with the goals you have prioritized and
with social media marketing.
A good online business plan will send prospects to your website, and have them share your marketing efforts, press releases, other marketing efforts, respond to your podcasts, blog posts and finally purchase a product.
After you finish aligning your business goals according to your established and planned success priorities;
check you plan and decide whether your plan matched the goals to the right target audience; and,
once you’re satisfied that your plan leads to your current and future marketing efforts being to the right audience and goals, it is time now to look for gaps in your plan.
In your information GAP hunt find out such thins as;
—Are there any goals/audiences without adequate marketing effort?
— Are all or are too many marketing efforts bunched up around one goal?
–Does most of your marketing effort and cash support your top prioritized goal?
–Is most of your effort and cash being put into your second or third ranked goals
–Do you have targeted audiences who are not the focus of any money or marketing effort?
–Is one target audience getting all the marketing messages?
–Are second- or third goal audiences getting more marketing effort and messages than your top goal audience?
If your view of the above factors test positive all the way.
You’re on your way. What happens when you find disconnects?
For planning disconnects make a list of all marketing gaps you need to address and correct them.
Once gaps and disconnects are eliminated from the plan, you’re on your way to a new more effective business plan.
Remember, always put most of your marketing effort and cash into achieving your number one prioritized business goal.
A firm’s total business plan should consist of a lot more than a marketing plan.
It will have data regarding things such as a sales business plan, operating plan, financial plan, budget and standard operating procedure plan and etc.
These can come later, but initially, you’ll need at a minimum samples of your business and marketing plans.
We welcome all comments. If there are any question about anything in this post, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.