Image

Business Planning Essentials

business planning3 Things Your Business Plan Must Have

Businesses of every type need a business plan. Don’t think you can skip by on this important step because you offer a service instead of a physical product. Every business can benefit from a business plan.

First Step, Focus.

      • When you create a business plan you need to focus on the reasons for the business:
    • Who do you want to serve?
    • What do you want to provide?
    • When do you want to start?
    • Where will you set up shop?
    • Why do you want to start such an endeavor?
    • How will you meld all these things together to create a prosperous business?

These are the primary reasons why you’re going into business and they should always be at the forefront of your mind when making decisions.

Something else to focus on is your big dream. How much money do you want to make over the next 5 years? Do you want to sell multiple products or have several locations? Everyone’s big dream will be different but you should write it down as part of the plan.

Second Step, A Plan.

Think of your business plan as a mountain. Your mission statement is at the base of the mountain while your big dream is at the peak. Everything in between is what you need to plan and these steps should also be incorporated into a business plan.

What products do you want to create? How often do you want to produce a product? How can you implement some passive income or affiliate income into your business? Are there any speaking engagements or online summit opportunities that will expand your reach and your followers? What can you add to your sales funnel for those not yet ready to commit?

Third Step, Action Steps.

This is where your planning steps are broken down into smaller, actionable steps. Instead of just saying I want to write a book, break the process down further. How much time can you dedicate each day to writing? Do you want to self-publish or find a publisher? You’ll need to hire an editor and someone to design the cover. These are actionable steps that can easily be crossed off your to do list once completed.

Don’t be thrown off here. You don’t need to plan 5 years’ worth of action steps at one time. The idea is to plan a year at a time, keeping your focus in mind, so that the action steps become a pathway or a blueprint to your big dreams.

If this seems like a daunting task, join me on my free webinar, Why You Need a Million Dollar Plan for a Million Dollar Business. We will discuss the importance of breaking down your tasks for more effective productivity as well as how to take ACTION, which is imperative to reach any goal.

Save your spot at this link REGISTER HERE

Business Goals First, Marketing Plan After

business goals before your marketing planIdentifying Your Business Goals First, Then Your Marketing Plan….

Before you get into marketing your business and creating your marketing plan, you need to identify your business goals. Although we take for granted that a business’s goal is to increase revenue, that’s not the end of the story and it impacts your marketing plan. There are many other types of goals companies strive to achieve. It is important that you identify your top goals prior to creating a marketing plan.  How do you market if you do not know what you are trying to achieve?  We use a simplified Strategic Planning Process for both marketing plans and strategic plans. 

Product/Service Creation

Some businesses are driven by the desire to offer excellent products or services that make life easier for all of us. Your business goal may be to create the most innovative products/services on the market. This is a wonderful goal because your products or services are at the heart of your business’s success. On the other hand, you might have these in place and that is not part of your current business growth plan.  Both are fine. You just need to be clear.

customer service as part of your marketing planCustomer Service

Your business’s goal may be to serve your customers and help them solve their problems. It may also be to lend help to the community or to strengthen the community of your customers. This is also an excellent choice because good customer service leads to more sales.
Customer Retention

Your goal may be to not only gain new customers and increase revenue, but to keep the customers you have. Businesses do this by creating a community for their customers and by remaining open to their feedback in order to improve their products or services.

Growth and Expansion

Maybe your business’s goal is to grow and expand, eventually moving into new markets and new enterprises. If this is the case, conducting market research to find new areas would be a major part of your overall strategy.  You need to be clear what markets you are entering. This market research will give you insights on how to market to this new area as well.

marketing planEfficiency

A major goal for your company may be to tighten up your processes. This might include challenging your salespeople to reach an ever higher sales ratio or streamlining your shipping in order to reach your customers more quickly. This was the primary goal for one company that we worked with.  The CEO wanted a “well-oiled machine”.  It is a great goal for growing your company as well. When you have clear operations and plans are outlined and in place, then you are ready to bring on new staff, grow and expand.

