Keeping up with Creativity

Strategy Plan One

September 9, 2012

Creativity

We have all been there.  Planning, writing, blogging, tipping and then we hit the wall with no creativity left to continue.  Seems to happen frequently with some, while others never seem to have a problem cranking out volumes of interesting, valuable information.

As an entrepreneur, executive or specialized staff working in an organization, you need to keep up with your creative edge.  Creativity helps you and your business stay on the leading edge as it is applicable to so many facets of business.  Business plans, marketing plans, product and service offerings, campaigns, projects, methods, processes … all require a significant degree of creativity to make things stand out.  Creativity takes plans, products, and processes to the next innovative level, sometimes leading to a competitive advantage over the competition’s standards.

Here is a brilliant infographic from Copyblogger, that illustrates some major creative blocks and how to bust out of them to maintaining your high level of creativity.

Creativity

Source:  Copyblogger

Summarizing some tips to bring out your best creativity:

  • Maintain creativity as a priority in your business and personal development
  • Take a breather – writers can face exhaustion; take a break mentally and physically and watch creativity come back
  • Jump on some ideas after researching, reading and analyzing others’ work
  • Take mental notes of objects, scenarios and people in your environment and how it relates to your topic (you will be surprised at the content you can create from this)
  • Diet – the brain needs nutrients; many studies have show that healthy diets fuel the brain
  • Ask a colleague for input, ideas, co-authoring (will generate ideas and content that you would add on to others)
  • Colors can activate creativity; tune into, focus on colors
  • Sound can create a response in you
  • Confidence – high level of confidence and you will be always ready to go
  • Don’t get stuck in perfection; no one is perfect
  • Don’t feel your work isn’t valuable as your work can have a significant impact on 1 person, 100 people, or a massive crowd
  • General rule – quality is always best; don’t feel pressured to pump out massive volumes of material
  • Set up a schedule of focused time; distractions and not getting organized can cause stress which causes mental blocks

More on creativity:

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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