Are you a current or aspiring entrepreneur? Do you have this amazing idea that you are ready to share with the world?
Maybe you are designing an app that is going to save people tons of time and money!
Or you could be coming up with a service that you haven’t seen anyone else offer before.
Whatever your idea is, we bet you have thought out every detail. You’ve been stewing over so many pieces and you are ready to launch. But, have you thought beyond your brilliant idea?
There are so many “almost” entrepreneurs that have a great idea just like you. They could really add something awesome to our lives yet they haven’t thought beyond the startup phase. They haven’t thought of a marketing strategy, a growth plan, or what their goals really need to be to become successful.
Now we aren’t talking about success in terms of rolling in the dough, but some type of success (like measurable benchmarks) that help keep your fire lit and moving forward beyond obstacles to achieve your dream! It is one thing to have an incredible idea, another to execute it. Let us help you execute your idea!
START BY ASKING YOURSELF: HOW ARE GOING TO SHARE THIS WITH THE WORLD
Who is your ideal client/customer?
Where are they?
How are you going to get your product/service in front of them?
Now the next step is NOT going and talking to them, it instead is creating the experience you want them to go through.
CREATE A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE
This step involves many pieces, but pretty much you are going to map each stage your potential customer is going to go through before they make their purchase. This is where you have the opportunity to optimize and automate processes, create brand awareness and make sure there are no gaps in your process. Think about this as:
Creating a website that your customers will likely discover from a Google Search or Social Media
Creating curated email campaigns to keep them interested and in the loop
Installing triggers for specific actions a customer could take to keep them engaged Developing a brand manual as a resource for your marketing plan, to come
Mapping out how to translate your brand to social media, including how you will continuously engage, promote, educate and learn from your customers
DRAW A ROAD MAP
Where exactly is this business going? Do you have a vision beyond your launch? Where do you want to be in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years? Businesses that don’t think beyond often don’t succeed. Don’t be that person! Instead:
Create a vision of where you see your business in 5 years. What is it going to take to get there?
Think about what resources you will need to get to your 5 year goal.
Will you need to grow your team?
Will you need to relocate production?
Will you want to offer your staff health insurance?
Think about all the nitty gritty details so you can make your timeline from the future to the present and not be surprised!
LASTLY, A MARKETING PLAN
Yes, all of this work before has 100% been marketing! This is work we do with clients EVERY DAY! But it is not until now that we talk about what people imagine when they hear “Marketing Plan”.
A marketing plan is a long term road map that envisions your business through each stage of growth. Often marketing plans cover 3 to 5 years of your business. We are often caught up in the here and now when we start a business but the marketing plan makes the owner look up from the daily grind and envision the future.
This plan considers both external and internal factors. It also takes into account the needed resources of time, people, money and skills that will be required to achieve each level. The marketing plan is a road map but as we know, there are multiple ways to get to your destination. As marketers, we view the marketing plan as really a “thoughtful plan” because it makes you think through your business including the good and the bad, not just the excitement of the startup. We consider it a living document, one that will continuously change as you implement each phase or as new information or events unfold. It makes you consider the pros, cons, potential pitfalls and opportunities of each phase so that you can plan and prepare for each of them. You want to reduce surprises and plan for the worst yet believing in the best.
Some of the things the marketing plan includes are:
What are your long term goals?
Who is your target audience, new audience, new geographic market?
What new products or services might you launch?
What marketing strategies will you employ - direct sales, digital ads, traditional advertising, etc.?
What social media platforms are best for you?
Who is your competition and how can you beat them?
Are there factors that may impact your business you can’t control (such as regulations, weather, etc.)?
So, I have got one question for you. Are you going to be the average entrepreneur or are you going to grow past that?