A very warm welcome to the second part of this four part mini series about how ambitious entrepreneurs build their knowledge, alongside the tools and techniques necessary to establish more consistent levels of growth in their businesses. In today’s blog we focus on the importance of building and aligning 3 essential planning processes.
Having successfully navigated the start-up phase of your business the challenge of growing your business by establishing a more consistent level of growth in your business is often just as demanding.
All too often the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs in this RUN phase is dividing time between a whole new range of demands that require their attention, such as;
- managing increasing levels of revenue,
- attending to customers,
- dealing with the competition,
- accommodating an expanding workforce, etc.
Consequently, an ability to plan for what’s coming next so as to avoid the potential trap of having to constantly firefight is crucial in navigating this growth phase. Undoubtedly the biggest difference between those entrepreneurs that successfully deliver against their growth targets and those that struggle is their ability to look over the horizon and prepare for what’s coming next.
- Do the challenges of running and growing a successful business often make you feel elated, frustrated, overwhelmed and out of control in equal measure?
- Are you like many business owners in that you lack the necessary time to devote yourself to higher value and higher skilled tasks?
- Do you lack the time to actually build your company’s vision and plan for its future growth?
- Do you sometimes struggle to implement important strategies and recruit, induct, manage and lead new members of the team?
- Did you ever recruit people with the right skills but the wrong values for your organisation and have to live with the consequences?
- Does your business have challenges around its level of cashflow as a result of poor cash collection processes, inconsistencies in its sales pipeline or an over-reliance on a small number of customers or suppliers?
- Is the result of this that you’re still struggling to break through financial barriers and maintain consistent levels of growth in both turnover and net profit?
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Based on your own experiences as a business owner you’ll already know that many businesses fail to reach their full potential and that many many more sadly fail altogether.
Like you – most of those business owners were just as passionate as you about their business. Most invested heavily in terms of both their time and their capital with a view to ensuring that their businesses’ succeeded. Sadly in all too many cases (circa 80%), the first 5 years in business proves too big a challenge for most businesses.
The harsh reality is that none of us knows what we don’t know. Our education system isn’t set-up to teach us to be successful entrepreneurs and yet many of us embark on our entrepreneurial journey full of excitement & enthusiasm but without the necessary skills and experiences to guarantee the successful outcome that we so desperately want.
Maybe – like so many others you have already taken the biggest step and begun your own entrepreneurial journey but are already finding that the challenges are bigger than you envisaged?
Maybe – you’re already seeing some successes but are frustrated that the results aren’t in line with what you originally expected or hoped for?
Either way — it’s important to recognise that your journey isn’t unique. It’s equally important to understand that your challenges almost certainly aren’t unique to your industry. There are plenty of other business owners going through exactly the same challenges as you day in day out.
For most business owners their entrepreneurial journey is at times a lonely one. With less than 2% of working adults owning a business it’s not surprising that many of your friends and family simply don’t understand the challenges and emotions that you’re regularly confronted by as a business owner.
For many entrepreneurs the benefits of support and encouragement from a community of like-minded business owners with similar challenges are unquestionable. Couple this with access to a world-class business education programme and the support & guidance of an award-winning business coach with a proven track record of success and experience of running multiple businesses and you’ve almost certainly found what’s needed to scale your business to the next level.
Consequently – if you don’t feel as though One to One coaching is right for you at this stage in your entrepreneurial journey, don’t procrastinate, take MASSIVE ACTION to build the business you always dreamed of and become a part of our CIPD Accredited Group Coaching Programme (ActionClub) NOW!
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Understand what stage your business is currently at, and get a bespoke report that will help you take it to the next level!
As businesses grow, they invariably face some very specific challenges. Understanding how best to address them, in what order, whilst also identifying the opportunities associated with these challenges is a critical part of unlocking your business’ true potential.
