Build Your Business Before Building A Marketing Plan

Don't Go Head First Into Marketing Without Building Your Business First

Social media, SEO, and content marketing is all the rage these days. Search online and you will find no shortage of blogging strategies, social media tips, and the latest link building techniques.

What is often left out is the fundamentals: your business needs a playbook.

Often times, you see most small businesses and freelancers jumping head first into promoting their product. They launch their website and afterwards are solely focused on sales.

I need links!

Time to write another guest post…

What am I going to post today?

This is not good business. Let me tell you why: all the marketing in the world cannot build a successful business without first having the right processes setup to facilitate new customers and handle their needs. You also need to plan for hiring or outsourcing help.

I see this a lot online, and I see this a lot with the many freelancers I have worked with.

They have honed their pitch to perfection. Their website looks nice. They have a decent online presence, and their brand is cohesive.

But it stops there.

Once they actually land a client, there is more enthusiasm than strategy, and the onboarding sucks.

It’s important to have a cohesive brand presence, but it’s even more important to have a cohesive client process and a strategy for your daily tasks.

I know what I am talking about

I have been in digital marketing long enough to make all the mistakes you can possibly make. The reality is that most new online businesses do not understand how important it is to have policies and procedures for every aspect of day-to-day business.

If you work for yourself, chances are you have never written out instructions or a manual that outlines how to go about X, or why your company follows procedure Y for new clients.

You may feel that you have all the answers, but the moment you need to expand you will be up the proverbial creek.

And that’s only half the reality.

When you work for another company, there is a good chance that at any point in the day you have something specific to do. Each day you come into work, you know what you should be doing.

Do you have that same discipline for your own business? Probably not. I can guarantee you that working this way will not be sustainable. You will either go out of business, or you will not live up to the expectations of your clients. In other words, you’ll end up with more work than you can reasonably handle, performance will suffer, and you’ll lose customers.

A few reasons to come up with business processes

Start Thinking About Building The Foundation For Your Business

Have you ever tried to hire someone without having policies and procedures? Good luck with training them. Chances are you’ll run into questions that never even occurred to you, or you’ll end up having to micromanage them because they will have question after question.

And it’s your fault.

Do you really want to repeat the same instructions to every single person that you hire or outsource work to?

Of course not.

Do you want your clients to be just as confused as you? Or, do you want to knock the socks off your client with how over-prepared you are? Do you want to amaze them with how professional you handle business? Of course you do.

Keep going to see how to do it.

A cohesive brand presence extends beyond marketing

First off, a great business is not just a pretty brand presence. It’s the behind the curtains workings of a business that determine if it is poised for success.

Here is what you need to do:

Schedule your time. The first thing to do is schedule your daily activities. Start with the amount of time you have to devote to your business (you should overestimate), and then list tasks that need completed every day.

Then, ask yourself this:

  • Can any of these be automated or easily outsourced?
  • Can I combine these tasks to be completed in one day for the entire week? month?

The reason for this is you need to spend your time on the most important tasks. You need time for business development, and time for sales. Anything that is not directly contributing to earning the business more money is costing you your success.

I use Google Calendar to map out my weekly schedule, allowing for breaks. You have to treat your business like a job (even if it’s your passion) if you want major success.

Develop written processes. You should have a set of instructions for your business that explains exactly how to run it. I am quite aware that this is not 100% doable, but you should have clear instructions and a set procedure for:

  • your daily responsibilities;
  • current marketing strategy;
  • onboarding process for clients;
  • training materials for freelancers and new hires.

It’s best to sit down and just think about what you typically do each day. Then, do the following:

  • refine your schedule by eliminating time wasters;
  • develop a strong client process;
  • map out what work needs done;
  • create a guide for each task;
  • outsource what you can.

Keep going. Your success is entirely dependent on you. Make sure you routinely schedule time for improving your own business processes and making sales.

Is that it?

Hell no. You’re in business now. You have to take it day by day, but the important thing is having a plan.

And having a mentality of relentless improvement.

Oh, and efficiency — can’t stress that enough.

Connecting the dots between technology and trends, Anthony Miller aka "Tony" focuses on staying at the forefront of disruptive tech. Follow on Google+.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>