: Entrepreneurs often live with the hope that if they build it, customers will come. But in today’s economy, it takes a lot more than hope to get people to purchase your products or services: New business-building practices are a must if you want to expand.
Another necessary element is a clear-cut plan for growth. But many entrepreneurs get obsessed with creating the perfect plan. Or they never get around to putting one together. Crafting a plan is necessary, quick, and effective.
And we can show you how to do it. The following seven steps should take you no more than four hours to complete–a small price to pay for a tremendous upside.
The result? A road map that will infuse new energy, enthusiasm, and vision into your company’s growth plans.
This article first appeared on www.entrepreneur.com.
Image by Photos8.com via Flickr.
A very successful e-newsletter entrepreneur has built his business around this mantra: 'Prospects buy when they trust your value is applicable to them and believe your company is stable.' This strong position allows him to constantly check up on the services and value he's providing his customers. Keep this statement in mind as we go through the rest of the seven steps, because internalizing this mantra is the key to a solid plan.
The last time you asked someone at a party what their company does, did you get a clear, concise response? Or did your eyes glaze over by the time they got to the end of their explanation? My guess is, it was probably the latter. Now imagine that same pitch being presented to prospects who don't have a glass of wine in their hands to distract them! It's not a pretty picture.
Knowing who you are and what gets you excited (and bores you to tears) will help you reach your goals. Nothing can derail a growth plan more than discomfort and procrastination--it's simply human nature to procrastinate over things that cause discomfort. And there are dozens of daily business requirements that every business owner detests. If you're finding yourself putting things off, it's time to start delegating
Mapping your capabilities with your target clients' needs is an excellent way for you to determine your service strategy. You'll find that while you may be perfectly skilled in many areas, you're going after customers who don't need your particular expertise.
When deciding on a marketing strategy, implement one that fits your personality and the customers you serve. For instance, if you're terrified of getting up in front of a crowd, don't schedule yourself to participate on a panel in the hopes of generating business. You'll derail your efforts if you don't perform well.
Up until now we've been in the planning mode, but now it's time to dig in and put it to work. Your action plan will also give you the map you can use to measure your progress
Establish goals that can be reviewed at three and six months. At incremental points within each three-month period, keep checking your plan to see if you're meeting your goals. If you find you're missing the target, ask why. Were the tools appropriate for your target customer? Did you integrate the strategy, or did you just focus on one of the tools?
This final step is really straightforward: Just do it: Complete the daily actions, and then do something extra to accelerate your success plan. If you approach your plan and get butterflies in your stomach, either get over it or substitute an action that you're comfortable with so you stay on course. Don't let unplanned tasks waste precious time that should be applied toward reaching your goal. And most of all-enjoy the process!
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.