29 Jul Do You Need a Business Plan?
If you’ve started a small business and you came out of the corporate world where detailed, endless paper work can sometimes take precedence over creativity and marketing, you may feel pressured to create an elaborate business plan. In fact traditional thinking is that you should never start a business without an elaborate business plan.
Most of my clients are small and solo business owners who sell their information, expertise and knowledge and do not need the type of business plan you’d take to the bank to get a loan or funding. If that’s you, then there’s an easier, faster way to lay a powerful foundation for a profitable, sustainable business and a comfortable 6-figure income. Yes, you need a strategic business plan, but because the idea conjures up an intimidating image of a 100-page document filled with months of research, I’ve created something so much simpler and more effective. I call it my 6-Figure Business Design Model ®. It’s powerful and it works.
A Business Design helps you plan a long term powerful strategy for your business and stops you from just offering random products and services. It’s actually exciting to create and helps you take dreams and ideas and turn them into a profitable business. It also helps you move past selling time for dollars, which creates a self-imposed income ceiling, and instead builds a model where you create a personal profit process which includes passive income and the ability to help more people.
Let’s face it: you can be self-employed and just pay your bills each month, working harder than you ever did when you had a job–or you can become a real entrepreneur and build a little business engine that keeps on chugging even when you’re not around, and which creates the financial freedom that allows you to live life the way you want to. That’s what I do and you can too!
To create your business design you will need to work through a simple 8 step process that looks like this:
- Find your PROFIT niche: this is the niche in your chosen market, industry, or area of knowledge where there are people with a burning problem, challenge or need to which you have a solution that they’re willing to pay for. It’s also a niche that isn’t flooded with direct competition and where you can find a place to position yourself as the expert.
- Research: both what people are looking for in your market and what your competitors are doing. By doing simple keyword research you can determine what your potential customers are searching for, which means they’re actually telling you what you need to provide. This will help you avoid a common mistake business owners make of creating an information product or program that is difficult to sell.
Then you’ll want to determine which competitors are offering similar products and services, how successful they are and get a sense of pricing. This will help you learn what to offer, how to market, what marketing language to use, what to charge and much more.
- Personal Profit Process: develop your own unique step-by-step approach for getting your clients to the results they most want. Rather than have a bunch of disjointed, unrelated products and programs, develop a process you can guide your clients through that flows and covers each and every step they need to take. Then you can create products based on different steps in the process and it will brand you and make you stand out.
- Create a product funnel, product flow and pricing: create a series of products that evolve from your Personal Profit Process that range from giveaways and simple, inexpensive information products that involve little of your time, to more complex, higher priced solutions that involve more of your personal time and are more customized. All of these products need to flow from one to the other, so its easy to transition people to buy from you multiple times.
- Product creation: Here’s where you create the basic products in your funnel. Start with the basics and add products as you begin to build a larger following. The idea is to create a product with a strategy in mind that it will logically connect to another product that your clients will need.
- Create the plumbing: There’s a technical set up involved which includes creating marketing e-mails to send to prospects and subscribers, web pages, product preview audios or videos, shopping cart set up, and other marketing materials. If you rush into selling your products before you have all of this in place, you won’t get the results you want.
- Design your marketing: Create a weekly marketing plan and be consistent. Your plan can include recruiting joint venture partners, preview tele-classes, press releases, social media, pay per click ads as well as speaking or phone sales. Design a combination that works best for your product, your market and your skill set. Building traffic to your product sales page is not that hard if you work on it every day.
The other crucial piece of your marketing design is copywriting. Once you get people to your web page if the copywriting doesn’t communicate the real value of your product you won’t convert those people to buyers. Copywriting is also crucial in emails or blog posts that you use to market your products and services.
- Develop a conversion strategy: Once someone has signed up for your mailing list and expressed interest in your product, but hasn’t yet bought, how will you convert them to buyers? Your follow up process needs to include multiple steps where you build a relationship with your prospect and educate them about the great results they can get if they purchase and use your product or service. Make sure you don’t forget about this important step and plan it in advance.