"Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now." Best-selling author Alan Lakein shared this wisdom about proactive living. He wrote the book How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life, which has sold over three million copies.
His quote suggests that one should possess a more in-the-moment perspective about the future. Planning allows you to mold and shape your future in the present, which means you can minimize negative outcomes later.
Figuratively speaking, it's like taking a trip in a time machine to a future destination and learning how to make the best of this situation before it happens. Interesting way to think of your business plans, right? That trip allows you to theorize what kind of obstacles you will face, relationships that will form and fade, as well as milestones you will reach.
Therefore, you can move forward more confidently, knowing you have a structured, controllable approach of how you want your business to turn out. In other words, it's about taking initiative.
Don't wait for the future to happen to you; you happen to the future! Take advantage of this insight using the tips below and craft creative solutions for the best business plans!
Is There a Fillable Gap in the Market for Your Idea(s)?
According to The Guardian's Alison White, you should consider if and why a gap exists in the market for your idea to flourish. We understand you want to birth creative solutions that will outdo competitors, but think about whether that gap in the market is truly problematic in and of itself.
Maybe the creative solutions you are brainstorming have already been tried unsuccessfully by your competitors, creating the gap. In this case, they ended up finding out the hard way what consumers disapprove of. Not doing your research on market demands beforehand could lead you to the same unfortunate outcome. Therefore, that gap needs to exist.
In other words, market gaps don't always equate to lucrative business opportunities. Instead, take enough time out to do some serious research to understand where consumer demands lie and how you can approach them with greater innovation and enthusiasm. Here are some sources you should access: online market research tanks, Google Trends and Analytics, social media, competitors' case studies, surveys, interviews, conferences, and much more. Use the information you gain to create solid business plans with realistic expectations - you won't regret it! This leads us to our next point.
Better Business Planning with Audience Segmentation
Your research will help you identify variations within your target population. Therefore, it's important to develop multiple business plans to meet their unique needs. By adhering to a more specific approach, you take into account how discrepancies between members of your target population impact your creative solutions.
Furthermore, you're considering how differently members would respond to them. In other words, what may work for one group may not work for another.
Make use of audience segmentation to create homogeneous subgroups which help guide audience analysis in the right direction. This is a more refined process than extracting information from basic research sources.
It better captures demographics, psychographics, communication behaviors, and media use in an organized/categorical fashion. And it helps you nail down research mediums that are keen for your subgroups' nature - ones you may otherwise have never thought of.
Better Use of Time and Resources
Audience segmentation of your business plans allows you to optimize the use of your time and resources. A realistic approach encourages you to work within your means.
If you don't have the funds to offset and sustain a particular project, for example, it's ideal to focus on what you are capable of instead. No matter how awesome the project idea is.
This helps you better cope with screw-ups, too. Things don't always go as planned, and working beyond your means can translate into a bigger mess to clean up. Besides, Entrepreneur says it's best to be conservative with your financial estimates and projections.
For example, don't say you'll gain a 70 percent increase in annual revenue thanks to your new product on the market if you're likely to gain revenue of around 5 percent per quarter. Doing so will keep your optimism going because you leverage milestones based on real strengths - controllable assets of your business.
Therefore, you can have a smoother experience of transitioning to new business plans to achieve even more success.
Don't Isolate Yourself
Take advantage of a strong management team to make this happen. Besides, it can be easy to get carried away with over-the-top goals when relying on only one person's ideas. A strong management team possesses the appropriate credentials and expertise for your professional needs.
This team can help put your ideas to the test to understand whether they are feasible for long-term business planning. You can afford to understand your industry from fresh, valuable perspectives. Maybe they help you discover exciting audience subgroups to cater to that never crossed your mind.
Also, your team could save you money if you outsource management to a reputable agency (with fancy tools in stock that you lack) instead of going in-house. Just make sure you look around and gather quotes before you seal the deal with the first agency that catches your eye.
To wrap things up, here's another great quote from Lakein: "Failing to plan is planning to fail." Not planning out your business moves doesn't mean you're not making impactful business decisions. Be mindful of the consequences your choices have on your company's profitability.
Make sure your business plans are realistic and conservative. Have a solid management team by your side to help monitor, evaluate, and optimize your creative solutions.
If you're looking for an expert team to help with your online marketing strategies, we can assist you. Schedule a consultation so we can craft and implement satisfying business plans together.