As an entrepreneur, we fight fires every day. Sometimes, this means you can’t work on your business because you’re too busy working in it. This leads to failure as we are spending so much time with our heads down, the world changes without us noticing. We need to make a plan. Without a plan, we lose our focus on marketing, we lose our competitive advantage. We stop embracing changes in the economy, our offerings and our customers’ demands. Don’t let this happen, make a plan.
The solution to this problem is merely one of discipline. We must take a portion of each day to focus on developing a business plan, marketing plan, and learning. Using your calendar, simply create a block of time each day where you do nothing but that. Stay away from Facebook, emails and phone calls for this set period of time. If you already have these plans developed, reread them. If you don’t, build them. You don’t have to complete them right away, but you must start and at least have an outline.
Here’s a few tips on creating a business and marketing plan for any company:
1. Use Google Docs or another collaborative, cloud based service to simply bullet out a list of items that your business is, needs and wants to be.
2. Each day, during your set time, read, enhance and rethink what you wrote the days before. Add what makes sense. If your mind is giving you the ideas, try a different time or perhaps in the evening after the kids go to sleep.
3. Google what you don’t know and read. Get ideas from others that have done it before. A simple search for “marketing plan” yields solid results.
4. Talk to your mentors, peers, friends and family. Ask questions. Many of those you associate with have been there. Take advantage.
5. Read some great business books. I’m currently reading Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk. Even if the topics are not applicable to what I’m doing that day, spending my time reading each day stimulates my mind and helps me see things differently.
Keep going. Each day add more content and trash the stuff you know isn’t working. Fix everything that’s broken. Your goal is to perfect your business. You’ll never achieve this, but don’t stop trying. The closer you get to perfect, the better and closer you will become to realizing success and ultimately, financial independence.
The value of planning will help you keep track of what you know must done. It will keep you on track and aid you in achieving your goals.