Being in a quandary prevents you from moving forward in developing and marketing your business. When we’re in a quandary, we are in a state of perplexity and doubt. We don’t know how to move forward to accomplish those things that are crucial to attracting clients and growing our business. One of the first things we need to recognize about being in a quandary is that we are, in fact, in one! There are a number of easy, simple things that you can start doing today to get yourself out of that place of being stuck.
1. Craft a business plan and review it quarterly. A business plan is your strategy for guiding your business towards the success you envision. It is a roadmap. It will serve to guide you from where you are today to where you want to be. It includes important items like defining your business niche and target market, your marketing plan, financial projections, staffing, investments, as well as the benefits and features of your products and services. If you don’t have a plan to follow, your chances of achieving success are greatly diminished. Plans remind us of what we are doing and why. They help to keep us on track and provide a benchmark to which we can compare our actual progress.
2. Write down weekly goals and measure your performance. One of the best ways to become unstuck is to write down what we want to accomplish. Several important things happen as a result. First, writing something down makes it more real. You take your ideas that are swimming around in your head and you put pencil to paper and start making them a reality. Second, by writing down your goals, it helps you to become more clear about what you want to accomplish. Fuzzy goals result in fuzzy outcomes. Writing will help you gain more clarity. Finally, by keeping a written record of what you intend to do, you’re automatically providing yourself with a handy checklist against which you can measure your performance.
3. Revisit your marketing plan monthly. Your marketing plan, one subset of your overall business plan, is fundamental to your business success. It includes your strategies for selling your product or service. It typically includes a marketing calendar, which lays out your plans week by week and month by month of what you intend to do. Your activities might include placing advertisements, public speaking engagements, publishing articles, teaching seminars or workshops, attending networking events, or publishing a weekly column in a newspaper. Each of these activities needs to be carefully defined, scheduled in your marketing calendar, executed, and measured for effectiveness. It’s crucial to track what you are doing to market your business so you can make adjustments along the way – to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t work. Revisit and revise your marketing plan monthly.
4. Watch the trends. When you’re in business for yourself, there is a lot to be said for “keeping up with the Joneses”. As a businessperson it is important to be aware of the trends, the fads, and the current “group think”. This information provides valuable input to help you either develop new products or services for your clientele, or to repackage, repurpose, or reposition the ones you currently have. While we might not care for the current trends, the fact is they do influence customer sentiment and what they will buy from you. You need to make sure consumers understand your marketing and that it speaks to them and the current issues they may be facing.
5. Survey your clients. One quick way to get out of a marketing quandary is to survey your clients and find out what they’re thinking, what they like, what they don’t like, and what they most want. When in doubt, just ask. There are a variety of ways you can survey your clients. You can call them up for an informal chat, you can send them a survey through the mail, or better yet, you can send them an electronic survey, which you can create either for free or for a low fee through a variety of means including