Showing posts with label business plan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label business plan. Show all posts

Friday, January 1, 2016

We Are All Leaders of the New Year

We are all leaders. We choose to take lead of some, if not hopefully every, aspect of our lives. And although each of us is completely accountable for our individual actions, our actions ultimately serve the greater good. 

So this year, and every year . . . 

Make your interactions the most they can be. Instead of just meeting someone new or rekindling an existing relationship, find each and every way you can work together to make a difference. 

Read books, articles, & blogs that focus on innovation that matters. Not innovation that only serves to boost you, your brand, or even your industry, but rather innovation that makes a difference for human progress. 

Write. I know this is a tough one for some. Heck, it's tough for me. But you don't have to call yourself a writer to write. Just write, and I think you might be surprised by what comes out. 

By the end of this new year, we want look forward into the next, not backward, and realize that our choices matter. Because we only grow when each of us has recognized that leadership is a choice, not a fate.

How will you lead this year? What difference will you make? 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Don't Be A Tool, Be A Resource


With all the tools we have at our disposal, the greatest one lies just behind your eyes and between your ears. Your thinking self. Your mind. Your mind provides you with the ability to transform thought into memory, and long term memories into constant resources.

Taking this all a step further, we're not only resources to ourselves but to others as well. Our ability to think interpersonally helps drive us to be all we can be. We weave ourselves into the tapestry of our lives and our business. 

In business though, it's not enough to want it, you have to sell it. You have to ask:  Am I a tool or am I a resource? Am I acting for the sake of what somebody wants or expects, as quickly and long forgotten as a unitasker, or am I the resource:  the person always remembered for contributions to peers, to the industry, and ultimately, to the world-at-large.

Be a resource for your peers.


Helping them understand a different point of view, helps everyone. And since not everyone learns the same way, read, write, & explore new ways to envision the world around you. 

Be a resource for your business plan.

Walking the straight and narrow is a helluva lot easier than making waves, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't splash around. Take an innovative approach to your business model.


Be a resource for your customers and clients.

Today's customer may want a quick fix, but that's not all they want. They want to know more. They want to be more. They want to inspire and be inspired. And since you're the customer too, help others be the game changer you want to be.

Be a resource for your industry.

Profit keeps the business model alive. Given. But when you put money first, you've burdened the industry with the chore of ignoring you for fear you're always trying to sell something. When, in fact, all you're trying to do is be the change you want to see in the world.

Be a resource for the World.

We live, every moment, with each other. And at the end of the day, we can sell for the sake of profit or we can sell whatever makes the world a better place to live in, now and in the future. Reinvent sales and change the story.

Be a part of the story. It's your story. And whether you choose to or not, it doesn't matter because you're already a part of the world around you. Be yourself, but be the best version of yourself. Ready. Set. Go.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Where Does Marketing Begin?




Whether you are a solopreneur, a start-up team with a new innovative concept, an existing business looking to revamp its business model, or an industry specific non-profit organization:


Marketing begins with the individual. Marketing is as much about the individual as it is about the collective whole. It all begins with ownership and executive leadership and touches every staff person, subcontractor, supplier, and, ultimately, customer.


Marketing requires planning. No matter the size of the business or organization, having a Marketing Plan is just as critical as a Business Plan. It is a supplemental piece that is a tool for monitoring & measuring Marketing both internally and externally.


Having a separate Social Media Marketing Plan can be a good supplemental component of the Marketing Plan.


Marketing weaves itself throughout every business, market, & industry. From Advertising & Business Development through Sales & Customer Service, Marketing plays a huge part of business growth. It touches each and every employee, customer, and business relation with satisfaction at the root of success.


Marketing is a process of Continuous Improvement. Just as a Business Plan sets long term goals that takes into consideration our ever-evolving world, so must the Marketing Strategies. It’s not enough to adopt in business, you have to adapt.


Do you want to be seen (or have your business seen) as an innovator, an adopter, or a laggard. This will impact your business growth as you are viewed through the lens of the customer’s, employee’s, and public’s perception.


The Takeaway: Marketing is responsible for breathing life and changing the direction of how every person, business, and organization grows.


The impact of technology and innovation changes too rapidly for anyone to boast a solid solution to Marketing know-how. The best anyone can offer for marketing solutions guidance is an outline of where marketing is today and, more importantly, to encourage you to always ask:

Where is marketing going tomorrow?

Friday, July 5, 2013

The First Rule of Marketing Is...

Unlike Fight Club, the first rule of Social Media is:

You do talk about marketing.

The second rule of Social Media is:

You DO talk about marketing!

She, he, I . . . no matter what your pronoun may be, Social Media revolves around one core concept: interpersonal communication.

From the moment it became a mainstream, daily focus, Social Media opened a doorway to how we interact online. It's about sharing your thoughts, opinions, and experiences on an interpersonal level, personally and even professionally. Social Media has become the 21st century poster child for defining who you are, who you're connected with, and why anyone would want to connect with you.

Add the word Marketing at the end of "Social Media" and suddenly things becomes a lot more volatile. Whether it's a retail giant channeling their latest holiday sale, a world recognized non-profit looking for your donation, or a professional organization looking to gain your membership, Social Media Marketing is the underground advertising and marketing syndicate fighting for your loyalty; because when it comes to the marketable actions of Social Media for businesses and organizations, it's not about who they know, it's about who you know and how they can reach out to your contacts.

The more people any one particular person is connected with, the more potential that viral or word of mouth marketing will be operating at it's finest. This assumes that the business or organization practicing Social Media Marketing has implemented a marketing plan and a marketing management person or team to facilitate the effort. The more you and I, as Social Media users, interact with said businesses' and organizations' established marketing plans, the more opportunities that those businesses or organizations stand to gain grows exponentially.

