Are you running your business, or is your business running you?
With all the moving parts entrepreneurs face daily, many business owners struggle to prioritize their time and talents as they grow a thriving business. As a result, they become overworked and frustrated because they don’t see the success they had hoped for.
It’s time to create your own success in 2023.
Being overwhelmed and constantly “stressed out” are not requirements for entrepreneurs. In fact, to be successful, you need a solid plan that will not only alleviate stress but also help you achieve your goals.
In this episode of Shop Talk, I will guide you through the step-by-step process of planning for success and prioritizing your most actionable goals so you can have your best year yet!
Here’s a snapshot of this episode:
- 2:37 – Audit Your Marketing Efforts
- 9:35 – Identify Your Boulders
- 11:13 – Turn Boulders Into SMART Goals
- 17:30 – Turning Your SMART Goals Into A Reality
- 24:05 – Create A Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
- 26:02 – Schedule Your Work
- 26:30 – Let’s Get Intentional About Your Business In 2023
- 32:58 – Giving Your Customers An Unforgettable Experience
To what extent are you planning for success?
The reality is that most entrepreneurs wing it.
They hope they will be able to pay their bills and have some profit at the end of the year.
They rarely set goals.
If they have goals, they don’t have an executable plan to achieve them.
And they don’t track their progress diligently.
They fill their schedules with busy work that keeps them overwhelmed.
They constantly chase fires in their business.
And they let their email inbox dictate their day.
Sound harsh? Maybe. But it’s true.
If you are sick and tired of running your business on hope, overwhelm, and busy work, then you are in the right place!
Today, I am going to share my 6-step process to Planning Your Success.
Step 1 – Audit Your Marketing Efforts
One question I get all the time is, “What do I need to do to grow my business?”
Great question…I don’t know (yet).
First, we must do a marketing audit.
Think about it…
If you were heading to my house for the first time, called me up, and said, “I think I’m lost. Can you guide me?” The first thing I’d ask is, “Where are you at?”
You see, I can’t guide you on what to do if I don’t know where you’re at.
That leads me to LCM or Lifecycle Marketing.
LCM is a mix of strategies a company uses to communicate and move its target audience from being a prospect to becoming a customer, an ambassador, and eventually a life-long customer.
There are 7 stages in the LCM process.
Stage 1 – Awareness
This is the stage where you are essentially advertising (or creating awareness) for your business.
Stage 2 – Capture
This is where you look for ways that you can capture the contact information of your perfect ideal customer. Most offer something for free in exchange for a person’s contact information.
Stage 3 – Nurture
This is where you are creating content consistently (meaning every week) so that you have a reason to stay in touch with the people on your email marketing list to continue to nurture the relationship with that person until they are ready to buy from you.
Stage 4 – Convert
In this stage, you should have sale processes set up, sales scripts, sales funnels, and a sales pipeline that you can use to track where your prospects are in your sales process.
Stage 5 – Delight
In this stage of Lifecycle Marketing, you are looking for ways that you can delight and wow your customers so that they are more likely to become Ambassadors.
Stage 6 – Ambassador
Ambassadors are people who can’t help but to talk about you, your company, or your products/services because they had such a great experience.
We all want more Ambassadors (of course). Being intentional about delighting and wowing your customers will help.
Stage 7 – Upsell (or Retention)
In the final stage, you are looking for ways that you can continue to support your customers. This may mean offering additional products/services or looking for ways to retain them as clients.
To audit your business, ask yourself, “What am I doing now [in this stage of the LCM process]?”
Through this process, you’ll begin to identify the areas you need to focus on.
Before I dive into the next steps, I want to introduce you to the Plan Your Success Planning Process.
These are the steps you’ll follow to create a plan that you (and your team, if you have one) can implement with clarity and focus.
Let’s walk through each of these together…
Step 2 – Identify Your Boulders
What are your business’s boulders?
Step 2 is where you’ll identify the boulders you want to move in your business in the next 12 months.
“Boulders” are the annual priorities that you want to accomplish.
These are the things that will MOVE THE NEEDLE in your business.
Here are a few examples of “boulders” you may have…
- One priority you should set is a Gross Revenue goal.
- You may also want to develop a new product or service.
- Or increase client retention.
These are all “boulders” (aka “annual priorities”).
They are the 10,000-foot view of the things you want to accomplish that will move the needle in your business.
Step 3 – Turn Boulders Into SMART Goals
SMART Goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-Specific goals that you want to achieve AND are in alignment with your boulders.
Let me walk you through the process of setting SMART Goals.
- What is your boulder?
- What do you want to accomplish specifically?
- What do you need to track to know it’s been achieved?
- Do you (or your team) have the ability to implement it? Or do you need to hire someone who does?
- Is this in alignment with the boulder you are trying to move?
- When do you want to accomplish this goal?
Let me give you a specific example.
- Boulder: Generate $250,000 in Gross Revenue
- Boulder goal: Sell 50 customers our ABC Product
- Tools that will help me know my boulder is moving: Leads, Discovery Calls, Closing Ratios, Sales
- How we will move the boulder: We need to hire a salesperson.
