Are you ready to create a solid business plan to crush your sales goal for 2021?
Having a clearly defined sales process has been shown to help improve the success of an organization in sales and marketing. Without one, organizations run the risk of hitting all the wrong targets, missing out on opportunities, and forgetting about the impact on the brand as a whole.
If you follow the outline below, you’ll be on the right track for a solid business plan. Because I love it when a plan comes together.
Cue the A Team music.
Create your purpose and set goals
A vital first step is to identify the ultimate goal of your business plan. What do you want to achieve in the long term?
For the purpose of sales, you want to sell your products and services to a wide audience. The long term vision will help you to craft a clear and unique sales process. If your sales are driven to a single account, you’ll also need to work on identifying your ideal customer. Don’t worry, it’s not that hard.
When you set goals, be gentle on yourself! Set small goals that you can accomplish in a day, week or a month. Then move on to the quarterly and annual goals. Here’s an example:
- Share on social media daily
- Post a blog every week
- Host an event every month
Your business plan is already taking shape!
Define your target audience
As well as defining the goal of your business plan, it’s also important to take time to establish the market you’re speaking to.
Not only are you going to learn how to speak their language, but you’ll also learn what they consume as far as content, products, and services. Niche down if you can and truly define who you want to target!
Questions to ask yourself:
- Who would use your product or service the most?
- How can you reach them?
- Where do they spend their time online?
Get your tools together
Once you’ve defined the goals, it’s time to focus on the materials and systems you’ll need to help you reach your goals. This includes:
- Contact management tools like HubSpot CRM, ActiveCampaign or ConvertKit.
- Blogging tools like WordPress, Bramework or Canva.
- Social Media Marketing tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
- Automation tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Zapier.
- Event building tools like Zoom, YouTube or Loom.
- Analysis tools like Semrush, Ahrefs or Google Analytics.
- Motivational and mediation tools Calm, Shine or Headspace.
These are all tools you can use to help create your business plan, and ensure you can stick to it. Notice that self-care tools are on that list!
5 steps for a solid business plan
Using the outline below you can break your business plan into the steps that you’ll need to follow.
Once you’ve completed each step, it’s time to look at your audience, the plan you’ve set up, and the tools you’ll need to contact them to see how you can maximize those interactions.
Step 1: Generate leads with your blog
Start writing, my friends! Blogging is the #1 lead generation tactic you can do to grow your brand.
It is SO important that I have built an entire series about blogging to build your brand. Take it from me – CBCInked – I started blogging before it was cool. It was lead to priceless partnerships, lucrative opportunities and everlasting friendships.
So what are the quick and dirty things you need to know to blog? I’ve put them together for you in the Marketing in a Box course.
Step 2: Offer downloadable content
Offering your audience something that they can have (for free) is important to build authority and trust.
If you position yourself as the expert (which you are), you can offer valuable resources for your audience to keep. This includes and is not limited to, anything they can download from your website. Here’s a quick list:
- eBook – Don’t be scared by this one. It’s not THAT hard. You just have to niche down to a skill that you think people will need. You can create an eBook in Canva or Google Slides for free. I created one for Bramework about SEO and the importance of keyword analysis. It took me about 3 days.
- White paper – These are just really long blogs. If you have an expert opinion on how things can be done better for a certain skill, write it out! A good white paper is about 2,500 – 5,000 words. So get ready to write a lot.
- Workshop – Yes, these can be pre-recorded downloadable workshops that you offer. You can work up a how-to or a step by step guide on your skillset and VOILA! You have a downloadable workshop. These are much like my Webcasts – take a peek.
- Complete guide – Often you will see these complete guides for download that can be great resources. Be a great resource! Coming up with a complete guide will take time, but you can chip away at it. Here are a few examples of really good guides.
- Case study – If someone is serious about employing you or buying your product, they may want to download a case study. These can also be made for free or you can outsource them to a content writer.
Step 3: Get social and engage with others
Social media is a must when you’re creating a solid business plan.
Once you’ve discovered your target audience, it’s time to get social. If you’re looking to sell services, it’s important to connect with them online. If you can connect with them in the real world, even better! But for now, let’s stick to the social media that you should have your brand registered on:
- Facebook – Yes, you have to have a Facebook business page or group that will help you engage with others. Here are some tips to start a Facebook group that can really grow your brand.
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is great for networking! So do just that. Connect, support and share. And be professional about it.
- Twitter – Having a Twitter account can be a blessing and a curse. Participate in Twitter Chats, grow Twitter Lists, and have a Twitter plan.
- Instagram – What a great visual platform! Instagram is a great social site for sharing photos, videos and inspirational content. You can create a personal or business page and link it right to your site or store. Be careful, Instagram can get addicting!
- Optional: YouTube, Tik Tok and Pinterest (but who has the TIME)
Step 4: Host events (virtually) and get featured on others
It’s time to host a fun event! This could mean hosting a webinar, workshop or podcast. If you can build your brand through these events, you will also be building your content library.
Hosting a webinar is NO joke, though! You need to be organized, have the right tools and connections for good hosts. I put together a Webinar in a Box webcast that has everything you need to host a successful webinar.
Don’t forget – the easiest webinar is the one you don’t throw!
Be a featured guest on a webinar, workshop or tutorial by buddying up with your support system. If you see someone crushing it with their webinar game, hop in and offer your expertise!
You better have a killer slide deck ready – you are the star of the show.
Step 5: Ask for testimonials and case studies
Once you’ve begun to build relationships, don’t be afraid to ask them for feedback.
There is no shame in asking them if they would be willing to refer your business to a colleague. Bonus: offer a sample of your product or service in return.
Take note of your response to each question, and develop the right strategy to keep the conversation going to make sure you’re on the right track.
Here is the best way to create a case study from scratch.
CBCInked Wrap Up: Your Business Plan for 2021
Having a solid business plan is key to growing your brand! It’s not going to come together overnight, but if you get the fundamental pieces in place – it will start to take shape.
If you are struggling with putting together your business plan, reach out to me! I am always here to chat or consult you on how I can help. I’ve been bootstrapping my art career for over 10 years, I know a thing or two about struggling.
Marketing does not have to be hard! It takes time and personalization, yes. At the end of the day, if you have the right tools and a mission – you are unstoppable.
You got this.