You are a go-getter — always on the move, working more than anyone else you know. Yet your business numbers aren’t showing the fruits of your labor and you’re exhausted. Why?
Let us ask you: When you started your business, did you have a plan? We’re talking about the full kit and caboodle. The plan you may have turned into your bank or credit union when you applied for loans. The plan that showed the research you put in before you opened your doors. This would include your market analysis, organization and management team, marketing and sales strategy, and financial projections, just to name a few.
Maybe you didn’t take out a loan, and this is the first you’re hearing of an actual business plan. Or maybe you thought your small business simply didn’t need one. But not having a plan is one of the reasons many small businesses fail.
You wouldn’t know your market if you didn’t conduct a market analysis. Poor management of your social media strategy, which you seem to rely on to spread word of mouth with no additional forms of advertising can also play a role.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
So, let’s not talk about what you didn’t do. Instead let’s address what you can do moving forward. Start with your why. Understanding why you decided to put your shingle out and what problem you’re trying to solve can go a long way in helping business owners formulate their plans and keep them going in the tough times.
As an agency that specializes in services that can help with many aspects of a business plan, here are just a few things you can do to improve business in 2023.
This report will help you understand your competition, customer pain points and target market more intimately.
After you’ve identified your target market, you can break it down even further by focusing on exactly who your customers are. From their education level to their interests, household income and other traits, knowing your customer will help you speak to them in a way that resonates with them.
A focus group is just one way to listen to your customer base. A focus group brings together several people in a room to provide honest feedback about your products, services and even marketing style. If your target customers have some valid feedback about the reasons they hold back from purchasing your products or services (otherwise known as a pain point), you can make needed adjustments to win them back. If you have customers coming in but not buying, a focus group may give you the answers you seek.
Relying solely on word of mouth doesn’t work for everyone when they are starting out. Repetitive statements about your image or your products are important in the form of advertising, whether you’re doing it via print, radio or television ad. Make a plan for the best avenue to market your business through advertising as a supplement to your social media.
Speaking of social media, a strategy is a must. Know where and when to post, understand why you should word things differently on different channels, and learn the ins and outs of each of them. We have a great blog series on social media on our website, including Revisiting Your Social Media Strategy.
A lot goes into running a successful business. If there is one takeaway you can get from only just learning about forming a business plan, it’s that knowledge is power. Equip yourself with the facts, use what you’ve learned to create a strategy and power forward.
If you need help with focus groups, marketing, advertising, social media, videography or any of our services, reach out to us or visit our website at m3group.biz.