Changing the World

Some companies have as part of their vision to enable social change. Your goal might be to make the world a better place through the use of your products and services. This is a goal for many companies that produce environmentally-friendly products marketing planor work to streamline their operations so that they’re more ecological. Here at Compass Rose Consulting we achieve this through the work that we do with women entrepreneurs.  By supporting other programs for female entrepreneurs as a give back we continue to expand our impact locally, regionally and globally.

Increasing revenue and profit isn’t the only goal of most businesses. Look at your business currently and ask yourself what other goals you have. This will help you as you plan your marketing.

Learn more about our Marketing Plan Planning Session –>> CLICK HERE

Simple Strategic Planning

strategic planningStrategic planning should be fun, exciting and simple.

Our process is a simple strategic planning process that works.

Join other like minded business leaders to put together and refine your simple strategic plan.

Imagine…

A business where achieving the results you want and need is the natural outcome each year and every year is better than the last!

We work with business owners that have a great vision and passion for their business but just aren’t achieving the results that they need and want. We start with putting together a powerful and effective strategic plan.

Using Best Year Yet, the planning session is completed in just five or six hours, and voila — YOU have a plan that you can really USE in your business to change your results.

best year yetWhat is Best Year Yet?

Best Year Yet™ is a year-long planning and implementation process for actually achieving previously unattainable levels of business performance. It is the only system that begins with the planning session, but then monitors progress throughout the full year, holding people accountable for the goals they set for themselves.

Join us for this LIVE planning session that has helped thousands of individuals, sole proprietors, small business owners, work teams, and entire companies to take stock of their lives, to set goals and to achieve results beyond anything they’ve achieved before.

The Best Year Yet™ experience is designed to reach the core of how you think and perform, and to empower you to new levels of personal effectiveness and fulfillment.

The Women’s Business Circle provides resources and skill development sessions on marketing, operations, system development, operations development and documentation, management. At the core of the program is the Best Year Yet plan. You can join us for the planning session and then decide on the rest of the program!!

Why does The Best Year Yet™ work?

The Best Year Yet™ system translates strategic thinking into operational planning and individual and shared accountability.

Best Year Yet™ is a system for producing results that can help you reach previously unattainable levels of business performance. It is the only program that begins with a planning session and continues with monthly review sessions throughout the year to monitor progress and hold people accountable for achieving personal and business goals.

Who is Donna Price??

Donna Price, Founder and CEO of Compass Rose Consulting, LLC has been working with individuals and business leaders throughout her career. First, as an educator and leader in Non Profits and later as a business and marketing consultant.

Business leaders worldwide have found Donna’s expertise and leadership refreshing and inspiring. From her books to her programs, Donna provides leaders with the tools they need to build their businesses to success.

Donna Price, author of 3 different books and contributing author to several others, Donna shares her leadership expertise. Launching Your Dreams: Stop Day Dreaming and Live Your Vision — takes readers on a journey of inspiration — joining Donna on her cross-country bicycle trip and learning how she put it together in less than a year, with an international sponsor. Employee Coaching — shares Donna’s philosophy and strategies for coaching employees to succeed rather than a top down micro management approach to leadership. Yes! Marketing Works! — is the marketing guide to take your business from zero to a million.

Donna’s program Bizology.Biz: The Science of Building a Thriving Business — a membership program that has been revamped and reborn – is an incredible program for building thriving businesses. The program encompasses hours of training and templates on how to STRATEGICALLY market your business. Filled with tools and strategies, Bizology.Biz becomes the business leaders go to resource for anything and everything marketing!

Donna Price has been a student of marketing since 2003 and Compass Rose Consulting has evolved from its beginnings as a leadership development resource to add marketing strategy as a focus. Having fallen in love with marketing, Donna shows other business leaders how to put their marketing together so that it works for them instead of just draining their bank accounts. Marketing can be fun, once you learn it and see it working to grow your business.

Donna PriceDonna is an extraordinary mentor and business coach. She has been helping people achieve their goals for the last 30+ years. Her passion is in seeing the moments that people create their own “aha’s” and understanding. By gaining personal insight and ultimately movement to their dream and vision, Donna is inspired and her life’s passion is fulfilled. It’s not enough to have a vision; you have to live the vision. Donna Price has been a dreamer all her life. It’s when you take action that dreams move into your life. From her experiences as a dreamer and dream maker Donna inspires audiences to live intentionally and live their dream instead of daydreaming, create success and live in the flow.

