If there is one challenge that all businesses share, it’s how to find ideal clients.
It begins with the business plan. In the words of Thomas Edison:
is what happens when
Business plans are important to:
- identify and document goals and outcomes;
- create a blueprint on how to get there;
- develop relevant marketing initiatives, activities and actions; and
- build the business profile and brand amongst ideal clients and networks.
Key questions for functional and relevant digital marketing
Simon Sinek is a British / American motivational speaker, marketing consultant, and author of three bestselling books including “Start with Why.”
Meeting someone for the first time, instead of asking “so what do you do?” Sinek suggests the first question should be “so why do you do what you do?”
What does this have to do with the business plan and finding ideal clients?
In building the plan, the question Sinek poses is a great place to start: “Why do you do what you do? (what drives you, what motivates you – your purpose, cause, belief – why does your business exist?).” Answering these questions first helps ensure business and personal goals are aligned, consistent and complementary.
Sinek says everyone has a ‘why.’ Sinek’s TED Talk can be found here.
Having established the firm’s ‘why’, will then lead to ‘how’ and ‘what’ needs to be done (not the other way around). This approach will also help identify who the business’ ideal clients are (and why they are ideal – what makes them ideal).
Ask ideal clients what they need and want (and why) – focus on delivering those needs and wants (rather than on what the business makes or provides). Asking and answering these questions will open up a whole world of where the business may go and how to get there. There’s plenty of advice readily available on what headings (slides) to include in the business plan (so that advice is not repeated here).
Completing the business plan is just the beginning – it’s the implementation and day to day living of the plan that deliver success. That’s the difference between having a plan and achieving goals.
Key criteria for success
The key criteria for success are:
- having a well thought out and documented business plan; and
- sticking to that plan on a daily basis (living the plan each and every day).
In developing the plan, “Nirvana” is to have ideal clients seek out the business. So anything that takes the firm towards that goal is positive.
Having addressed the core issues of mission, vision, values, value proposition, services, structure, people, etc., the plan should focus on clearly identifying:
- who the firm’s ideal clients are (who they currently are, who the firm would like them to be, who they could be, and why they are ideal – the types of organisations, their background, profile, traits, characteristics);
- where they can be found (how do they spend their day; what activities do they participate in; what groups are they members of; what events do they attend; what are their interests?); and
- how to engage with them on a daily basis (raising the company’s profile amongst its ideal clients and networks; building the firm’s brand; what events and activities the firm should attend or organise).
Marketing initiatives, activities and actions
The plan should identify and commit to a series of marketing initiatives, activities and actions that ensure the business:
- constantly surrounds itself with ideal clients; and
- engages with ideal clients on a daily and on-going basis.
This way, new business won or existing business retained, will be of a type that is consistent with the business plan.
These initiatives, activities and actions should be specific and detailed in the plan headings (slides) titled:
- Marketing initiatives, activities and actions; and
- Calendar of marketing initiatives, activities and actions (with timelines covering the next 18 months).
These two headings (slides) are amongst the most critical because they detail exactly what the business is going to do to attract its ideal clients (including how and with specific dates covering the next 18 months).
By: Paul Kennedy Principal, PGV Consulting Brisbane
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