Additionally, most brand recognized Social Media platforms have, at least, some simple analytical tools. These tools measure Social Media Marketing efforts with specific outreach information, but there are other, and in some cases better, third party resources. In order for businesses and organizations to grow through effective Social Media Marketing, integrating these tools into the Marketing Plan is essential.

Not sure what Marketing tools and resources you might want to integrate into your business' or organization's efforts? Maybe it's time to ask.

What Social Media Marketing tools and resources do you find most useful to measure your marketing success?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Marketing: The Common Thread of Every Business Tapestry

From Advertising & Business Development through Sales & Customer Service, Marketing plays a huge part of business growth. It is an integrative thread woven in and out of the overall business model. It links together information that can be reviewed, assessed, and evaluated to determine future growth strategies.

Marketing is as much about the individual as it is about the collective whole. It touches every staff person, subcontractor, vendor / supplier, and customer. The public perception of your business is defined by the interactive color tapestry that bleeds bright with each momentous achievement and can fade just as easily with each misstep.

Every threaded needle starts somewhere. For Marketing, it all begins with ownership and executive leadership. An owner is responsible for the size & scope of the tapestry and the breadth of colors that a business projects. Even the smallest business can shine as bright as a corporation when a leader weaves a design people like.

The next interwoven piece is Internal Marketing. Internal Marketing essentially is the process of marketing a business' mission and vision to all of its employees in order to improve morale, core competencies, and, ultimately, customer relations. This involves everyone, from office administration through sales & service personnel. The mantra of effective Internal Marketing is: support the staff that supports the business and business will grow.

Finally, the Marketing thread weaves it's internal formulated pattern through the various arms of your Business Model that touch each customer, business relation, and the general public. These might include:
  • Business Development
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations / Publicity
  • Sales
  • Customer Service
Each of these business components can change the overall business tapestry. When one or more is stained or frayed, changes will be needed. Since Marketing is the common thread of business, you can change the color or direction of the tapestry by taking away what works and what doesn't. The marketing thread is responsible for breathing life, adding color, and changing the direction of how every business grows.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Business Development: The Bridge Between Marketing & Sales

How do you define Business Development?

Whenever I talk or write about Business Development with small (or even medium sized) business owners and representatives, they frequently ask: what is business development? It's amazing to me how many business folks, from owners to managers to sales & marketing representatives, have varying opinions on what it is and what it means.

The term has been explored by the always insightful marketing guru, Seth Godin, and even Forbes over the last few years, but even they refer to it as business puzzle yet to be fully realized. Perhaps it's because Business Development is a relatively newer term. Or maybe it's that there are few books or college courses that even address what it can mean to any business in any given market or industry. What is certain is that Business Development has moved beyond just being the latest buzz term. It has planted itself firmly in Marketing efforts, Sales Cycles and, ultimately, Business Plans regardless of the unsolved mystery of what it really means.

In it it's simplest form, Business Development is the bridge between Marketing & Sales. Most of this transition has been made easier with our online communications and especially CRM (Customer Relationship Management) resources. With CRMs - even the free options - Sales representatives can record their activities as leads migrate from traceable Marketing & Advertising efforts.

It's not enough just to record your Marketing & Sales efforts. Businesses, large and small, have to monitor their Business Development activities, analyze the data, and provide reports with meaningful information for Continuous Improvement (another fashionable buzz term.) Continuous Improvement is the underlying link between creating improved customer relations, employee satisfaction and work habits, and Business & Marketing Plan development. Or in simpler terms, Business Development on the front end and continuous improvement on the back end.

Implementing Business Development strategies is a key to maintaining an effective revenue. It is the gateway transitional element carried forward from your initial Marketing & Advertising efforts to give purpose, meaning, and structure to the Sales Cycle. It is because of Business Development that successful businesses are able to move and think beyond the Business Plan for purposeful Continuous Improvement.

What Business Development strategies have worked best for you?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Using the Scientific Method to Better your Business


Through the scientific method:  ideas are created, observed, and postulated resulting in a theory or set of theories to test potential results.  These results are then refined, adjusted, or revised to show advancement in thought.  Unlike the scientific method though, I have encountered a lot of projects in business that were stymied by the end result being recognized as the end of the project.  This limits the possibilities for any business to better serve their customers.

Rather than looking at a project as an end goal, look at it as a task to continuously work on.  For example, if you are a restaurant owner, this might mean not only taking into consideration just how clean a restroom is but also to make sure that the hand soap doesn’t smell chemically or that paper towels don’t leave a bad odor on your hands.  Over time, you might also consider a forced air hand dryer to be environmentally conscientious or perhaps adding hand lotion.

Any business can can fortify healthy business strategies by taking lead from the scientific method.  This doesn't necessarily mean hiring a research and development team, but it does mean pursuing continuous improvement as a best management practice.  Here are some big picture considerations that you may be already be practicing and just need to revise and revamp:
  • One and five year Business Plan updating cycles - with technology taken into consideration alone, updates are inevitable. Business Plans in your head are just good ideas waiting to be forgotten
  • Twice yearly staff reviews - you may already have a system in place for staff reviews, if not just through impromptu conversation, but when was the last time you reviewed your own actions?
  • Weekly or Monthly Staff Meetings - by staff, I mean that all staff (from ownership and management through reception and part-timers) should be part of this meeting Everyone should feel that their thoughts and opinions matter.
  • Customer surveyswhether it's a casual conversation or an emailed survey, consistent surveys throughout the year to evaluate your customers' wants and needs will help to secure success