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Ignite Business Success in 2007

Aug 17, 2007
From Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland:

"When Alice came to a fork in the road she asked the Mad Hatter which road to take. 'Where are you going?' asked the Mad Hatter. 'I don't know,' replied Alice. 'Well then, it doesn't really matter which direction you go,' he said."

We are speaking to a room of small business owners, sole proprietors and entrepreneur-wanna-be's and see them fidgeting when we ask the dreaded planning questions:

* How many of you have all the business you need? (No hands go up.)
* How many of you have a written marketing plan for your business? (1/3 of the hands go up.)
* How many of you follow your marketing plan? (Only a few hands remain.)

Hmm. It's no wonder small business owners feel overwhelmed and challenged when it comes to creating a successful, profitable business. Without a plan it's difficult to know where to focus marketing efforts. Without a plan results will be less than desirable. Without a plan it's easy to feel stuck.

Can you relate? We truly hope not! But the truth is 90 percent of small business owners do not have a marketing plan. Most don't know where to focus their efforts for the greatest impact so they procrastinate or, worse yet, don't take any action at all toward meeting their goals.

The truth is, planning is a critical component to business success. If you neglect to plan out your marketing goals and projects, you will waste time, money and resources.

Think of time alone. What is your time worth? $100/hour? $200/hour? $300/hour? If you waste 10 hours a week on things that aren't important, it could be costing you more than $1,000 a week, $4,000 a month and, yikes!, more than $50,000 a year.

Looking at the numbers, it's clear that planning really is a high-payoff activity. What better way to start 2007 than by visioning exactly what you want from your business and implementing action that builds momentum and success.

Here are a few tips we've shared with clients to make planning pay off in a big way:

1. Make planning a regular part of your routine. Instead of responding to the weekly tasks at hand, articulate and plan your action. Conduct a Monday MasterMind session with your team and/or your coach.

2. Make a rule: No new action without a marketing plan that outlines goals, budget, tactics, timelines and tracking measures.

3. At the end of each quarter, review your strategies and note what's working and what's not. Make adjustments. If you keep doing the same things, you'll get the same results. Know where to focus for the greatest impact.

4. Incorporate action tasks into your daily calendar system. Focusing on 3 action items each day will help you gain powerful momentum. By the end of each week, you will feel you've accomplished tasks that will make a difference in your business. By the end of the month, you'll feel like you're on track for business success. By the end of the year, you'll be blown away at what you've manifested in your business and life.

5. If you are stuck, it may be that you really are at a fork in the road and unsure of your next step. Invest in yourself and your business. Hire a coach. Every day we help business owners gain clarity about what's next, develop positioning strategies to make it happen, and create action plans that ensure better results in less time.

Will you ignite business success in 2007? Planning is the key to your success.
About the Author
Marketing Spitfires Holly George and Leslie Hamp are creators of the 'Fast Track to Marketing Mastery' program. To learn more about the step-by-step program, and to sign up for their *FREE* Marketing Mastery Success Kit, visit www.boostyourbottomline.com
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