Don’t Dive in Without a Plan!

Don't dive in without a plan!

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

Ben Franklin said it first and it still holds true for every business. You cannot dive in with out a plan!

It’s like taking a road trip – having a plan to guide you makes sense.

11 years ago this week I embarked on a cross-country road trip to relocate from Florida to Arizona. I loaded myself, my stuff and 2 cats into my Kia Rio Cinco hatchback and hit the road. 1st day – Palm Bay, FL to New Orleans, LA; 2nd leg: New Orleans to San Antonio, TX; 3rd leg: San Antonio to Las Cruces, NM; Last leg: Las Cruces to Phoenix. I had to plan it out so I could find pet-friendly hotels, motels or B&Bs.

SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goalsMy goal was to get to Phoenix in 4 days. It was a SMART goal. And I made it. Had I not planned ahead, I would have wasted tons of time looking for a motel that had vacancy and accepted animals.

Well, in business, you must have a Business Plan!

And it can’t be just in your head! Writing it down makes it real.

Sure you can get templates for a Business Plan at organizations like SCORE, and that’s a good place to start. But it’s actually hard to do it all by yourself. You’re too attached to your idea or business. Part of the Business Plan is the Marketing plan and the Social Media Strategic and Tactical Plans are part of the overall Marketing Plan.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the bigger picture.

Especially the forecasting. If you’re looking to get funding from the SBA, a bank or an investor, you need a detailed plan. How are you going to sell your product or service? How are you going to make money? What are your start-up costs? How long before you are profitable?

If you’ve been in business for more than a year, you should review and update your business plan every year. Business models change. You get new product or service ideas. You want to expand. You need to hire more staff. All that needs to be written down.

Even just planning your social media marketing. If you try to do it without a plan you’ll be lost and you’ll say, “social media doesn’t work!” It works when you’ve got good strategic and tactical plans. And they need to be adjusted each month based on your data: analytics, insights, demographics, website statistics, etc. That will tell you what’s working and not working.

If you keep doing something that’s not working expecting different results — well, that’s definition of insanity.

So, get help! Take a class, get a mentor, hire a coach, hire an expert. It is a wise investment.

We’re here to help. Let us know how.

Download the free Define Your Target Market Workbook – it’ll help you get started.

Click here to schedule a free 15-minute phone consult and analysis of your current marketing efforts.