While the vast majority of advisors, consultants, and entrepreneurs want more ideal clients and revenue, most don’t know how to create a business plan.
Too often entrepreneurs and advisors believe a good business plan needs to be 50 pages long. That is not the case – it simply needs to contain three critical components.
1. Create a Solid Foundation
The first insight on how to create your business plan requires that you understand the importance of your inner game (your foundation). A key element of your inner game plan is your purpose, “why you are doing what you are doing.” This includes more than just money. Your Why needs to motivate and inspire you over the long haul. When you are clear on your Why, nothing can deter you from achieving your goals. You also want to identify your vision for your future and your 1, 5, and 10 year goals. Other aspects of your inner game plan include drafting a compelling mission statement, elevating your Worth Barometer, setting your affirmative goals, identifying your high value daily activities, setting business and personal objectives, and creating your peak performance schedule.
Creating a successful inner game plan is vital to success and the most commonly missed element in a marketing plan. Don’t undercut your success by skipping this crucial step.
2. Develop a Winning Game Plan
The first step is to describe the following:
Your ideal life and business.
Your revenue and the sources.
Your ideal client.
The services and products you offer to your clients.
The process to attract your ideal client.
The flow of your business from initial contact to client for life.
The process to acquire warm introductions.
Your Game Plan includes your niche market, research process, and lead generation strategies. Begin by identifying your ideal client. Also determine what your ideal client wants and how to best deliver your product or service.
When identifying the niche market(s) you plan to serve, conduct research to confirm your strategy aligns with the ideal client you want to serve. Your research will tell you what they want, how they want it delivered, and what they are willing to pay for it. When you know everything about your niche market, you won’t spend valuable time and money trying to figure out if what you assumed to be true actually is. When you’re clear on your ideal clients goals and desires, they will perceive the value and gladly pay your fees.
As you conduct your research, ask open ended questions to identify your target market’s biggest challenges. Find out what clubs, organizations, and churches they attend. Ask them what publications they read, radio stations they listen to, and television shows they watch. By the time you complete your research, you will know everything you need to know to ensure the success of your plan.
Your research also provides insight on which lead generation strategies will best attract your ideal client. The most effective lead generation options are warm methods that include either connector or expert strategies. Examples include relationship and referral marketing, feeder workshops, social media, and public relations, to name a few.
3. Consistently Execute Your Plan
Once you have a foundation, understand who you want to serve, and how to best attract them into your funnel, you are ready to take action.
Your outer game plan begins by identifying your baseline practice. You want to get clear on your baseline strategies for lead generation, follow up, as well as relationship marketing and referral marketing. Your referral strategies ideally include a plan to get referrals from existing clients, centers of influence, and reciprocal referral partners.
Identify what is working and producing measurable results and then commit to consistently completing those tasks. Select a couple of strategies you can incorporate into your plan that won’t require a significant amount of additional time or money. For example, if you are conducting client events and leveraging reciprocal referral partners, consider adding Lunch-n-Learns to your venue.
Continue to measure your results. This entails identifying your annual revenue goal, the number of ideal clients you want to serve, and the income you need to generate from each client. It also means tracking your numbers on a daily basis so you know January 10th if you are not meeting your numbers. Most people wait until year end (which is 12 months too late) to determine they are not meeting their annual objectives.
Work your plan. The key to success is consistent, massive action. It requires that you understand that the journey to success is mundane and even boring at times. It’s like hiking Mount Kilimanjaro. Steady, consistent action gets you to your desired destination.
Now you need to create your plan and make the execution of your plan a priority.
If you don’t have a plan or your plan is not producing your desired results, begin here: