It's Time to Take Massive Action! Pt.2
Part 2: Elements of a Great Plan of Action
“It’s Time to Take Massive Action.” We've covered the basics of a system, now we are going to get into the proven step by step process of taking action to create that system. Here are the basic elements:
- Objective - Consider your audience before you write the plan. There are two and you may find a need to make a presentation to both. One audience is internal. Your plan is a guide for running your business. The other audience may be bankers and/or investors. In this situation your plan is geared toward showing the financiers why investment in your project is a sound and profitable idea. State your objective clearly, concisely, and in plain English.
- Summary - A general introduction of all that follows. If you’re using the old military rule of “tell ‘em what your going to tell ‘em, tell ‘em, and then tell ‘em what you just told ‘em,” this is the first element of that command. Include a basic overview of your business strategy, why your product or service is needed and by whom, the current status of your business, the key players in your organization with a very brief biography of each, financial objectives in specific terms, and an outline of the way in which your business will be organized.
- Concept – a description of your product or service and a brief statement of why it is unique and/or needed in the marketplace. “What makes you so special?” is what they are look for.
- Situation – a description of the current status of your organization. If you’re using the plan to acquire financing, whether you are a start up or need capital to get moving or an established firm needing an infusion of cash for expansion into new markets or new territories? State your situation and your need.
- Market – describe the end users of your product or service and the status of that market. Is it expanding, stable, or shrinking? What, if any, are the market segments?
- Consumer Analysis – Who are your customers? “Everybody is our customer” just won’t cut it. “Our market is students from the ages of 5-17” is more like it. Be specific and thorough and if you’re asking for investment capital, be sure to include documentation.
- Competitive Analysis – Describe your competitors and their position in the marketplace. If there are no competitors, note who might jump in to the market after you make your move. Honestly list strengths and weaknesses.
- Features/benefits/results – Use this basic sales formula to sell your concept to your employees, teams, and/or your potential investors. What are the features of your product or service? How do they translate into benefits for your customers? Back up your claims with solid and verifiable proof. These three elements form a triangle, the strongest structure in the universe and isn’t that appropriate?
- Marketing – Outline your marketing strategy, including advertising and public relations efforts. Note the media you will be using, state why, show how, and provide data to back up your rationale. Be sure to hone your speaking skills. Your speaking voice and your passion are very effective means to approach, convince and inspire people.
- Sales Approach – State how you will be selling your product or service (door-to-door, retail outlets, direct mail, the Internet). Show how your sales strategy meshes with your business strategy and marketing strategy. List the pros and cons of your approaches.
- Operations – a “what have I left out” section of your proposal. Drop in anything pertinent that has not yet been covered in the previous sections. Don’t use this as filler. If it’s not important, don’t put it in your plan.
- Personnel – List the key players and include brief biographies of each.
- Passion – This isn’t something you write into a plan. It’s something you breathe into your presentation. A plan should by its very nature be a nuts and bolts project full of facts, figures, documentation and narrative. It’s up to you to breathe life into the process. The people to whom you’re making the presentation have to see the fire in your eyes. It’s there. Show it.
Make sure you put both parts together so you can create the system you need to go to the next level. And remember Champions, "Success is in the moment, so make every moment count!"