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Making a Successful Marketing Plan

Making Marketing Work FOR Your Business is KEY

Marketing isn’t simple. To do it right, it requires a great deal of planning. Small businesses without massive marketing budgets have to handle this aspect of their business themselves and for many this is no easy task. But creating a plan should not be neglected as the plan itself will help your business be more successful in its marketing.
This is why businesses create a marketing plan. A marketing plan is a detailed document that includes the data you need to make marketing decisions and set a course of action that you can implement immediately. Drafting a marketing plan takes a great deal of time and work, but here are a few questions to get you started.

Who Is Your Target Market?

If you’re already selling, take a look at your existing customers. Who are they? What do they like about your company’s products? Try to recall any positive feedback you’ve gotten from them. Naturally, if your brand resonates with these individuals, it will resonate with others like them.

If you don’t already have customers, defining your target market may take a bit more work. Look at companies that offer similar products to yours. Who is buying from them? Who could benefit from your products? Try doing some market research to glean some idea of who your target market is.

What Makes Your Products Unique?

There are bound to be other companies out there selling goods similar to yours. So, what makes yours different? Why would someone buy from you and not another company? Remember here that ‘products’ actually means your offering, which includes services as well. The term refers to whatever people buy from you.

If the unique qualities of your products don’t come to mind immediately, some work needs to be done. Do some soul searching and look for the strengths of your products. If, in the end, you find that your product unfortunately resembles basically everything else on the market, how can you change it to make it unique?

What Do You Want Your Marketing to Achieve?

Every business takes for granted that it needs to market, but why? The ‘why’ is critical. You need to identify exactly what you hope to achieve through your marketing because this will guide all of your efforts and help you choose which tactics are most appropriate. Is it new sales, new leads, new likes, new engagement? What is the ACTION you want people to take as a result of YOUR marketing?

Once you know who your target market is, what’s unique about your product or service, and what you want to get out of your marketing efforts, you’re ready to get started with your marketing plan.

Need more help with putting your action plan together?

Take a look at our MAPSS — Marketing Action Planning for Strategic Success program.

Donna Price is a speaker, trainer, author and business and marketing strategist. She founded her company, Compass Rose Consulting in 2003 after a 20+ year career in non-profit management and administration. Donna’s history is impressive. She goes beyond the world of work as an adventurer and brings bold living lessons to each of her presentations. Donna has a unique inspirational story – of cycling across the country and how you take wild ideas and make them happen. She is the author of several books including; Yes! Marketing Works, Launching Your Dreams and Employee Coaching. Donna Price works with business leaders, teams and individuals to get them moving, improve their bottom line results through effective strategy, leadership, marketing and communication.

Do YOU Have a Marketing Plan OR Are You JUST Winging It?

Are You Winging it? OR Do you have a solid marketing plan?


Do you have a solid business plan? Marketing plan? Strategic plan? Or are you winging it and hoping?

Creating a plan and sticking to it can improve your results. A plan becomes your blueprint for success. We most often see small businesses winging it, because business development is not their knowledge base. They are wonderful at their craft, but creating a plan and living that plan is not in their ‘wheel-house’.

Developing solid strategies and tracking those strategies gives you the real world information that you need to move your business forward in a predictable and reliable way.

This is especially true for your marketing. You need to have a Marketing Plan….

Marketing isn’t simple. To do it right, it requires a great deal of planning. Small businesses without massive marketing budgets have to handle this aspect of their business themselves or outsource in an affordable way. To do this effectively, either way it should be part of YOUR plan and not just a hope.

This is why businesses create a marketing plan. A marketing plan is a detailed document that includes the data you need to make marketing decisions and set a course of action that you can implement immediately. Drafting a marketing plan takes a great deal of time and work, but in the end, the benefits to having a plan are worth the effort that you have put into it.

Here are a few questions to get you started.

Who Is Your Target Market?

If you’re already selling, take a look at your existing customers. Who are they? What do they like about your company’s products? Try to recall any positive feedback you’ve gotten from them. Naturally, if your brand resonates with these individuals, it will resonate with others like them.