Eventbrite - Raise the Bar --- Creating Your Best Year Yet

Do You Use Guerrilla Marketing Tactics in Your Marketing Plan?

Guerrilla Marketing Tactics Can Get Attention

Everyone these days are overwhelmed with marketing messages. Everywhere we go both online and off, we get a massive dose of aggressive marketing.  Marketing messages are coming at us from every direction.

How can you cut above all of this noise and get your message to your market?

Marketers have to think out of the box, be bold, creative and strategize new ways to get their marketing message out to masses.  The buzzword ‘guerrilla marketing’ is used to refer to these tactics.

So… What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerilla marketing means marketing that is unconventional. Jay Conrad Levinson, who coined the term, calls it, “The achievement of conventional goals (e.g. profit) using unconventional methods such as investing energy and ideas instead of money.”

It is intended to achieve maximum results for as little cost as possible. This makes it a great alternative for small businesses that are operating on a shoestring budget. A small business can’t pump the advertising dollars a big company has into a massive campaign, so it has to leverage its creativity.

There ARE  Risks With Guerrilla Marketing

This unconventional approach isn’t appropriate for all niches or industries. Part of the point of guerrilla marketing is to ruffle feathers, surprise people, and shake things up. In industries where security is a major issue, such as finance or insurance, it’s not such a good idea. Instead of subverting the paradigm, you could show your company to be untrustworthy.

However, for most businesses in retail, it’s a great way to pique curiosity and get people interested.

A Few Guerrilla Tactics — Let’s Take a Look.

There is no standard for guerrilla marketing since it thrives on creativity. But common methods include creating urban art, turning unused space into art, or making ads that are optical illusions. Some companies set up funny scenarios that are straight out of a hidden camera television show. For example, they might have live people in their window displays.

Other ideas include leaving interesting post-it notes or branded merchandise in public places such as cafes and bars. Humorous or eye-catching stickers can be printed cheaply and put in unexpected places. You can create flyers to hang around town that are in an interesting shape or particularly eye catching. Business cards can be made in wildly creative styles.

Free stuff is often part of guerrilla marketing. The offer of something valuable for free is always an attention grabber. Talk to other businesses and put together a package of free stuff to give away to potential customers.

Finally, a common guerrilla marketing tactic is to throw a party. There’s no promotion involved here. Just invite your customers to come and have a good time, thus building a stronger connection with your business.

The idea is to get media attention, so let people know. An effective strategy to boost your guerrilla marketing is to issue a press release each time you employ one of these tactics.

If you’re going to try guerrilla marketing, remember that the goal is to surprise and engage, not to insult, offend, annoy, or upset people. It should be done in a spirit of fun.

Learn more about our marketing planning workshops –>> CLICK HERE

What are you doing in your company that is a Guerrilla Marketing tactic?  Leave your great strategies below in the comments

Is Business Blogging Part of YOUR Marketing Plan

Why Business Blogging Should Be Part of Your Marketing Plan

Marketing plans come in all shapes and sizes. The right marketing plan for your business depends on many different factors. But one thing all businesses have in common is that they can benefit a great deal from business blogging.

Blogging is a tactic used in content marketing. When you write a blog, you publish a steady stream of fresh content. This content draws traffic to your site and earns new readers, while also building a relationship with the readers you have.

1. Business Blogging Is Simple but Effective

Many small businesses don’t want to blog because it’s ‘writing’ and you’re not a ‘writer.’ But blogging is extremely simple. This is why it makes a perfect element in an online marketing plan.

Blog posts can be as short as 300 words or even less, but generally I recommend going for 500 words if you can. They can include videos images, slide shows, and infographics. Each post can cover one simple topic and the writing doesn’t have to be magazine-grade. Write in a conversational tone like you’re talking to a friend and proofread so that there aren’t any grammar or spelling mistakes.

The way to blog headache-free is to set aside a little time each week to write and post. Carve out an hour or so to write something and post it. If you have a team member who can write well, delegate the task to them.

