So we are just about to enter November and now is the time every year that I suggest you be considering putting together your business development plan for 2017. REALLY I suggest that you start talking business dev planning in September, and have the plan in place for November.
Why is business development planning so important? Simple… here are some quick reasons:
- You wont get sucked into the new shiny marketing idea: we all do it. Someone calls with some new hair brained marketing idea or app. They get us excited for it and we jump on the wagon without considering who our customer base is and other factors.
- You will not over spend: if you create a budget, you can stick with it and make sure you do not over spend. Don’t get me wrong, leave yourself some wiggle room for a good opportunity, BUT having a plan means that you can turn down new marketing ideas by simply saying “Sorry, it’s not in the budget.”
- You will be ready to roll out new ideas starting in January: if you have an idea for a new app or a new marketing tactic, if you start working on it in January you will launch in March. That is 1 quarter of lost time.
- You can eliminate marketing tactics that are not working: If you are spending on a marketing tactic that is not helping your perception or sales team, that should be found and eliminated.
So then, how do you start with business planning? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What is my brand essence – what do you want people to think of when they see your company?
- What is my brand promise – if you are promising friendly customer service with a smile… well then you should make sure your whole team is smiling!
- Who makes up the majority of my customer base? The old 80/20 rule. 20% of your customers make up 80% of your sales. Figure out who that 20% is and create a plan to get more customers like them.
- Where did those customers come from? What you did to get them worked… how do you duplicate that?
Don’t start 2017 behind the eight ball! This is the time to strike while the iron is hot. Analyze your data and build a plan. Happy Sales!