It sounds simple but so many business owners tell us that EVERYONE is their ideal customer or ANYONE is their ideal. Defining your true customers is an exercise that is worth your time. It directly IMPACTS your marketing strategies and tactics.

If you don’t already have customers, defining your target market may take a bit more work. Look at companies that offer similar products to yours. Who is buying from them? Who could benefit from your products? Try doing some market research to glean some idea of who your target market is.d

What Makes Your Products or Services Unique? Why You? How Do You Stand Out?

There are bound to be other companies out there selling goods or services similar to yours. So, what makes yours different? Why would someone buy from you and not another company? Think about it for yourself, why do you buy from one company instead of another? Is it the product or the customer service, the location? There is always something that causes the person to hit that BUY button.

If the unique qualities of your products don’t come to mind immediately, some work needs to be done. Do some soul searching and look for the strengths of your products. Write down everything that you love about your product/service. Include what you have heard from your customers.

If, in the end, you find that your product unfortunately resembles basically everything else on the market, how can you differentiate it to make it unique?

What Do You Want Your Marketing to Achieve?

Every business takes for granted that it needs to market, but why? The ‘why’ is critical. You need to identify exactly what you hope to achieve through your marketing because this will guide all of your efforts and help you choose which tactics are most appropriate.

Are you trying to build your email list?
Do you want buyers directly on your website?
Is your marketing for new leads?
WHAT is a critical question.

Once you know who your target market is, what’s unique about your product or service, and what you want to get out of your marketing efforts, you’re ready to get started with your marketing plan.

Winging it in business is most often not a good strategy. Spending money on marketing with HOPE that it will work is a waste of money. If you are like most small businesses you do not have money to waste.

Learn more about creating your marketing plan with our new report….3 Keys to Marketing Success

  • How to guarantee that all your marketing is focused in the right direction….and you’re NOT wasting valuable time
  • What 4 things every marketing professional thinks about BEFORE doing anything
  • The most important part of any marketing efforts, no matter how big or small your company is
  • The action steps you can take RIGHT NOW to make your marketing pay off

Check it out here: CompassRoseConsulting.com/3Keys

Donna Price is a speaker, trainer, author and business and marketing strategist. She founded her company, Compass Rose Consulting in 2003 after a 20+ year career in non-profit management and administration. Donna’s history is impressive. She goes beyond the world of work as an adventurer and brings bold living lessons to each of her presentations. Donna has a unique inspirational story – of cycling across the country and how you take wild ideas and make them happen. She is the author of several books including; Yes! Marketing Works, Launching Your Dreams and Employee Coaching. Donna Price works with business leaders, teams and individuals to get them moving, improve their bottom line results through effective strategy, leadership, marketing and communication.

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

Donna Price is a speaker, trainer, author and business and marketing strategist. She founded her company, Compass Rose Consulting in 2003 after a 20+ year career in non-profit management and administration. Donna’s history is impressive. She goes beyond the world of work as an adventurer and brings bold living lessons to each of her presentations. Donna has a unique inspirational story – of cycling across the country and how you take wild ideas and make them happen. She is the author of several books including; Yes! Marketing Works, Launching Your Dreams and Employee Coaching. Donna Price works with business leaders, teams and individuals to get them moving, improve their bottom line results through effective strategy, leadership, marketing and communication.

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.

Donna Price is a speaker, trainer, author and business and marketing strategist. She founded her company, Compass Rose Consulting in 2003 after a 20+ year career in non-profit management and administration. Donna’s history is impressive. She goes beyond the world of work as an adventurer and brings bold living lessons to each of her presentations. Donna has a unique inspirational story – of cycling across the country and how you take wild ideas and make them happen. She is the author of several books including; Yes! Marketing Works, Launching Your Dreams and Employee Coaching. Donna Price works with business leaders, teams and individuals to get them moving, improve their bottom line results through effective strategy, leadership, marketing and communication.

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.

