Why business stops developing and how to avoid stagnation
Let’s simulate the situation: 1-2 years ago you started your business. The first year was the development, the first customers and the first investment in their own business.
But after 2-3 years, and the development has stalled. Work with clients eats up most of the time, and the development is chronically lacking in energy, time and, often, money. Hiring an experienced marketer is expensive, but your business lacks systematic development and a “road map” for its promotion.
It is better to start the new year with a ready and detailed plan of company development, which will help you clearly understand the vectors of company development, marketing and PR tools that will be used, systematically manage marketing communications and plan budgets.
Development plan of the company is a document, which is usually made for a year. Every quarter it can be adjusted, but it is important not to deviate from the planned strategic goals.
The company development plan must specify its goals, objectives, tools, algorithms for their application, and the employees responsible for all areas.
Naturally, the plan should indicate who is responsible for keeping it up to date. If the company does not have a marketer, then this responsibility automatically falls on the owner or his assistant.
It is important to remember that any, even the best, project will “choke” if it is presented incorrectly to the market, and marketing and promotion issues will be left “for later”. In today’s world and in such a dynamic information space, without a competent and, most importantly, systematic digital promotion strategy, your product will simply get lost.
Experience shows that most startups and people who start their own business concentrate most of the time on creating a product/service, but pay very little attention to the strategy and tactics of bringing the product/service to market and, accordingly, forget to leave budgets for it, counting on the “coolness” and exclusivity of their product/service. And the budget for the successful launch of the product on the market can often be 50% of the cost of production of the product (sometimes even more). Because for many categories of goods and services markets are oversaturated and extremely competitive.
It follows from this that if the product service is not properly organized to bring the product to market, the cost of creating the product can be wasted and the success of your business will be threatened.
Given that almost all companies use annual budgeting, I advise you to do exactly the same. This means that before the new year or right after the Christmas holidays, an itemized plan should be made that will answer the following questions:
– what goal the company wants to achieve by the end of the year;
– Which companies do we want to see among our clients (not only an industry and a segment but a specific list);
– What tools and channels of communication will be used: online/offline
The costs of communication channels on a monthly and quarterly basis, who is responsible for the effectiveness of their use and collects statistics;
– what online channels need to be created, developed or upgraded: whether the corporate website and the web pages support the functionality that will be needed. It may be necessary to update them and/or expand their functionality. Don’t forget that the “external” part of the site and the “internal” part of it are two big differences. Externally, for example, the interface of the site may look nice, but it may have serious problems with the “engine”, code, SEO-optimization, etc. Experience shows that if a company does not make at least an annual SEO audit of the site, there are definitely problems with it, if only because web technologies and search engine algorithms do not stand still. This is especially true for the availability and adaptability of mobile versions of sites;
– Who will generate content and be responsible for the effectiveness of digital communications.
It’s no secret that social networks and messengers are excellent generators of traffic, including targeted traffic. Missing out on such an opportunity and not generating social traffic to your site is, at the very least, very short-sighted;
– Who is responsible for the collection, consolidation and analysis of statistics, so that the manager was able to monthly / quarterly and monthly / quarterly / yearly results to understand the effectiveness of the company development plan;
– in what areas your competitors are ahead of you. Competitive analysis – an important element of the plan to understand what vectors in the development of the company should be a priority, taking into account the state of the market and competitors’ actions.
– What budget is needed to implement the promotion plan.
When approving the development plan, it is important to make sure that it is realistic, feasible and the company’s employees understand the tactics of its implementation. If the executives have suggestions, objections, comments, it is better to stipulate them at the start and record them in the protocol to the plan.
As practice shows, if planning is carried out correctly, the results of the plan are usually very positive: new customers and an increase in company income.