Back to Business This Fall

Strategy Plan One

September 8, 2012

back to businessFall Business Period

A week has passed in September… families, communities and the education system are all adjusting to the “back to school” phase of the year.  For many students, young and old, back to school represents a period of renewal, of fresh starts, starting up again.

However, this positive energy can be easily transferred over to the business sector, for existing and budding entrepreneurs.

New entrepreneurs can take advantage of the fresh start approach, planning their initial strategies for the Fall, Winter and 2013 periods.  Some fiscal year periods start in the Fall for good reasons related or integrated into the government fiscal years, or corporate fiscal years.   Existing businesses should refresh their business plans to reflect any market or industry changes that have occurred on local, global and international scales.  Building on successes and results from the previous business cycles, businesses should tweak business and marketing plans accordingly.

Establishing Goals this Fall

Get serious about business and personal development this Fall.  Always as a first step, establish some aggressive, achievable goals and objectives.  Without goals and objectives you won’t be able to set some strategic directions for yourself and your business.  Ensure your goals are achievable, measurable, and that you apply flexibility to adapt and revise goals and strategies.

Business Ideas and Hints for the Fall

Here are some helpful hints and ideas to think about some positive steps to take in business and personal development this fall:

  • Planning – Always a great idea as part of your core activities to review, tweak your business and marketing plans
  • Scan your business environment and competitors – develop some products or services that will be a bit different or new to your market
  • Capacity and Skill development – naturally many classes are offered in the Fall schedule; good time to brush up on business skills
  • Product and Service Offerings – review your results to date and revise if necessary heading into the Fall, Winter and 2013 periods
  • Refresh, redesign – Whether you have a store front or website, take a look at your layout and seek feedback from customers for better designs and layout
  • Communications and Outreach – develop new communications to your customers; utilize social media for extended outreach and measure your effectiveness on social media
  • Generate Fall Buzz, Interest – generate new and continued interest in your company, your products and services; offer Fall free or trial offers

Check out these Fall Business Strategies:

More reading on business topics:

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Mobile User Business Challenges [infographic]

Strategy Plan One

June 14, 2012 

Mobile User – Business Challenges

Growing trends in the use of mobile devices for business has exposed many challenges faced by mobile users.  With revealing these issues, businesses (both on the development and supplier fronts) need to ensure mobile users can effectively and efficiently use their mobile devices to get the work done.   Businesses also need to ensure their own employees are geared up appropriately if the environment is flexible to allow and encourage work on the road and / or at home through mobile devices.

Here is an interesting infographic from harmon.ie  highlighting survey data on what challenges mobile users face.  Businesses should take note and adjust accordingly.

  • 84% of Mobile Users cannot work effectively on the road (platform? programs?)
  • Top places Mobile Users work: Restaurants, air travel, bed (56, 55, & 45% respectively)
  • 50% cite problems receiving timely responses and info from colleagues
  • 48% state issues with trying to connect or can’t connect to work web-based or conference calls
  • 54% express concern with lower personal productivity
  • 46% answered that mobile work caused project delays or missed deadlines
  • 43% experience missing document sections when viewing on a mobile device

mobile user - challenges

Mobile User – Other blogs and articles of interest:

Articles and information on mobile user market:

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Social Media Buttons for Targeting Your Business Audience [infographic]

Strategy Plan One

May 25, 2012 

Social Media Buttons

Many businesses need to consider what social media platform to use when messaging and targeting audiences, as each represents slightly differing markets. Some provide great referral traffic and significant volumes of traffic to your business.  Some social media platforms are dominated by male users, while others have a majority of female users.

Whether you are focused on Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C), here are some of the highlights of the business perspectives from this infographic:

  • Largest volumes of uses:  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • Female audience majority: LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter
  • Male audience majority: Google+, Facebook
  • B2B: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook
  • B2C: Stumbleupon, Digg
  • Referral Traffic:  Facebook, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Pinterest
Here is another infographic on social media buttons for business from TheSearchAgents.

social media buttons for busines

Other Social Media blogs and infographics:

 

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Product Mix – Designing Products and Services for the Consumer

Strategy Plan One

May 17, 2012 

product mixProduct Mix

Determining what your business will offer for products and service to your markets is definitely a business and marketing art form.  Detailed business plans and marketing plans must be completed before entrepreneurs and companies launch their products and services.  An entrepreneur must design their suite of products and service with the overall goal of meeting the needs of the consumer base, and obviously to generate revenue for a successful, sustainable business.

 

Some of the questions you will need to answer include what products and services you will offer consumers, whether those products and services meet their needs, and at what price point is the customer comfortable with (buy-in).  How does one determine what is needed, the value of product or service, competition, price point, sales avenue, etc.?  Detailed marketing plans will help drawn out and plan the products and services mix.  Prior to the marketing plan development, you will need to develop some marketing research methods to extrapolate some information and data from your potential target markets.