Donna Price is a speaker, trainer, author and business and marketing strategist. She founded her company, Compass Rose Consulting in 2003 after a 20+ year career in non-profit management and administration. Donna’s history is impressive. She goes beyond the world of work as an adventurer and brings bold living lessons to each of her presentations. Donna has a unique inspirational story – of cycling across the country and how you take wild ideas and make them happen. She is the author of several books including; Yes! Marketing Works, Launching Your Dreams and Employee Coaching. Donna Price works with business leaders, teams and individuals to get them moving, improve their bottom line results through effective strategy, leadership, marketing and communication.

Leading To Your Values

values alignmentValues Alignment

As a leader, the values of the organization need to be a focus.  When you lead to your values, then you are walking your talk, practicing what you preach, and living those values.

Doing a periodic values check is important. Are we in alignment with the values of the organization?  Do the values we have outlined still fit the organization? And, what do we need to do to be in alignment with the values of the organization?

Here at Compass Rose Consulting, we just recently been looking at our own values. But values alignment is something that has been important to me for a long time. It was included in my first business development program: Business Builders Intensive and is still a part of Bizology.Biz.  It is important to look at.

When you are out of alignment with your values — your staff notice and your customers notice.   Something doesn’t feel right. They know it and it impacts them.

Our alignment evaluation looks at:

What is the value? Name it:

How is it practiced across the organization?
Operations?
Products?
Marketing?
Leadership?
Staffing?
HR?
etc.

For instance, I worked with an organization that worked with youth and taught that you needed to get a college education so that you would be fairly paid. And we hired people with college degrees to work with the youth. BUT, we did not pay a fair wage for the work done.  The values were out of alignment with the practice.

Take a look at your values and how they are working in your business. Is there something that you need to shift or change?  Is there a way to practice them better?

Leave me your thoughts below and let me know how your business is doing.

Donna Price is a speaker, trainer, author and business and marketing strategist. She founded her company, Compass Rose Consulting in 2003 after a 20+ year career in non-profit management and administration. Donna’s history is impressive. She goes beyond the world of work as an adventurer and brings bold living lessons to each of her presentations. Donna has a unique inspirational story – of cycling across the country and how you take wild ideas and make them happen. She is the author of several books including; Yes! Marketing Works, Launching Your Dreams and Employee Coaching. Donna Price works with business leaders, teams and individuals to get them moving, improve their bottom line results through effective strategy, leadership, marketing and communication.

Negative Customer Reviews: Avoid These Deadly Mistakes

Deadly mistakes you want to avoid when handling negative customer reviews

No one, no small business owner wants to see negative customer reviews. They can be so totally disheartening, annoying and quite shocking.  If you can take a step back they can also provide you with some honest feedback about areas of your business that you may be blind to. This isn’t always the case but important to take a look and be honest with yourself.

Online reviews are here to stay so it’s best to know how to handle them correctly and how not to handle them.

Here are some common mistakes business owners make in handling negative customer reviews

1. Don’t Get Emotional

One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is to take negative reviews extremely personally. While negative reviews can be hurtful, it’s important not to get swept away into an emotional state of depression, anger, self-pity or hopelessness. If you have a few negative reviews amidst a lot of other positive ones, realize that these are just the opinions of a minority. Also understand that people need to air their grievances and possibly found the easiest way to do it was online. By having a sober and objective view about negative publicity, you will be able to better tackle the problem in a calm, organized and respectable manner than if you are on an emotional roller-coaster.

2. Don’t Fail To Research The Complaint

KNOWLEDGE IS KEY: One of the key weapons in dealing with negative reviews is having an arsenal of factual information about the business transaction that resulted in the negative publicity. However it’s easy to get impulsive and immediately respond to a negative review without checking your facts. This can only lead to false assumptions and further public embarrassment as you will come across as a business that doesn’t know what it is talking about.

Getting your facts right is also critical in knowing whether the negative review was accurate or inaccurate.

  • Were your employees really rude to that customer?
  • Did that package go to the wrong shipping address?

