Why plan at all when you have a small business?
Surely you need to react to opportunities and be nimble enough to make the most of those, which is one of the things that sets you apart from the big brands.
Ah, all important stuff but think about your plan in terms of having a cup of coffee. You walk into your favourite coffee shop which is super busy and only one seat left (at a table where someone is already sitting there). You walk over and politely ask if you can sit down and strike up a conversation, ‘hello my name is Lisa and I have got to say that is the biggest cup of coffee ever’, then maybe asking if they are local and whether they come out to work somewhere different or just fancied a break etc. So you nurture the relationship before talking about your amazing products or services which are ideal for them.
This is in stark contrast to sitting down and saying ‘buy my stuff’ which is where you are likely to find yourself if you do not have a plan. Essentially, you will be in constant ‘hustle mode’ and only ever sell, sell, sell. For most markets, customers will get fatigue very quickly because you are saying the same thing the whole time.
So why do it?
- Certainty – clarity on where you are driving towards, knowing where you are going so you have comfort of when you are doing things, whether launching new products or services, in heavy sell mode, backend building mode etc. And how you can align it with your personal goals, what you want to achieve in your personal life
- Happy customers – knowing when you are selling and what is crucial. Otherwise, you can fall into the trap of constantly selling, and customers will get tired of seeing the same thing
- Be kind to yourself – when you know you are coming up to a super busy month, for example in launch mode, you also know you have a period of time to recharge because you have built it into your plans
Setting Big Scary Goals
Something I learned in my corporate days was the power of setting a huge goal. Standing up at the annual conference and communicating the goal of tripling the size of our business in the next three years led to gasps from the audience. But we did it. And next time we stood up and said we would triple again, the response was ‘yes we can do this’.
And why should it be any different when you have your own small business, even if your business is just you.
Making goals big and very scary is amazing in leading to big plans to make it happen.
And if your goal dreams do not scare you, I suggest they are not big enough.
To quote an old cliché ‘where there is a will there is a way’. And it bears truth as a fantastic driver to find ways to achieve what you set out to accomplish.
How about thinking?
- What is holding you back? Why are you doing some of the same things with no better result? What are you putting up with, just because? Write a list and delete the things that do not make a return or bring you joy
- What are your wildest and scariest goals? Why wait 3 years to accomplish something, when you could do it in the next 12 months with a change in mindset? Write it down, with the thought ‘anything is possible with enough effort and inventiveness’
- What are you willing to commit to? What do you need to change, processes to design, solutions to find? Ah, you are building your plan already…..
I have set a big scary goal of helping 1000 small business owners to level up their marketing by the end of this year.
Big – because I have helped nearly 100 small business owners in the last two years so 10x that now
Scary – I will need to change how I do things to reach such a big audience
Goal – to keep me focused so I build big plans to reach my goal
And you know what, even if I don’t quite get there, it will still have been an awesome year!!!
So what have you got to lose?
Go on, you know you want to!
Thank you for reading
Lisa Simcox, Little Artisan Marketeer, taking your small business from best-kept secret to fiercely in demand.