Last week I wrote about smart business goal setting and gave my five tips to help you set goals and then actually act on them.
They say that “failing to plan is planning to fail,” and while I do believe this, I think we can get carried away with planning to the point where it paralyzes us from taking action.
I don’t believe you need a multi-page marketing plan to succeed, especially if you run your own business. If you are the one responsible for marketing in your business (which I think you should be since it’s the most important element to your long term survival) you don’t need the same kind of full-blown plan you would if you worked in a large corporation with layers of senior management who needed to approve your plan.
My fellow MBA graduates would probably cringe at me suggesting a one page marketing plan and that’s certainly not what I produced for my corporate clients back in the 1990s.
I’ve been my own boss for 20 years and I’ve always found that the longer the plan I write for myself, the less likely I am to follow it.
Part of why I’ve chosen to be an entrepreneur all these years is the creative energy and inspiration that comes from being able to act on my ideas without sitting around analyzing them to death, or waiting to get approval from others above me on the corporate ladder.
A one page marketing plan gets me far closer to my goals than a big report ever will, otherwise I just suck all the joy out of my ideas before I actually act on them.
So with the spring real estate market getting underway in the 6 to 8 weeks, whether you’re a real estate agent or a home stager, I think it’s important to spend focused time thinking about your business.
I begin with a huge sheet of paper and start by “mind mapping” and brainstorming various ideas. I don’t sit at a computer to do this, somehow doing it by hand on paper is more conducive to idea generation. After much thought and brainstorming by myself, I do make a list of marketing goals along with a list of specific steps I’ll take to reach those goals.
I find the more specific I am, the better. I also keep it simple so that I will take action rather than feeling overwhelmed.
In your planning for the new year, try not to do what you’ve always done (especially if you’re expecting better results than you’ve had before). And most especially, don’t just do what you see everyone else doing. Step outside the box and challenge yourself to break from the pack, that where the real rewards are.
So how big is your plan? How do you go about tackling the process?
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
A Fortune 500 company veteran, Debra Gould has been a business writer since the 1980s and wrote a chapter of the book “Marketing Masters” published in 1998. She is also known as The Staging Diva and is president of Six Elements Inc., an internationally recognized home staging company that is frequently profiled in the media in both the US and Canada. Debra Gould developed the Staging Diva Training Program to create opportunities for others to grow their own profitable home staging businesses. There are currently over 1000 Staging Diva Graduates around the world.[tags] Debra Gould, Staging Diva, Six Elements, marketing plan, strategy, marketing strategy[/tags]