Thursday, December 9, 2010

Preparation, forward thinking and plan B

Right now everyone is doing the Holiday hustle.  Last weekend I traveled to Chicago on a shopping bus.  Our destination was The Magnificent Mile. I love everything about Chicago, having lived there for 5 years, I really enjoy the city.  That being said, I hate cold weather... so I was a little hesitant, I wanted to go to Chicago, but I did not want to freeze!  My friends and I decided that just in case it was really cold that we make some 'inside' plans.  We decided to go to a play, Miracle on 34th Street.  It was a great decision.

We were dropped off and walked the few blocks to Watertower to do a little shopping before the play.  As we did, the snow softly, yet steadily fell upon the City.  It was beautiful, in fact, almost breathtaking.  There were people, lots of people, yet everyone seemed to be in a good spirits.  The Salvation Army bell ringers were doing a great job engaging people for donations by shouting out Holiday Wishes.  The lights were beautiful and the decorations complimented the lights perfectly.  We had a great time, we got absolutely soaked with snow flakes, so much so that I had to use the heater in the hallway at Watertower to dry my hair.  (I got a few odd looks from people for doing that)

The cab ride to the play, as cab rides usually are, was wild and I grabbed the safety bar more than once.  The play was great.  It was in a little, intimate theater that shared space with 3 other stages under the same roof. It was located in the Belmont theater area, very progressive and a little eclectic.  Most of the cast members played more than one part.  I have never see the movie or play before.  It was awesome.

After the play we headed back toward our bus pick up spot.  We never got cold, we did get wet, but we had a great time.  We had a plan and we stuck to it.  We wanted to make sure and have shopping time, yet have a plan to be inside in case it was too cold for us.

Its hard to think about business at this time of year.  But we have to look ahead and prepare.  Make a plan and have that plan in place and be ready to hit the road running on Jan 1.  If, after a few weeks the plan needs revision or you need to make revisions to the plan, be ready to do that.  Even if you have to scrap it all together in order to change with the economy or business levels, then have Plan B waiting in the wings.

Just like taking a day to shop and having a plan in place to make it a great day, so must you have marketing plans that will allow you to change those plans if need be.

Are you prepared?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Marketing plan 2011

Have you prepared your business plan for 2011?  Its time, in fact its probably about 2 months past time.  I believe though that it is never too late to start to do something good for yourself.

So that being said, here are some tips to create a very basic business plan for 2011.

First define your ideal customer.  Be specific, paint a good picture of this customer, make a profile that you can relate to about this customer and make sure you fully understand them.

Second, identify how you will connect with your ideal customer.  What methods will you use to gather new clients?  What will you need to do or to learn to grow your ideal customer base?

What problems do you intend to solve for your customers?  What is unique about you and how you plan to solve the customer's problem?  How are you going to show them that you are the person to help them?

What tools, programs, assistance or education to you need to accomplish solving your customers problems in 2011?  How has that changed from 2010?

Who will you need to employ, partner with or engage the services of in order to connect with your clients?

What expenses will be involved in employing these people or services?

How are you going to execute on your plan?  Who is going to do the work, in other words, are the right people on board and is the plan going in the right direction. (that direction is forward!)

What do you need to worry about?  Who is your biggest threat and how can you plow ahead of that threat?

What steps do you need to take to carry this plan forward?  Be specific, list the steps.

How are you going to measure your success?  Again, be specific.

Get your plan in motion.  That does NOT mean post it in your office and hope that happens.  That means place action steps ON YOUR CALENDAR.  Put aside time to implement those steps and get it moving today.  Not next week, next year or even the first of Start the forward motion, NOW!

You and only you can follow through.  Now the good news is you have resources, find them and use them!  Don't feel overwhelmed, you can seek help and maximize your talent by employing those that can assist you with your plan.  But the best thing you can do is to begin the movement.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Marketing in 2011

Web, Blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, Digg, and much, much more.  Where does one begin?  How can you begin to implement these strategies into you marketing plan for 2011.  If you have not already started using these strategies...well the train has already left the station.   But don't worry, we can help!  Real Assist QC is helping people get started using Social marketing everyday, and we can help you too.

Attend our Marketing Conference series to be held on January 12th, 19th, and 26th.  We will show you how to create your own Brand and how to use Social Media to build your business in 2011.  For more information visit

You won't want to miss this Conference!