Writing blogs to get more eyeballs on your business, your website and help you get those all important enquiries, leads and clients is a fab marketing content strategy for any business.
But so many business owners dive straight into marketing and writing blogs and then don’t get the business success or results they expect.
It’s so easy to blame their marketing and their blog.
Chances are they’ve missed this important step before diving headlong into promoting their business.
Writing their business plan.
Why is it important you write a business plan?
Before you commit to marketing and writing blogs to promote your business you need to be clear on what your business goals and objectives are.
Otherwise you’ll be putting marketing out there and writing blogs with no clear purpose.
In this blog, I’ll answer questions like:
- What is a business plan and why do you need one?
- What should your business plan aim to do for you and your business?
- When’s the best time to write your business plan?
- What questions should you answer in your business plan?
- What are the key benefits to writing your business plan?
- How will your business plan help you when it comes to planning and writing your blogs?
- Once you have your business plan, how can you plan your blogging content to help you achieve your business goals and objectives for 12 months?
- Why do you need to know what your objectives and goals are before you start writing blogs?
What is a business plan and why do you need one?
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) tell us:
A business plan is an essential written document that provides a description and an overview of your company’s future.
All businesses should have a business plan.
The plan should explain your business strategy and your key goals to get from where you are now to where you want to be in the future.
What should your business plan aim to do for you and your business?
Your business plan is a document outlining what you want and how you’re going to make that happen.
Stop you from drifting towards shiny objects.
But also know it’s not cast in stone.
By having your plan you’ll be able to spot when things aren’t quite working so you can make changes are you go.
If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us. Jim Rohn.
When’s the best time to write your business plan?
Found that the sweet spot for writing a plan was around the time when the business owner was actually talking to customers, getting their product ready for market, and thinking through their promotional and marketing activities. Committing a plan to paper alongside these activities increases a start-up’s chance of venture viability by 27%.
What questions should you answer in your business plan?
We’ve identified your business plan is a document outlining what you want and how you’re going to make that happen.
- But what information should your business plan have?
- What questions do you want it to answer?
To help you outline your business goals and objectives, you want your business plan to answer questions like:
- Who are your clients?
- What problems do they have that you can help them solve?
- How do you help them solve their problems?
- Who are your competitors?
- How can you set yourself apart?
- Who is on your team?
- How much do you need to earn?
- How much do you want to earn?
- What are the costs you anticipate?
Ideally answering two big questions:
- How will you make money and what do you need to do to achieve your goals?
- What are your targets and how will you meet them?
Know your long-term goals
When you know what your long-term goals are for your business you can then map out the actions you need to take month by month, week by week and day to day to get your results.
And this includes being clear on what blogs to write.
You want to be writing blogs that play their part in helping you get enquiries, leads and clients so you can grow your business.
Which is why it’s beneficial, you create a business plan before you start writing blogs.
What are the key benefits to writing your business plan?
In a blog by Tim Berry he identifies “10 Benefits of Business Planning for All Businesses”:
- See the whole business. Business planning done right connects the dots in your business so you get a better picture of the whole. Strategy is supposed to relate to tactics with strategic alignment. Does that show up in your plan? Do your sales connect to your sales and marketing expenses? Are your products right for your target market? Are you covering costs including long-term fixed costs, product development, and working capital needs as well? Take a step back and look at the larger picture.
2. Strategic Focus. Start-ups and small business need to focus on their special identities, their target markets, and their products or services tailored to match.
3. Set priorities. You can’t do everything. Business planning helps you keep track of the right things, and the most important things. Allocate your time, effort, and resources strategically.
4. Manage change. With good planning process you regularly review assumptions, track progress, and catch new developments so you can adjust. Plan vs. actual analysis is a dashboard, and adjusting the plan is steering.
5. Develop accountability. Good planning process sets expectations and tracks results. It’s a tool for regular review of what’s expected and what happened. Good work shows up. Disappointments show up too. A well-run monthly plan review with plan vs. actual included becomes an impromptu review of tasks and accomplishments.
6. Manage cash. Good business planning connects the dots in cash flow. Sometimes just watching profits is enough. But when sales on account, physical products, purchasing assets, or repaying debts are involved, cash flow takes planning and management. Profitable businesses suffer when slow-paying clients or too much inventory constipate cash flow. A plan helps you see the problem and adjust to it.
7. Strategic alignment. Does your day-to-day work fit with your main business tactics? Do those tactics match your strategy? If so, you have strategic alignment. If not, the business planning will bring up the hidden mismatches. For example, if you run a gourmet restaurant that has a drive-through window, you’re out of alignment.
8. Milestones. Good business planning sets milestones you can work towards. These are key goals you want to achieve, like reaching a defined sales level, hiring that sales manager, or opening the new location. We’re human. We work better when we have visible goals we can work towards.
9. Metrics. Put your performance indicators and numbers to track into a business plan where you can see them monthly in the plan review meeting. Figure out the numbers that matter. Sales and expenses usually do, but there are also calls, trips, seminars, web traffic, conversion rates, returns, and so forth. Use your business planning to define and track the key metrics.
10. Realistic regular reminders to keep on track. We all want to do everything for our customers, but sometimes we need to push back to maintain quality and strategic focus. It’s hard, during the heat of the everyday routine, to remember the priorities and focus. The business planning process becomes a regular reminder
How will your business plan help you when it comes to planning and writing your blogs?
You’ll focus on writing blogs that are useful and helpful to your audience.
These blogs will help you build trust and authority, which in turn will help you attract clients and make money.
Pretty sure these goals will be part of your business plan.
When you’re thinking about your audience and the blogs they want to read, think about writing blogs that:
- Talk about their problems and struggles
- Help them with their problems and struggles
- Explain how your products or services can help them
- Explain how you’ve helped others with similar worries and concerns.
As Marcus Sheridan says ‘They ask, you answer.’
How can you plan your blogging content to help you achieve your business goals and objectives for 12 months?
When you know what you want to achieve you then have a clearer picture of what marketing to create and get out there to help you achieve them.
There are two types of content your audience is looking for:
- Content that answers questions to problems they have
- Content that answers their questions about your product or service
Focus on writing these two types of blogs
Write blogs that answers questions to problems they have.
And a great place to start for ideas is your inbox.
- What questions do you get asked the most?
Make a list of them and there you have it. Blog ideas to help you achieve your goals and objectives.
Write blogs that answers their questions about your product or service
- What specific questions do you get asked about your product or service?
- How have you helped others that have bought or used your products or services?
Write them down and you’ve got more ideas for writing blogs to help you achieve your business goals.
Having a business plan before writing blogs is a good idea.
You’ll spend less time wondering what to write blogs about when you have a clear idea of what you want your business to achieve.
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