This article reveals the steps you can use to write your own strategic go-to-market plan of action. Reading this article will give you new clarity and confidence for building and managing your business with more focus, less cost and stress. In the end, people who use Clarity get better results.
Being In Business: Simple, Not Easy
Have you ever met a small business owner who struggled with hiring people, finding customers, keeping customers, or making digital marketing work without losing their mind or shirt? I know how hard it can be to start, fund, and manage a small business because I've been doing it for almost thirty years. I've lost most of my hair, but I'm powered by my purpose which is to help you get better results using a process you can depend on.
Clarity is the process and system I created to build my most recent small businesses. I've also shared Clarity 1.0 and 2.0 versions with hundreds of other small business owners to make Clarity the success and solution it is today; a bulletproof way to grow a business without losing your mind and shirt.
Clarity carries great significance for me and my clients who use it. Clarity becomes a living, breathing element of your business. I created the Clarity process to bounce back from small business bankruptcy and disaster to grow my next successful coaching and consulting business. It's called Clarity. Imagine that.
One of the worst feelings in the world is to be lost. When we are lost in our small business, career, or personal life, it gets dark quickly. For me, building a small business, selling it, and losing everything I had in the aftermath was humbling. And it also gave me a "moment of clarity" during which I knew what was next for my professional life and career as a freelance business finance, marketing, sales, and technology strategist. I get to be a trusted advisor to people who seek to go where I have been.
It's possible to live, work, and retire on purpose if you succeed in building your small business. But we can all agree that building a business is hard. Most of us fail because of leadership choices. We make costly decisions. We fall into fear. We stop investing, learning, networking, and setting bold intentions with clarity and confidence.
If you have no clarity or confidence in what you do, sell, create, fabricate, design, code, or distribute, you're screwed. It's that simple. I know that pain of not having clarity because I've been there just like everyone else with a prefrontal cortex.
This Is How to Get Clarity
The purpose of Clarity is to prove a proven methodology for getting results in all areas of your business including strategy, plan of action, team, hiring, sales, marketing, technology, and financial statements. Why financial statements? Because the bottom line is what counts.
When you complete this entire process you have a written strategic go-to-market plan of action for any new initiative, product launch, startup, or growth initiative. It's simple, but it's not easy because humans hate to change. We also have trouble focusing. Clarity fixes these and many other blind spots that hold us back.
If you want to live a rich, happy, healthy life, seek to master the inner game of leadership. I suggest you do this by following these steps. These are the principles that make up the process delivering alignment, clarity, and confidence for any committed, willing, high-performance leader and team. If you need help and facilitation through the deepest levels of Clarity, click here to schedule a conversation.
The Clarity Action Planning Process
Here is an overview of the Clarity process for growing your business without losing your mind or shirt.
- Invite your key people to the Clarity process. Building a business and creating wealth is a team sport. Do you want champions on your team or wimps? Included relevant trusted advisors as needed.
- Set one primary goal using the power of intention. Clarity breeds confidence by helping you know what NOT to do. This increases the probability you and your team will reach your goal.
- Outline the first three objectives or milestones. When you do this for each goal it is much easier to stay on track. You know where you need to stop, regroup, adjust, take a break, and get back on the best track if the wind knocks you off course.
- Empower your business; life, and team with purpose. Your purpose powers your plan of action and aligns your team. Imagine the potential for success when everyone shares the same purpose. Your why gives you the power to persist through the obstacles you face.
- Write your vision statement to be inspiring. Keep your vision statement short, inspiring, and easy to remember. Imagine the power of you and everyone else knowing exactly what the intended future looks like. That's one power of Clarity.
- Write your mission statement as a mantra. Your mantra is your mission stated in a concise way using as few words as possible. Draft a mission statement that defines what it is you do for your customer or audience, and make it meaningful so when everyone reads it they are inspired to align with you.
- Write your core values as commitments. Have you ever met a person who didn't keep their promise to you? If you know how that feels, you know the power of the Golden Rule. Our ability to keep our word is a matter of integrity. People who have integrity are "whole" which means they generally know who they are. This means they are generally more honest and truthful. When you write core values as commitments you get better alignment by sharing, "We commit to being honest, doing what is best for everyone, and ... "
- Define your S.W.O.T. elements. This means you intentionally become more aware as a team of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and potential threats or dangers to your business or people. Creating heightened awareness is crucial for anticipating ways to be more efficient, adjust to failure, and get better results progressively.
- Optimize your brand identity, promise, and company culture. Your brand is a reflection of the core values you and your people share. These values will be consistent with your audience and customer base because birds of a feather always flock together. Creating a bold brand identity, image, and consistent message is a process we teach during our workshops and coaching programs. We make it easier for you to agree as a team on the brand assets so we can focus on revenue.
- Know your customers better than competitors. During the Clarity process, we invest the time to get crystal clear defining precisely who your ideal customer is and where to find them. If you know where to fish you might catch one. Do your homework by asking intelligent questions including the use of Lost Business Reports. This helps you know why you lost what you worked hard to earn; customers and cash flow.
- Define your best solution, product, or service in the most attractive way possible. The value of what you sell or do is not the same as price. Know your value, then know this rule. The #1 rule in marketing is test, test, test. We always start promoting and advertising with small, test investments. This helps us see data we can use to make informed decisions. This element of Clarity is about writing a killer Unique Value Proposition that leads to amazing offers that attract and convert more customers.
- Outline the ways you choose to advertise and promote. This related to #11. How can you grow a business if you don't invest wisely in business development, marketing campaigns, and sales follow up that leads to amazing fulfillment and customer services? You can't. This is why we invest several hours initially laying out the elements of your marketing campaign that attract leads and prospects to meet your sales, revenue, and cash flow needs.
- Define your sales process in five stages. Every business needs a sales process that everyone in the company understands clearly. We coach a "culture of accountability" for Clarity clients because when everyone sees sales as "helping our team and customers get what they want" the sales head trash the holds us back is gone. Map out a simple, clear sales process including five stages.
- Use technology and systems and keep it simple. One of the worst things you can do for your business is to make it harder to succeed. I love technology. But I also fear how it can crush the soul of mere mortals who want nothing more than to find a way to make the business of life easier. If technology complicates your business and life, what good is it? If you buy software at a seminar and rush back to the office telling everyone about it, how long before your team starts giving you a fit? Keep the tech simple. Use tech that makes sense. Work with a trusted marketing technologist, not a salesman.
- Keep score of what counts the most. I'm a data-driven guy when it comes to investing in any business. Sure, opinions are okay. But data is better especially when it comes to NOT LOSING MONEY on stupid marketing tricks or technologies that won't work. Not losing money is rule #1 for Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world. Follow his example when using the Clarity process. Set activity goals, production goals, and revenue goals that count the most for you and your people. If you choose suitable technologies for this, you will see a massive difference in financial results.
- Take action with Clarity and confidence. The final part of this process is taking action. When you have clarity you know what not to do. When you know what not to do, you have confidence. When you have confidence you have a competitive advantage and edge.
This is the power of Clarity. Clarity gets results by using a proven process for aligning you and your team.
If you'd like to have a conversation about how Clarity can work for you and your organization, click here to schedule a conversation.
I always appreciate constructive comments and questions. Feel free to leave them here on the blog.
P.S. Clarity was created by a conscious leader for conscious leaders. If you don't know what a conscious leader is, maybe Clarity isn't for you. Sorry, but my experience suggests this is true.