Surveying your Markets to Determine Product Mix

Conducting your own due diligence in planning processes is critical to successful developing and implementing plans.  Surveying is one way to gauge the level of interest, the level of need, and economics and business aspects of your proposed products and services.  Whether you conduct the survey or engage with a professional marketing firm to complete those tasks, surveyed information can inform the decisions you need to make around your mix of products and services.

product mixProduct Mix – Marketing Plan

Armed with fresh, relevant data from your surveying efforts, you should be able to draft up a solid marketing plan that reflects your potential product mix, price points, competition concerns, and placement of products.  Your marketing plan should go into the depth required to explain revenue generated from such product and service mixes, and the Return on Investment in marketing activities to promote those products and service.  It will be extremely important to implement your marketing plan and to measure the results.  Reviewing the results will give you an opportunity to analyze whether your plan was working or not, and if you achieved the projected return and benefits from you marketing activities mix.  This also gives you the ability to revise and implement a better plan in the future.

Marketing Budget

Great marketing plans must be funded.  Ensure that as you plan, you also plan a marketing budget to cover marketing expenditures.  Only a few activities can be achieved at very low-cost, but some marketing activities are going to require you to plan and to provide part of your budget towards marketing.  As you fund marketing activities, you also need to determine your return on investment in those marketing activities.  For example, social media marketing is only one of many avenues that may generate a return.  Measure results and revise your marketing plan accordingly.  You may be surprised on the differential in returns between marketing activities and that may change your focus towards more support in one marketing activity category.

Designing Your Product Mix – Tips

  • Always start with the why – why are we conducting these business activities, why do we think these product and services meet the needs of consumers
  • Obtain solid, objective, external information from your markets, customers
  • Undertake surveying to obtain market data
  • Analyze your market data
  • Form business plans and marketing plans based on solid outside information
  • Call upon a marketing professional to strengthen your product and marketing mix (ask the professional)
  • Remember that a high level of due diligence is required and that effort will be reflected in the actual results achieved. 

You may find that hitting the right markets with the right mix of products and services, timed accurately may be achieved through trial and error.  Very few successful companies and marketing strategies hit the nail on the head from the start.  Through conducting due diligence, and your readiness to adapt to the changing environment, will provide you with much better results.

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

How do you like those Apps? App Sales [infographic]

Strategy Plan One                                                                                                                     

April 9, 2012 

App Sales

It is interesting to observe the app sales war play itself out across the top platforms, with the notable Blackberry, iPhone and Android companies and developers jockeying for customer revenue.  Even though Blackberry (BB) reports have not been favorable of late, take note of the impressive sales data around BB app sales.  Where BB lacks in volume of apps for its platform, it makes massive ground in the sales per app & return on investment per app.

This infographic from BlogBerry.de highlights data from the three most popular platforms:

  • BB: 70,000+ Apps; Over 6 Million downloads per day
  • iPhone: 500,000 Apps; 66.2% are paid apps; 4 times the Android app sales
  • Android: Over 400,000 Apps available; 79.3% of Apps have been downloaded less than 100 times

App sales - RIM, Apple, Android How they Compare

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Mommy Blogger Domination [Infographic]

Strategy Plan One

March 29, 2012 

The big business world of Mommy Blogging is illustrated brilliantly in this infographic below, courtesy of infographicsarchive.com.

Mommy blogger huge numbers:

  • 4.2 Million Mommy bloggers and growing  
  • 33% of bloggers are Moms
  • Social Media – 79% of Moms are active on social media
  • Over 81 Million women active in social media on a weekly basis
  • US Moms spend $2.1 Trillion per year

mommy blog

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Age Statistics and Breakdown on Social Media Sites (Infographic)

Strategy Plan One

March 17, 2012 

Social Media Statistics

Different social media sites are used by different age groups for differing purposes.  Whether you use social media sites for business or other social means, you may find after reviewing stats and infographics such as this, you may want to alter or focus attention on sites that cater to certain age groups.

Courtesy of Pingdom.com and data from Google Ad Planner, here is an interesting age distribution breakdown of users on different social media sites.

Social Media Statistics – Infographic

Age Distribution Across Social Networking Sites

 

From the above graphic, you can see that younger users dominate sites such as Bebo and MySpace and Xanga.  The more mature age groups, possible more engaged in using social media for career or business purposes, are the majority users on Twitter, Digg, Delicious, LinkedIn, and Classmates.

Targeting and the messaging around your products and services, or for other social means, is critically important.  Knowing statistics around age demographics on social media sites will help shape your marketing strategy and assist you to get the right message to the right target market.

 

Strategy Plan One

http://strategyplanone.com

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One