Building A Plan To Succeed
For every business, whether large or small, being able to plan effectively is crucial for growth and survival in today’s highly competitive markets. There’s no doubt that without great planning, you’re likely to miss out on opportunities, stunt your growth and ultimately limit your success.
As the old saying goes…. “Fail to plan ….. plan to fail” .
By working with an experienced coach you’ll learn how to create and develop detailed plans for your business to ensure you realise your growth ambitions.
You’ll learn that behind every successful, growing business are 3 different but equally important plans, namely;
- A Business Plan that sign-posts exactly where you are heading
- A Budget that details what the financial roadmap for your business looks like &
- A Targeted Marketing Plan that details how your growth ambitions will be realised
From a business plan perspective, your coach will help you build a winning plan to scale your business by introducing you to proven planning tools such as our 5-3-1 Vision Orbit. The tool will enable you to develop real clarity about your long term vision for your business. Once you’ve done this you’ll create more detailed annual plans which in turn will be broken down into even more focused 90 Day Plans to ensure that each and every quarter you maintain the focus on your priorities, build the momentum and ensure you not only reach but exceed your growth targets.
Together you’ll create really specific, measurable goals alongside a clear plan of action as to how your growth targets and other goals will be met within the agreed timescales.
Alongside any great business plan, there’s also a great financial plan that maps out your business’ journey from a financial perspective. Having established your financial goals you’ll work together to build an annual, if not a 2-3 year, Budget against which you can measure your progress both from revenue and overheads perspective so as to ensure that your business hits its profit targets month on month, year after year.
As part of this, your coach will help you understand the importance of managing your cashflow and having a dashboard that gives you the right level of financial control over your business.
Finally – you’ll work with your coach to build a Targeted Marketing Plan that delivers the levels of growth that you and your business requires and more importantly still delivers desired levels of gross and net profit by positioning you as the go to business/service.
The old John Wanamker quote that “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half” is still every bit as true today, primarily because the majority of businesses (a) fail to plan their marketing efforts properly and (b) measure the success of their marketing campaigns.
Your coach will teach you the 6 critical steps to building a winning marketing plan, namely;
As a first step, you’ll develop real clarity around your target market/s by getting really specific about exactly WHO you are targeting not just from a sector perspective but literally down to the specific companies, specific job roles and wherever possible specific personnel within those organisations. Secondly, you’ll define exactly WHERE your targeted customers are geographically. Whether they’re local, regional, national or international it’s important to be specific and prioritise. Thirdly it’s crucially important to be specific about WHAT products and services you are intending to offer and/or promote to specific customers/prospects in order to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Once you’ve done all of the above (and NOT before!) it’s crucial to develop clarity around WHY those specific customers would choose to buy from you and not your competition. In order to overcome the all too common objections, it’s important to develop a strong and compelling unique selling proposition (USP) to ensure that you create a real point of differentiation and competitive advantage over the competition.
Having invested the necessary time in Steps 1-4 the decision about HOW you market your business is relatively easy. Having undertaken Steps 1-4 it’s typically very simple to identify where your target customers are hanging–out and hence what the best marketing channels to use are. Irrespective of whether you’re in a B2C, B2B or B2B2C market situation the same planning principles apply. WHEN you run your chosen marketing campaigns is the final step and relatively easy to determine.
Whilst all of the above might seem like a mountain to climb by working with an experienced executive coach who has helped 1000’s of other businesses develop their winning plans there really isn’t anything to fear.
Together you’ll develop the discipline to focus your time on tasks that add the most value and consequently allow you to break-through financial barriers and maintain consistent levels of growth in both turnover and net profit.
Together you’ll not only create but also deliver your winning plan with a BANG!
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We’re truly passionate about supporting business owners like you overcome your challenges and unlock the true potential of your business. If you’re looking to drive your business forward, get in touch today!
We hope that you’ve found the first two parts of this mini series useful and informative. DON’T MISS our next blog where we begin to explore the secrets to building the relevant levels and types of knowledge to ensure that your business establishes a consistent level of growth.