2. How to Get Ideas — LISTEN

The other trouble many people have when they start blogging is where to get ideas. Here are some simple places to get ideas for your blog posts:

  • Listen to what people are asking
  • Answer questions customers often ask
  • Teach readers how to do something simple step by step
  • Discuss news, current events or hot topics on other blogs
  • Answer questions from forums, Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers, social media or blog comments
  • Start by looking at popular keywords and write blog posts around them.

Keep an idea file. Spend some time brainstorming topics at first and then add to it whenever you get an idea. Whenever you need an idea, refer to this file and start writing.

3. Getting Your Idea onto “Paper”

There are many ways to share your idea on your blog.  Writing is of course the first.  Keep it simple. Create an outline of your major points. Write one paragraph about each point, add a few bullet points where appropriate and then add your intro and exit.

You can also create a video of your idea. Especially good for HOW TO type posts.  Embed the video right on your site. Creating a video can be simple. You can do a “talking head” video — you talking into the camera, or a simple screen capture video of you showing people HOW TO do something; or a screen capture of a slide show.  There are many possibilities.

Don’t let yourself get bogged down with the writing.  It is simpler than you think.

4. Working a Blog into Your Marketing Plan

Decide what topics your blog will cover and at what frequency you’ll write and post. If you add a blog to your website, you’ll boost your site’s SEO and give visitors more to do there. You can also use your blog’s analytics and its reader comments to learn more about your target market and its tastes.

5. You Can Also Add a Call to Action

You can offer more information via an e-book or video series or some other more extensive piece of content.  Then you have the opportunity to further engage with the visitor and share more valuable information.

Take my 5 Day Crash Course on Content Marketing for Your Business!




Identifying Your Business Goals

Increase Your Marketing Success With Business Goals

Before you get into marketing your business, you need to identify its business goals. Although we take for granted that a business’s goal is to increase revenue, that’s not the end of the story. There are many other types of goals companies strive to achieve.  We create a strategic plan as well as a marketing plan.  The marketing plan is based on the goals of the business.  If we market a service that is not part of our business strategy, then what is the point?  The business plan, strategic plan and marketing plan all need to be in alignment.

Product Creation

Some businesses are driven by the desire to offer excellent products that make life easier for all of us. Your business goal may be to create the most innovative products on the market. This is a wonderful goal because products are at the heart of any business’s success.  As you develop new products or services, you also want to create a marketing strategy that works with them.  A marketing plan is a constantly evolving document to accommodate the changes that occur within the business.

Customer Service

Your business’s goal may be to serve your customers and help them solve their problems. It may also be to lend help to the community or to strengthen the community of your customers. This is also an excellent choice because good customer service leads to more sales.

Customer Retention

Your goal may be to not only gain new customers and increase revenue, but to keep the customers you have. Businesses do this by creating a community for their customers and by remaining open to their feedback in order to improve their products or services.

Growth and Expansion

Maybe your business’s goal is to grow and expand, eventually moving into new markets and new enterprises. If this is the case, conducting market research to find new areas would be a major part of your overall strategy.

I find that the Internet is often a place that many businesses can expand to.  Most brick and mortar businesses do not think about creating revenue from the Internet. Yes, they think of new clients coming from the Internet or online advertising, but they don’t think about offering services directly on the Internet.  There are many ways that this can be achieved depending upon the business.

Efficiency

A major goal for your company may be to tighten up your processes. This might include challenging your salespeople to reach an ever higher sales ratio or streamlining your shipping in order to reach your customers more quickly.  One way that this can be achieved is with a goal but then regular accountability and engagement meetings.  Many, many businesses fail to check in with people on goals consistently.  When we use Best Year Yet™ with businesses, this monthly check-in is built in and what I see is an increase in productivity and follow-through on whatever the goal is.

Changing the World

Some companies have as part of their vision to enable social change. Your goal might be to make the world a better place through the use of your products and services. This is a goal for many companies that produce environmentally-friendly products or work to streamline their operations so that they’re more ecological.  There are several different models for changing the world or having a social impact.  Some businesses have a buy one/give one model, like Tom’s Shoes.  Others make a donation to a cause for each purchase or a percent of profits.  Others support mission trips.

Increasing revenue and profit isn’t the only goal of most businesses. Look at your business currently and ask yourself what other goals you have. This will help you as you plan your marketing.

