“Planning for success is to anticipate the obstacles ahead and deliver your solution on time. – Build a Business Plan for Success”
How To Develop Your Sales & Marketing Plan
(For Your Online Business)
There’s a well-known internet marketer who’s favourite quote is “Hope, is not a marketing plan”.
You can’t just pick a marketing strategy and hope that it will work. Instead, you need to put together a detailed marketing plan where you layout your arsenal of strategies for meeting your business goals.
This isn’t a comprehensive list of daily tasks. It’s a breakdown of each task you want to use and the process you will put in place for implementation.
Start with your business model, not all marketing strategies work with every business model (see Video 4).
You will hear all sorts of wild ideas and proven tactics but that doesn’t mean they are the ones for you.
Including a description of the key characteristics of your target customers.
Where the customers will come from? Such as organic search, paid search, joint ventures, offline sources, affiliates, etc.
What are the prospect’s buying triggers?
In other words, where or when do they usually make a purchase decision? E.g. it could be from a product review, a personal recommendation from an expert they trust, through surfing content sites, through email suggestions, etc.
What are the most popular marketing strategies?
Now, look again at your business model and the most popular marketing tactics used by competitors.
How do they convert from prospect to customers?For example:
- Individual sale-pages that lead to ‘freebies’ that put prospects into an email series.
- Regular free teleseminars that include a special offer at the end.
- Straight SEO and traffic generation such as might be used for an AdSense site.
- Multiple joint ventures and recruiting of affiliates.
Which marketing strategies will you focus on?
You should always have at least one easy tactic you can use that doesn’t require a lot of thought and planning.
- For example, you can create an autoresponder (email series) that starts every time that person signs up for that list, it’s a passive form of marketing that requires almost no attention.
- Then you can start planning out more campaigns.
Start at the end and work backwards in order to put your marketing plans down on paper or computer.
Start by looking at all the steps involved.
What are the activities you need to complete in order to implement and maintain each strategy?
Now put all the steps into a priority order and process you can follow.
- Which steps are dependent on others?
- Which ones need to be completed first?
The success of some strategies is dependent on a specific timeframe. Such as the length of time between emails or follow-ups put it in your calendar and set those dates in stone.
Your marketing plan dictates what actual steps you will need to do from day-to-day, e.g. if you know that your emails need to be set up in daily intervals then you will need to put the outlining in writing of those emails down onto your to-do list every day.
Just don’t make the mistake that many impatient ambitious marketers make by trying to do everything at once.
Focus on one strategy at a time, set deadlines and implement it to success.
Determine the obstacles to face and the resources you need to meet your business goals.
It’s all very nice to set goals but how will you meet that?
As a part of your business success blueprint, you have to figure out exactly what resources you need to meet your goals.
An effective way to do this is to first look at what obstacles you face, then think about what you need to overcome those obstacles.
Get that right and you will be prepared for at least some of the potential challenges you will face along the road.
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#1 Identify Potential Obstacles To Success
No matter where you are in your career there will always be obstacles waiting to challenge your best thought out plans.
The key to dealing with these challenges is to anticipate them as much as possible and make sure you have the resources to push them out of the way.
The most common obstacles that people face from a business and marketing plan stance are:
- Lack Of Skills And Knowledge
Are there elements to your marketing plans that you just don’t know how to do?
Perhaps you have never segmented a mailing list before or don’t know how to set up a Squeeze page.
Maybe you aren’t a member of your own target market so you can’t naturally relate to their problems. For some marketing strategies, you may not even know the right questions to ask in the first place.
- Not Enough Time In A Day
There is never enough time in a day to do everything you want to do.
Especially for internet marketers who have a million ideas running around in their heads, the question is just “how much time you need to devote to your business plan to succeed?”
If you don’t have that time available, that’s just another obstacle to work around if you still want to work ahead with your plan
- Insufficient Funds
It is a rare person indeed who has all the funds they want to implement any scheme they dreamed up.
Figure out just how much you need for your ideal plan. Then look at how much you can actually afford to spend.
The difference is the obstacle you need to figure out.
Lack of a support network can be a big problem, do you have people to go to when you are stuck or need a boost?
#2 Identify Resources
Identify resources for overcoming your obstacles now.
Now that you have anticipated your challenges, you can start identifying and putting into place the resources you need.
You may find you have to adjust your goals and plans a little if you can’t get to the resources. But it’s better to do that sooner rather than later.
You don’t want to have all your great plans derailed in six months down the line just because you have failed to learn something critical.
Here are a few examples of solutions and resources that could overcome the most common obstacles:
- Focus On The Skills You Need
You need to focus on just the skills and knowledge that is relevant to your business model.
Get recommendations in trusted business forums or courses or other resources for learning what you need.
Be careful not to get sidetracked by other great things you could learn if it’s not useful right now block it out. You will probably need to set up a certain amount of time each week for learning so that you don’t let it take up all of your time
- Manage Your Time And Delegate
Unfortunately, you can’t make time slow down or expand just yet. So you will have to be a little more creative.
Depending on how much time and funds are available, you really have only 3 choices
– you can budget your own time very tightly,
– you can adjust your goals or plans
– or you can outsource some of the tasks if you have the funds
Outsourcing is usually your best bet so that you can grow your business faster.
Just make sure you know exactly what you want to outsource so that you can pick the right people
- Budget Wisely
If you are working on a very small budget, you will also have to be very creative with where you spend your money and where you save.
Put your money into the places that will have the greatest impact on your successes and think twice about the rest.
You might want to try out a hot new article submission service but your returns on investments can be much higher spending the money on list building.
- Build Your Support Network
For some, building a network of friends and colleagues comes naturally.
For others, it has to be a planned and scheduled activity.
Check out the top forms in your niche(industry) and finally choose one where there are people you can relate to.
Participate and become known by helping others.
Also, try to get your family and friends on board with your plans so that they can be supportive when you are feeling down. Even if they have no clue what you do.
The best way to make sure your plans stay on the course for success is to anticipate the obstacles ahead.
Continue to the next video How to Set Your Short and Long Term Business Goals.