If your facts reveal your business messed up, you will need to apologize and rectify the situation and if the client was the problems, you can still approach them with a mind to helping them see your side of the story.

3. DON’T Be Defensive

Another big mistake is being overly defensive and seeking to pass blame to everyone but your business. One of the marks of being defensive is getting involved in a back and forth online shouting match with your customers. This is definitely not the way to go because first of all, you have an online audience witnessing your tirade and secondly everyone expects your business to be professional and take the high ground.

As you engage, maintain a respectful, truthful and objective approach as this will most likely win over your negative reviewer and other online users

4. Don’t Ignore The Review

Take your head out of the sand!!

Just as bad as being defensive, is being flippant and ignoring negative reviews. Every negative review is worth taking a look at and worth rectifying to the best of your ability as a business owner. By burying your head in the sand and ignoring what people are saying, you are only setting up yourself for a major storm ahead. It’s always best to nip bad publicity in the bud and save yourself a lot of trouble and money down the road.

As I said, customer reviews are here to stay.  It is important to be on top of them.  The good and the bad!

crconlinemonitor3Check out our online monitoring service — we monitor your reviews, we help you generate new reviews and we help you handle the good, bad and the ugly!!

www.MeetWithDonna.com

Donna Price is a speaker, trainer, author and business and marketing strategist. She founded her company, Compass Rose Consulting in 2003 after a 20+ year career in non-profit management and administration. Donna’s history is impressive. She goes beyond the world of work as an adventurer and brings bold living lessons to each of her presentations. Donna has a unique inspirational story – of cycling across the country and how you take wild ideas and make them happen. She is the author of several books including; Yes! Marketing Works, Launching Your Dreams and Employee Coaching. Donna Price works with business leaders, teams and individuals to get them moving, improve their bottom line results through effective strategy, leadership, marketing and communication.

Time Management

Time is your most valuable resource, in fact it is more valuable than gold or diamonds. Learn strategies from Business Success Coach, Donna Price, on using effective time strategies. Learn more at: www.bizology.biz

Donna Price is a speaker, trainer, author and business and marketing strategist. She founded her company, Compass Rose Consulting in 2003 after a 20+ year career in non-profit management and administration. Donna’s history is impressive. She goes beyond the world of work as an adventurer and brings bold living lessons to each of her presentations. Donna has a unique inspirational story – of cycling across the country and how you take wild ideas and make them happen. She is the author of several books including; Yes! Marketing Works, Launching Your Dreams and Employee Coaching. Donna Price works with business leaders, teams and individuals to get them moving, improve their bottom line results through effective strategy, leadership, marketing and communication.

Press Releases

Business Success Coach, Donna Price, shares her Bizology.Biz Tip of the Day. Today: Press Releases.

Donna Price is a speaker, trainer, author and business and marketing strategist. She founded her company, Compass Rose Consulting in 2003 after a 20+ year career in non-profit management and administration. Donna’s history is impressive. She goes beyond the world of work as an adventurer and brings bold living lessons to each of her presentations. Donna has a unique inspirational story – of cycling across the country and how you take wild ideas and make them happen. She is the author of several books including; Yes! Marketing Works, Launching Your Dreams and Employee Coaching. Donna Price works with business leaders, teams and individuals to get them moving, improve their bottom line results through effective strategy, leadership, marketing and communication.

Your Vision Drives Your Success

Bizology.Biz Tip today is all about creating your compelling vision for success. www.bizology.biz

Donna Price is a speaker, trainer, author and business and marketing strategist. She founded her company, Compass Rose Consulting in 2003 after a 20+ year career in non-profit management and administration. Donna’s history is impressive. She goes beyond the world of work as an adventurer and brings bold living lessons to each of her presentations. Donna has a unique inspirational story – of cycling across the country and how you take wild ideas and make them happen. She is the author of several books including; Yes! Marketing Works, Launching Your Dreams and Employee Coaching. Donna Price works with business leaders, teams and individuals to get them moving, improve their bottom line results through effective strategy, leadership, marketing and communication.