Join me for the upcoming webinar Three Keys of Marketing Success to learn more about how to improve your marketing plan.

Why Business Blogging

Why Business Blogging Should Be Part of Your Marketing Plan??

There are some really good reasons to include business blogging in your marketing plan. It remains an important strategy that should not be ignored or neglected.business blogging

Marketing plans come in all shapes and sizes. The right marketing plan for your business depends on many different factors. But one thing all businesses have in common is that they can benefit a great deal from blogging.

Blogging is a tactic used in content marketing. When you write a blog, you publish a steady stream of fresh content. This content draws traffic to your site and earns new readers, while also building a relationship with the readers you have.

Business Blogging Is Simple but Effective

Many small businesses don’t want to blog because it’s ‘writing’ and you’re not a ‘writer.’ But blogging is extremely simple. This is why it makes a perfect element in an online marketing plan.

Blog posts can be as short as 300 words or even less, but generally I recommend 400 words. They can include videos and images. Each post can cover one simple topic and the writing doesn’t have to be magazine-grade. Write in a conversational tone like you’re talking to a friend and proofread so that there aren’t any grammar or spelling mistakes. The thing is that you ARE an expert in your field. You have knowledge and expertise that you can share.

The way to blog headache-free is to set aside a little time each week to write and post. Carve out an hour or so to write something and post it. If you have a team member who can write well, delegate the task to them.

How to Get Ideas for Business Blogging

The other trouble many people have when they start blogging is where to get ideas. Here are some simple places to get ideas for your blog posts:

 Answer questions customers often ask
 Teach readers how to do something simple step by step
 Discuss news, current events or hot topics on other blogs
 Answer questions from forums, Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers, social media or blog comments
 Start by looking at popular keywords and write blog posts around them.

Keep an idea file. Spend some time brainstorming topics at first and then add to it whenever you get an idea. Whenever you need an idea, refer to this file and start writing.

Working a Business Blog into Your Marketing Plan

Decide what topics your blog will cover and at what frequency you’ll write and post. If you add a blog to your website, you’ll boost your site’s SEO and give visitors more to do there. You can also use your blog’s analytics and its reader comments to learn more about your target market and its tastes.

Blogging can become the HUB of your marketing plan, bringing traffic back to your website.

Think about it.  If you have questions?? Reach out!!

Is there LOVE in Business or Education?

Could LOVE be the answer?

The end of the school year is here and I have been thinking a great deal about our education system and its impact on our children.  It is not all good.

I have been having so many thoughts about education and educators as we navigate the last days of the school year.

As a parent, we have spent a great deal of time working  with our daughters on their goals through education.  With a Master’s in Education myself, I have a bit of background.  My perspective definitely changed with children. But I think I always worked and managed with heart or good intent.  A wise young woman that worked with me at camp always said to “assume the best first.”

Yes, some wonderful things have happened for my children and those of our friends, but it has not been without challenge and some damage along the way.

I believe that education should be a ‘Do NO Harm’ profession.  But I know that historically and currently there are educators that do great harm to the children in their care.  As a parent, it is horrifying to watch and challenging to figure out how to prevent it, confront it and resolve it.

I’ve been reading a new (to me) author, Rivera Sun.  Her books each focus on non-violence, non-violent resistance and love; even radical love.  She has me thinking and reflecting about myself and how I interact with people and also how the schools are interacting with my children.  What if we all started from a place of radical love?  What would change?

I think about this in business as well.  What if we each were driving our businesses from a place of radical love?  How would that shift your business?  How would it change who you served, how you served them and even who was attracted to your business?  It seems like it could be really good.

How do we each communicate?  Do we start from a place of love or somewhere else?  I know for me, sometimes, I am reacting to something and it is emotionally charged.  But what if we each stop and breathe first, go to our heart and then start?  What changes in how we are doing our business or education? Does it change how we see things?

I did a webinar a month or so ago on heart felt marketing and I talk regularly with people about loving your marketing (a real challenge).  But what I am talking about right now, is going even further — loving ourselves, our business, our customers, our kids.  If we operate from a place of love, we can change the world.

So, how do you use LOVE in your conversations?  Do you start there?  Are you like me, and need to concentrate on this a bit more?

