One of the greatest enemies of getting the results you want is disorganized thinking and unfocused actions. Look at the image on the left.
What do you see? Disorganized thinking and unfocused actions. When operating in this mode, there’s lots of activity, but little is accomplished.
To get the results you want, those assets and actions have to be aligned and directed, like the image on the right. Look at the strength and power these two elements add.
Entrepreneurs tend to have lots of good ideas, usually function at high energy and are often impulsive. But what has the potential for a solid business often falls apart for lack of organization, structure, focus and direction. Actions are frequently taken haphazardly and sporadic without a goal or a plan.
The objective is to align assets and actions so they all go in the same direction – toward your goals. The sequence of steps is to identify and organize your assets (the value you provide to the marketplace), create a clear message and then strategically plan and take calculated, directed actions designed to lead to your goals.
In order to get the Results you want, you must align your Goals, your Strategy, your Plan and your Actions. Actions implement the Plan, which carries out the Strategy, which leads to your Goals. Therefore, Actions ultimately should lead to Goals. To the extent that Results match Goals, your Actions have been on-target and successful.
Answer the following questions to begin organizing and structuring a framework that will get you on track toward producing the Results you want.
What results do you want from your efforts?
Sell X Number of products/services?
Generate X% revenue from New Market?
How do you plan to achieve your goals?
Identify and develop an untapped market?
Redefine our brand for New Market?
What are the specific tasks to be accomplished? Who is responsible? When does each need to be done?
When do you need to start and complete these tasks? What is the sequence? What is the timeframe for each?
What are the measurable outcomes from your Plan and Actions?
Compare actual Total Revenue to Revenue Goal
Compare actual Number of products/services sold by target date to Product Goal.
Compare actual percent of Total Revenue from New Market
How close are the Results to the Goals? What succeeded; what didn’t? Each time you repeat the process, you get better at producing the Results you want.
Let’s look at a case in point.
With a background in retail merchandising, Jennifer started her business by purchasing quality overruns from women’s plus size manufacturers and opened a small store near another retailer of plus size clothing. Her intent was to capture some of the traffic attracted by the other store. She took out expensive ads in local papers and the yellow pages, but after six months still wasn’t getting the traffic or the sales she had hoped for. She wasn’t even covering her expenses. She knew she had a product that was needed and desired by her target market; she just wasn’t bringing in enough business.
Of course, Jennifer didn’t really have Goals, a Strategy or a Plan. Her actions were sporadic and without research. She was feeling very frustrated and considering giving up when she made the decision to organize her thinking and focus her actions.
To help organize her thinking she created a Market Research campaign and learned where and how her target market could be reached. Based on this research she created a marketing campaign that included specific, measurable Goals, a Strategy and Plan and specific Actions to carry out the Plan. Here is an excerpted picture of her process.
Goals: (for one year period)
1 – $2,500,000 in revenue
2 – A customer database of 10,000 and 20,000 transactions at an average sale of $125.
Strategy (excerpt from Marketing Plan)
1 a) Create incentive for existing customers to bring or refer a friend.
b) Add online catalog.
2 a) Hold fashion show and invite the press.
b) Capture customer info, including e-mail address and send monthly promos.
1 a) Offer high end accessory item for one referral, 10% discount on merchandise for second referral.
b) Use existing online catalog service and start with top 20% of items in each category (to test online market)
2 a) Select show date, assign coordinator and write plan for show (to include online show).
b) Offer raffle of high end accessory in exchange for attendee/visitor info.
1 a) Jennifer selected incentive item, ordered enough for marketing purposes, wrote and sent an introductory promotion to a targeted e-mailing list and existing customers. The incentive promotion was added to all marketing materials and promo coupons.
b) Jennifer directed research to find a suitable online catalog. Upon selection, she hired a web designer to design the page layout and a developer to set up the shopping cart and manage the site.
2 a) Jennifer assigned the Assistant Manager the job of coordinating the fashion show, which took place in the early Spring, prior to the Easter Holiday. The show plan included both an in-store and online fashion show of featured items.
b) Coordinator developed a data gathering form and had it created in print (for in-store) and online. Database was updated to capture info being gathered.
1 a) Total revenue the first year was just under $2,000,000. (80% of Goal)
b) Total number of customers in the database was 9,800 (98% of Goal) with 15,500 transactions (78% of Goal) and average sale of $129. (103% of Goal)
2 a) The fashion shows (using customers as models) received some media attention and produced 380 transactions at an average sale of $115.. A fall fashion show using the same format produced 300 transactions at an average sale of $128.
b) E-mail promotions using the customer database attracted increased web traffic to the catalog. 60,000 visitors produced 1,650 transactions and 280 new customers. 11% of revenue came from online sales.
Revenue results were 80% of Goal. Part of the shortfall was attributed to the fact that the online catalog took longer to develop than planned. Catalog revenue (11%) was less than expected. Average sale tended to be very close to target, so this can be used as a good gauge for future revenue projections. With early positive results from the online catalog, expansion of the catalog items and the overall product line should offer potential for additional revenue.
Jennifer was able to get her business on a solid footing with strategies and plans that she knew could produce the Results she wanted.
You, too, can organize your thinking and focus your actions to get the Results you want. Let’s schedule a complimentary phone conversation to talk about your business, your situation and what you’d like to accomplish.