A couple of years ago I worked with a small business that was very good at what it did. I’d like to think it was a bit of a dark horse or a best kept secret in it’s industry.
But what it wasn’t good at was planning. It was terrible at planning it’s business.
The figures looked good on the face of it. They were making sales, profit and growing. Daft thing was, that when they had planned something properly they were amazing. When they let things slide, slip and just rumble along, guess what?
Their sales, profit and growth slid, slipped and barely grumbled let alone rumbled.
So the first key thing we did working together as business coach and clients, was to sit down and work out how they were going to plan. Now you don’t just sit down and write a plan, you have to kind of work backwards.
Let’s say it’s your Birthday and it’s one of those special ones. And for whatever reason you want a huge party with all your friends, family, workmates and loved ones there. So how do you go about it?
Firstly pick the date, time and venue.
Secondly, Twelve weeks out, send out the invites.
Now between these two points you can have updates, conversations and online chat about the event and build anticipation for what can only be described as the biggest p### up of the year. Plan activities from -11 weeks, slowly building up to daily promotion and activity at -1 week.
Why do I choose 12 weeks? Well I believe, in a small business working three months ahead gives you time to be nimble if things change; gives you enough time in amongst the day-to-day things that need to be done, to work on the event; gives you opportunity to slowly build anticipation for the event instead of you banging on about it 24/7 a week prior to it and most importantly gives you the best chance of landing the event in the way you want, how you want and with the people you want.
Now take this birthday and do it every month, with a different venue, at a different time and with different people. That’s how you plan your business. You must be planning at least a quarter ahead for these reasons…
-There is little or no wasted time and money doing and promoting things last minute
-You give yourself time to make, build, provide and market something well, not half-arsed
-You keep your customers, clients and community interested without banging them over the head
-You can do more of what works and change what doesn’t without it looking like a last minute panic
-You’ll get faster and smarter in your decision making
So as April comes to an end, I believe the month of August needs business planning…so get on it!
Your Best Kept Business Secret Coach, Making No Secret off Success
PS The business I worked with? Over 250% up in their first year of planning