What would change in your life or business if you started from a place of love and stayed there throughout your interactions?

Thanks for reading my ramblings here today…. join the conversation about love — love in education, love in business.  Let me know YOUR thoughts.

Does Fear Get In Your Way?

On my to do list this week was a task to write three articles. BIG task. I got one done.

But one was on fear. Then in my in-box I receive an article about Fear. Don’t you love when that happens. I hadn’t even started my article, written on thing about FEAR and there it is.

The article — is from Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book: Big Movercoming fearagic — Creative Living Beyond Fear.

(here’s the article link: http://ideas.ted.com/fear-is-boring-and-other-tips-for-living-a-creative-life)
(here’s the book link: http://amzn.to/2rUBHaq)

To be honest, I battle fear. I help others battle fear and I battle it myself.

In the article she talks about fear being good. Which I totally agree with. Fear does keep each of us safe.

It is when the fear interferes with your goals that it becomes a problem.

Her next statement was new for me. I had never thought of fear in this way.

She says: “fear is the oldest, deepest and least subtle part of our emotional life, and so therefore it’s boring. It’s dull. It doesn’t have any nuance. So have a little conversation with your fear when it starts to get riled up when you’re trying to do something creative. ”

I never really thought of fear as dull. Wow. That totally reframes it. I had thought of fear as somewhat powerful.But, if we reframe and take control of it, knock it down to dull – tame it. Then it is no longer powerful. It can’t interfere.

She suggests talking to your fear, letting it know — its all okay! No need to be afraid.

I love this. I use this in my book: Launching Your Dreams — as a strategy for shifting the negative head talk we each endure, and I suppose some of that is fear, but I hadn’t really used it in that way.

How do you deal with fear in your world? How do you take control of it?

Remember — it is dull.

Transforming Business Results

business resultsChanging Your Business Results

Many business owners that I have worked with and be in touch with have been challenged to truly transform their business results and produce the growth that they truly want and perhaps need.  It is not uncommon — in fact many businesses fail as a result.

I started my business in 2003.  I came out of the non profit world and had spent most of my career working with people on achieving their goals.  Since the age of 14 I worked with people with disabilities and their families, primarily in group homes. But, I also worked in sheltered workshops, employment programs…etc.

As a staff member, I was always envious of the group that gathered to support an individual in their life plan and goals.  it just seemed incredible to have a group of people sitting together brainstorming how to achieve the goals that the individual was setting.  I always wondered what would that be like!?!

Well, here we are and mastermind groups and coaching groups are common and highly successful for their members.  They can transform your results.

When I first started my company, I connected with Best Year Yet™, a strategic planning process.  It was an incredible fit for me and my company and I became a provider of Best Year Yet™.

With Best Year Yet™ — you can create a strategic plan that is highly effective, powerful and alive. Well, let’s be honest.  It only works if YOU make it work.  But doing that is easy. I use Best Year Yet™ in my company, and with most of my clients.

This summer — I am offering a Best Year Yet™ planning workshop so that you can create YOUR plan and transform YOUR business results.

It is here in Northern New Jersey and is a full day.  CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS
(I will offer via online workshop if there is interest.)

What I love about groups coming together to create their strategic plan is that they learn from and benefit from others in the group. The power of that collaboration and inspiration is incredible. There is no way to really measure the true value of it.

One of the biggest challenges in achieving your vision and goals — is two fold:

<mindset and implementation>

I see people almost daily — that are getting in their own way.  Best Year Yet helps to change this mindset. It is the most challenging part of the workshop.
I love this part! Why?? Well, it is transformative.  When an individual figures out WHY they aren’t getting the results they WANT and NEED,
then you are able to shift your mindset and step out of your own way.  It is almost magical sometimes!!

The other challenge is implementation!!

Many, many people set goals and then FAIL to implement.

Again, creating a plan is not enough. BUT having an way to implement that plan, is crucial. Best Year Yet™ helps people to do just that. When you work your plan consistently, then you truly can transform your business results.

The combination is powerful.

I have a couple of articles on my site about strategic planning.

http://compassroseconsulting.com/category/strategic-planning

If you have any interest in coming to the summer planning session — join us:

Let me know what you are doing for strategic planning and your goal tracking.