{Business Tips} Business Plan of Attack

Back in January, Lori of Drinks to Design, wrote a great post, 2011 – Look Back & Plan Forward.  It is now April {can you believe it?} and if you haven’t already, you should take some time to devise a plan of attack.  There are lot of people out that that will stress the importance of having a business plan – I stress the importance of  just having a Plan.  You don’t need to wait for a New Year to come around to decide a plan of action – this can be done anytime you are ready to get serious.  However, Springtime feels like an appropriate time for this because the weather is getting nicer, spirits are lifting and these can spark some motivation in everyone.

Let’s make this blogpost interactive, I don’t want you to just sit there and read, I want you to follow along. Go grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil – I’ll wait for you to be all set; when you are ready scroll down.

moleskine journal bird blue paper denim quote

RedorGreyArt : moleskine journal bird blue paper denim quote

Ready? Let’s begin.

I’m going to ask you to answer a few short questions, when we are done, you’ll have the framework for your Plan of Attack.  Here we go:

1. Write down 3 goals you want to achieve in your business in 2012.   Goals are an important, but you have to be specific and keep it simple. For example, think of goals you set for yourself when you make a New Years Resolution – things like “lose weight”, “workout more”, “spend time with family” – these tend to be general and non-specific, you can improve them by adding a bit more detail. For example, “Lose weight” can be “Lose 5 lbs in one month”.  Now translate this technique into a business goal. For example:

  • Create a new banner for my shop that helps define what I offer / my mission / my theme on Etsy.
  • Retake  and upload 3 product images a month
  • Update my shop policies to provide more specific information for my customers
  • etc, etc, etc
2. Describe your dream customer in one or two paragraphs.  Have some fun with this one. Close your eyes and picture your perfect customer (try to get very specific):
  • How old is (s)he?
  • What color eyes does (s)he have?
  • What’s her/his favorite meal?
  • How does he/she dress?
  • What type of house does he/she live in (apartment, condo, house)?
  • Where does she/he live? (city, country, suburbia, urban district)?
  • How much money does your dream customer earn?
  • What does your dream customer do for work?
3. Write down how much you would like to sell in 2012?  This can be a dollar amount, a total number of items, or a total number of sales (no matter how many items).  Example:
  • I’d like to sell 100 pieces of items xyz
  • I’d like to have $10,000 in sales in 2012
  • I’d like to sell $500 a month in 2012
4.  Write down 3 things you will do in 2012 to promote your shop.  I’m going to hold you to these three things, so give it some thought.  Remember the idea is to keep it simple.  Here are some ideas to help you get started:
  • I’ll participate in a Sample box twice this year : April & August
  • I’ll pay for advertising on high traffic blog for two months
  • I’ll include a freebie with all my orders
  • I’ll create a Facebook fan page and work on getting 1,000 fans in 2012
  • I’ll start a blog and post links to my shop and specific items in my shop
  • I’ll partner with another EcoEtsy team member to cross-promote
5. Write down 2 events you will host in 2012.  I know everyone dreads having to plan events, but staying in the whole keep it simple thought – you’re events don’t have to be huge groundbreaking events. You may consider piggy-backing off someone else’s event.  Here are some event examples:
  • I’ll host a quarterly giveaway for my shop via my Facebook fan page
  • I’ll host a bi-annual blow-out sale in July to clear out any items that have no been hot sellers
  • I’ll host a huge coupon sale in June
  • I will start a birthday club offering members a freebie on their birthday
Uncorked Diagram Necklace

Uncorked: Diagram Necklace

That’s it! Your answers to these 5 questions will help you develop a framework for your Plan of Attack.  Writing these things down may have been easy for some and a bit challenging for others, but once it’s down on paper you’re done with the planning part. Now laminate your paper (I tend to do this with packing tape) and stick it up somewhere you will have it in constant sight and take action (or attack). Put your plan into motion and make 2012 a great year.
I would love to read portions of your plans of attack.  Please share your answer to one of the questions above as a comment.  
About Myra @ HerbanLuxe

Myra is an Etsian with an MBA. The art of business and technology are her two obsessions. She has been writing EcoEtsy Business Tips since 2010. Myra grew up in Puerto Rico with grandparents who were a head of their time and didn't know it - living what we would call today, "a simple green life." Her love of learning and teaching are the key drivers in almost everything she does.

Comments

  1. I am so glad to have your words and I believe with a proper plan anything can lead to the success and this sort of words really inspire and helps us to be best in our life. That’s why most of the successful people always think a business writing with full of content.

  2. I am still working on my list but a couple of goals for me is:
    mastering social media ie: regular FB posting AND sending out postcards to past customers. I am always so encouraged by your post Myra! thanks for using my notebook btw!

  3. Thank you for this post! I’ve been dragging and dreading writing that business plan but this really helped me get a game plan for THIS year at least :)

    3 Things I will do to Promote my Shop:
    1. Host two giveaways – one in early summer with another shop (my hat, her bow clip); and one in early autumn on a very high-traffic couponing blog (giveaway my item, with her review, and a shipping code for everyone to use for holiday shopping).
    2. Leave business cards at local coffee shops & on community boards.
    3. Attend an autumn craft show (ideally two).

  4. Great post Myra! While I have a couple of these complete, you’ve got some great suggestions that will keep the rest of my year on track. Thanks!!