- Are these steps in alignment with my boulder?: Yes.
- When do I want to accomplish my goal?: December 31, 2023
Step 4 – Turning Your SMART Goals Into A Reality
Now it’s time to identify the strategies you will implement to achieve your SMART goals.
A mistake that entrepreneurs often make is that they chase strategies without having clarity on what they want to accomplish.
If you do this, you’ll kill yourself working your tail off all year – yet, you still won’t have reached your goals.
Let me give you an idea of how we identify strategies that may help you reach your goal(s).
The first thing we do is get clear on what you want:
- Generate $250,000 gross revenue by selling 50 customers your ABC product/service by December 31, 2023.
Next, we start to braindump the strategies that can help you reach your goal.
There’s more than one way to sell your products/services. How you effectively sell will be dependent on your audience, your relationship with them, what you are selling, and how you want to build your business.
Here are a few examples of sales funnels we’ve implemented in our business and for our clients.
- The Million Dollar Discovery Call Sales Process
- LaunchIt (Jeff Walker Style Sales Funnel)
- Webinars That Convert Sales Funnel
- The Group Method Sales Funnel
- The Quiz Funnel
- The Ascension Model Sales Funnel
Step 5 – Create A Marketing Action Plan (MAP)
Once you’ve identified the strategy that you want to implement, you then need to create a (MAP) Marketing Action Plan.
A Marketing Action Plan is a planning framework that is used to identify everything that’s needed to design, develop, create, and launch your strategy.
In the planning framework, you’ll identify the assets, content, tools, and skills that are needed to complete the project.
We use this exact process to scope and plan custom projects for clients.
Step 6 – Schedule Your Work
The last step in the process is to schedule your work.
This is where you set time aside to work ON your business.
This is where the planning has ended, and now you (and your team, if you have one) need to do the work to implement your strategies.
Let’s Get Intentional About Your Business In 2023
I want to provide you with some million-dollar mentoring advice…
Don’t be a drifter – someone who moves about their business, year, month, week, and day aimlessly.
Drifting leads to busy work. Busy work is the stuff that keeps you busy but has little value in moving the “big boulders” in your business.
Prioritize your growth. How do you do that? Schedule time to work ON your business to get things done.
Those of you who have a job: schedule time to work on your side hustle.
Those of you who run a business: schedule time to work on your business.
The equilibrium of life is time. We all have 24 hrs. Some spend it. Some invest it.
Accountability is the secret to your success.
Have you ever driven past a building that’s half-built and thought, “what a waste”?
That’s what many entrepreneurs do in their businesses!
They don’t take the time to plan. They drift from task to task. They chase shiny objects. They start projects they never finish. And they don’t stay focused.
Wanna know the secret to staying on track? Accountability.
If your goals matter and you have someone you respect who you have to be accountable to – you are more likely to achieve your goals.
This leads me to the last point.
Get help. You can’t do it all.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Just because you can make graphics with Canva – doesn’t mean you should.
Just because you can build a website – doesn’t mean you should.
Just because you can do bookkeeping – doesn’t mean you should.
And the list goes on and on.
You trying to do everything is what’s killing your progress.
Giving Your Customers An Unforgettable Experience
Have you ever looked at your business through the eyes of your customer? What kind of experience do they have when they interact with you?
If you want to leave a mark that is unforgettable, delight your customer.
Remember going to Starbucks (what they did back in the old days), they would ask, “What’s your name?” and they would write your name on the cup with a little smiley face?
That’s delightful. That’s something unexpected. They took something simple and elevated the experience. That little thing can make all the difference in the world.
Chick-fil-a is another excellent example, with their people standing out in front. If your onboarding process is great, I know the service is going to be great.
At our local Chick-fil-a, the line is always circled around the building. It’s a testament, number one, that they have good, quality food.
And number two, it is a delightful experience because, even though the line is long, you’re going to get through it fast because they have people out there taking your orders ahead of time.
How many times have you gone through a fast food or a drive-through and you’re waiting there forever and thinking to yourself, “Oh my gosh! How much longer is it going to be?” They eliminated that, and that is delightful.
Another thing is that I used to print stuff all the time. Remember back in the day when we used to print? I bought all of these cartridges you could only buy in certain stores. And they were huge!
When I would go and pick up my cartridge order from them, inside the box, they always had a sucker with a little tag attached to it that had an inspirational quote of the day. It was really cool. I thought, “Man, that’s a nice touch!” I love them because of that little thing.
You know, when it comes to delighting and wowing it, it could be the simplest of things. It could be a surprise bonus thing that you deliver. It could be a resource, a training, maybe an extra bonus thirty-minute call, or maybe you could do a live Q&A. The possibilities are truly endless.
You could give them a shock and awe package where you give them a t-shirt and a mug. I do that in some of my programs where I’ll send that package. And it’s just a nice little touch. It’s not something I promote. It’s not on my sales page this: “You’ll also get these things.”
It’s something that I just do because I want to. And I want them to know that they’re special and they’re important to me. So, hopefully, that gives you a little bit of insight into my game.
With a bit of planning, let’s make 2023 your most successful year yet!