If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – that’s why writing a solid business plan is the best first step you can take toward making your dream of owning a successful small business a reality.
In this recording of our “Writing a Business Plan to Get What You Want!” webinar you’ll learn about a Business Plan and its sections, including:
The importance of deciding who the plan is for
The Business Overview – Talking about The Opportunity and why what you offer is The Solution; defining the target market; describing the unique aspects of a business that give it a competitive advantage and how the business owner intends to keep that advantage
Vision – Where the owner sees their company in 3 – 5 years, the ultimate goal for the business, and a description of the exit strategy
What to include in the Marketing Research section – Industry trends, consumer trends, wider general trends (government, economic, technology) that may impact a product; a business’ main competitors and their potential impact.
Sales Projections – How to calculate reasonable sales projections to include in a business plan
Management Team – Why is the owner the best person to launch this business, given their support team and contacts?
Marketing and Sales Strategy – The plan to get the word out about products given factors like prices, location, size of area to be covered, marketing budget, and projected sales
Operations – Discussion of operational issues like processes and delivery; how processes will be tracked to ensure completion; who handles human resources issues like hiring, scheduling, etc., and how they will be handled.
Action Steps – The importance of showing the company’s goals for today, as well as its Short Term and Long Term goals.
Financial Projections – Demonstration that the business is financially viable and sustainable over the long-term.
Executive Summary – Written last, but first thing reader sees. Must entice reader to keep reading.
At just 11 minutes in length, it’ll be one of our shorter webinars in the series, but it’s chock full of information for anyone who wants to master the art of marketing a small business effectively on a low budget.
The easiest marketing tool to adopt? A smile. Just smile, folks – even over the phone. Your customers can tell. The marketing tool you might not have thought of? Call Display. (You’ll have to watch to find out!)
Learn about Small Business Solver’s Marketing Solver Tool, which uses your responses to questions about your small business to make suggestions about which of the 300 marketing tools currently out there will work best for you. Each suggestion comes with an information sheet that you can view to learn about how to use the tool.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is always changing. Your website is ranked based on staying up to date on these changes.
Learn the ins and outs of what is changing in SEO and how this could impact whether or not people find your small business online. If you don’t know these tips and what changes your rankings could drop!
On the flip side, there are things that haven’t changed and may never change. What this means for your small business is that if you focus on these best practices, your small business website will be protected and maintain its high rank regardless of SEO changes.
Keep up to date on all of the Search Engine Optimization changes for small business as we run online seminar like this every 6 months.
Social media is always changing!! It is important as a small business owner to stay on top of these changes and how this will impact your business online.
This 30 minute video talks about how social media is changing and where it is headed. Specific new tools are reviewed and any way that you can use them in small business is discussed.
After the webinar, a few questions were asked.
1. What other goals can you have for your social media?
– you can do market research, marketing testing, and find out how your customers actually feel about your business.
2. How do you decide where to spend your time?
– start with the basic ones, LinkedIn and Twitter are more stable to invest time into. Explore the new social media platforms when you have ‘free time’.
3. How can you think out of the box and become viral in your social media marketing?
– social media isn’t as viral as we all think it is. It is all about reaching a certain threshold where your video or post is highly ranked in its search. To get there, promote to your network and friends. Once you hit the threshold this becomes easier and easier.
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When we think marketing we often think advertising. But with business becoming more of a science, there are now marketing software out there that can help grow your business.
Obviously technology is more than just social media and your computer, and this is your opportunity to understand what some of those tools are that could help your business.
Marketing automation is one of the newest techniques out there. And it is becoming increasingly important as by 2020 it is estimated that 85% of a company’s customer interactions will be automated and through technology. This means that these marketing automation best practices are only going to become more important.
The 10 Commandments of Marketing Automation
1. Be 100% customer focused. What are your customers pain points?
2. Be pressure free. Gone are the days of the pushy sales person.
3. Support the internal sale. Remember that you are working with more than the decider when you are selling. There are influencers and other stakeholders you need to communicate with.
4. Marketing automation is part of your integrated inbound marketing strategy.
5. Drive repeat purchases. Keep them engaged!
6. Content driven. Have relevant new content to keep them interested.
7. It must be multi channel. Not everyone uses one communication channels. There are many and they are growing!
8. Reflect interest, not just action. Interest is important too!
9. Accessible no matter how someone is accessing the information.
10. Cross platform. The new normal is using different devices.
Find out more and what software is available through the video!
Public relations (PR) is one of the most effective forms of marketing. Why? It is instantly credible and it often gets your business into mediums that you might not be able to access otherwise.
Think about when you read a newspaper, instantly any business that is mentioned or quoted is considered more credible or a leader in the field. The same applies if you hear someone presenting, on the radio, or even mentioned on a blog. Taking advantage of this low cost and effective marketing tool becomes critical.
Some of the top things to remember about PR is this;
1. Know your public.
2. Target communication.
3. Be consistent.
4. Know the tools and resources available to you.
5. Plan ahead.
To learn all of the details and tricks from a PR consultant, check out the video.
Netwriting or writing on the web is an evolving art. With more and more consumers turning to the web prior to making a purchase, it is becoming a more important medium.
Some of the questions that are answered in this video are;
– how do you write differently for web?
– how do you write differently for mobile phones?
– where do you put the most important messages?
– what are some emerging trends in online writing?
Some best practices when writing in general is to use the inverted pyramid approach where the most important or key points are at the top. Another is to use an active voice and ensure that the message is what the audience is looking for.
Web writing takes these writing best practices and turbo charges them with some other things you need to take into consideration.
1. Simplicity. Web needs to simple. Mobile needs to be even more simple.
2. Scan-able. People read websites in a pre defined order. Make sure your most important messaging are in these areas.
3. Search-able. Traditional search engine optimization best practices are no longer as important. Content (your writing!) is becoming increasingly important and providing relevant and credible information is critical. There is an entire new industry on content marketing based on this requirement.