Planning Your Road to Success
One of the things I do for my customers and clients is simplify online marketing so it eliminates confusion and enables the them to focus on what is important. But there is always a part of marketing that stresses many small business owners – i.e. determining their mission, goals, strategies and tactics. These concepts are important in order to develop a plan that focuses you on what is important to help you succeed.
Mission vs. Vision
Mission (purpose) = defines why you are in business and what you are doing now.
XYZ Marketing partners with small business owners as their trusted marketing advisor to help them achieve success by learning, incorporating and executing marketing strategies and programs that take their business from mediocre to marvelous.
Vision = defines what you want your business to be or be known for. It’s useful to develop a 1, 3 and 5 year vision to ensure you can progress to where you want to be through well defined measurable steps:
Three year: By December 30, 2014, XYZ Marketing will be recognized as one of the top three marketing brands for small businesses in the United States.
Goals are well-defined, targeted statements that give you clarity, direction and focus. It is important for the small business owner to define what you need to do to achieve your vision in measurable and realistic terms. If a marketing goal is to “increase visibility for your Website”, then you need to include by when and specific criteria with which you can measure your results. Ideally, you should have only 2 or 3 goals that you want to work towards in a 3-6 month time frame. Any more than that, you risk taking on too much and achieving nothing.
A common approach to developing your goals is to use the formula for the five characteristics of well developed goals – S.M.A.R.T.
- Specific – What exactly are you trying to accomplish? The more specific you can be, the more likely the goal will be accomplished.
- Measurable – How do you know if you are successful? Answer the questions “How much?”, “How Many?”, and “By When?”
- Attainable – Is this realistic based on the resources you have or can acquire to achieve them or a major obstacle to success? The best goals should encourage you to reach, but not so far as to involve unavailable resources or unrealistic expectations.
- Relevant – Will this goal help you reach your vision? Setting goals that do not align themselves with your ultimate outcome will divert your attention from those that help you get where you want to go.
- Timely – What is the deadline for this effort? Without having specific time frames associated with each goal, you most likely will not achieve them because the day to day interruptions will take over.
By December 2014, create, launch and sell via the Internet 25 copies of an information product that simplifies developing a marketing plan for small businesses.
Strategies and Tactics
Probably the most confusing concept is how to determine strategies verses tactics. Previously, I wrote about Traditional vs. New Media Channels and the five categories of marketing strategies that are available within each channel – advertising, direct marketing, events, public relations and word of mouth.
When determining how you will achieve your goals, your plan should define which strategies you will include on each channel and the activities you need to be doing regularly that will lead you toward those goals.
Implement Internet marketing activities to launch the product into the market including public relations, advertising, events and word of mouth: The tactics (activities) that will help me achieve my goal include:
- Build my email list by offering a free marketing plan template;
- Develop the pricing and packaging strategy for the new information product;
- Develop a Facebook Business Page and announce the availability to my fans;
- Create a blog post reviewing new products and feed it to all social media channels;
- Develop an email message and broadcast it to your email subscribers;
It’s useful to include your tactics on a calendar with deadlines so you get the activities underway or completed in time to achieve your goals.
As small business owners, we all want to do many different things believing that more is better. In marketing, you are better off selecting one to three of your most important goals and work towards achieving them. Having too many goals will only set you up for failure and disappointment. Figure out what’s important to you to accomplish in the next 3 to 6 months and go for it. Otherwise, you will be constantly distracted and won’t accomplish anything.
How are you defining your goals, strategies and tactics? What are you trying to achieve by the end of this year?
Wish You The Best,
Sean Johnson (Founder)