2013, Volume 2, Number 1

If you’re not planning now for year 2014, you’re putting your business in jeopardy. Here are five steps to creating a strategic plan to grow your revenues over prior year with examples of how.

  1. Identify at least two new initiatives for your business: These can be revenue-generating;
    products or services that are new or enhanced; campaigns to build brand awareness; hiring of your first employee(s); or establishing a partnership that opens up new revenue streams.
  2. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals: There are variants of what this acronym stands for but here is the common ground:

S – specific, strategic, significant
M – measurable
A – attainable
R – relevant to your business, realistic, results-oriented
T – time-based, traceable

Example: The broad goal of ABC Total Fashion is to increase its revenue in 2014. Here’s how to turn this broad goal into a SMARTer one.
S – ABC Total Fashion will increase the sale of its lagging accessory line by
adding 240 new jewelry customers in 2014.

M –  ABC will generate an average sale of $100 to 20 new customers each month.

A –  This is achievable since the average price of a jewelry item is $100.

R – By identifying the top 20 clothes customers and providing an incentive, they will
become ABC ambassadors.

T –  By the end of 2014, ABC will have met or exceeded its goal of 240 new customers.
Progress will be tracked month by month and tactics adjusted to meet the goal.
(Read more…)

  1. Create a concrete action plan that is tied directly into the SMART goal. A vague action plan will get you off track of your goal. For example, developing a customer loyalty program is concrete while ‘think of a way to get more customers through my door’ is not.
  2. Develop a contingency plan that addresses two scenarios: What will I do if the economy back slides? If business increases, how can I ramp up and meet customers’ expectations?
  3. Build a budget making sure that you are properly and fully funding your business for the coming year. Include a marketing budget in your plan that will adequately cover any promotions needed for your action plan(s). This entails working with vendors to negotiate favorable pricing for your initiatives that can range from printers, ad reps, merchandisers (branded promotional items) to software and hardware vendors for new system installation and construction/carpentry suppliers for site expansion projects.What are your initiatives for 2014?