It’s all very nice to set goals, but how will you meet them?
As part of your business success blueprint, you have to figure out exactly what resources you need to meet your goals.
An effective way to do this is to first look at what obstacles you face. Then think about what you need to overcome those obstacles. Be careful not to get stuck here. You need to remain objective. It might help to think of it as another person’s business while you are doing this exercise.
Now there is no way to account for every little thing that might come up, but being prepared and having a plan ahead of time will get you moving forward.
Step 1: Identify Potential Obstacles to Success
Every Year is different, there will always be obstacles waiting to challenge your best thought-out plans. The key to dealing with these challenges is to anticipate them as much as possible and make sure you have the resources to push them out of the way.
The most common obstacles that people face from a business and marketing plan stance are:
- Lack of skills and knowledge.
Are there elements to your marketing or social media plan that you just don’t know how to do? For example, perhaps you’ve never segmented a mailing list before or don’t know how to set up a squeeze page. Maybe you aren’t a member of your own target market, so you can’t naturally relate to their problems. For some marketing strategies, you may not even know the right questions to ask in the first place.
- Not enough time in the day
There is never enough time in the day to do everything you want to do, especially for internet marketers who have a million ideas running around in their heads, like me 🙂 . The question is just how much time you need to devote for your business plan to succeed. If you don’t have that time available, that’s just another obstacle to work around if you still want to move ahead with your plan.
- Insufficient funds
It’s a rare person indeed who has all the funds they want to implement any scheme they’ve dreamed up. Figure out just how much you need for your ideal plan. Then look at how much you can actually afford to spend. The difference is the obstacle you need to figure out.
- No support network
Any business where you don’t interact with real, live people very often, lack of a support network can be a big problem. Do you have people to go to when you’re stuck or need a boost? This is not usually going to be your friends and family, most often they do not understand what you are trying to do.
Step 2: Identify Resources for Overcoming Your Obstacles
Now that you’ve anticipated your challenges you can start identifying and putting in place the resources you need. You may find you have to adjust your goals and plans a little if you can’t get the resources, but it’s better to do that sooner rather than later. You don’t want to have all your great plans derailed 6 months down the line just because you failed to learn something critical.
Here are a few examples of solutions and resources that could overcome the most common obstacles:
- Focus on the skills you need
There is certainly no shortage of experts who will want to teach you “everything you need to know to be successful”. However, you need to focus on just the skills or knowledge that is relevant to your business model.
Get recommendations in trusted business forums for courses, advice or other resources for learning what you need. Be careful not to get sidetracked by other great things you could learn. If it’s not useful right now, block it out. You will probably have to set a certain amount of time each week just for learning, so that you don’t let it take up all your time.
This is definitely an area that I struggle with, I want to learn everything, but there needs to be a balance. Learning new skills and actually doing business. Which leads us right to time.
- Manage your time and delegate
Unfortunately, you can’t make time slow down or expand just yet, so you’ll have to be a little more creative. We all have the same 24 hours in the day. It is how we choose to use that time.
Depending on how much time and funds are available, you really have only three choices. You can budget your own time very tightly, you can adjust your goals and plans, or you can outsource some of the tasks.
If you have the funds, outsourcing is usually your best bet so that you can grow your business faster. Just make sure you know exactly what you want to outsource so you can pick the right people.
- Budget wisely
If you are working on a very small budget, you’ll also have to be very creative with where you spend and where you save. Put your money into the places that will have the greatest impact on your success and think twice about the rest. For example, you might want to try out a hot new article submission service, but your returns on investment can be much higher spending the money on list building.
You definitely want to stay on top of your budget, you want to know that your receiving your “return on investment”, that the places where you are putting money is valuable.
- Build your support network
For some, building a network of friends and colleagues comes naturally. For others, it has to be a planned, scheduled activity. Check out the top forums in your areas of expertise and find at least one where there are people you can relate to. Participate and become known by helping others. Also, try to get your friends and family on board with your plans so that they can be supportive when you’re feeling down – even if they have no clue what you do!
The best way to make sure your plans stay on the course for success is to anticipate the obstacles ahead. There’s no point in setting a goal to create a bunch of minisites if you don’t know how to do it. Instead, take a good, hard look at what might happen to upset your plans and what resources you need to make sure that doesn’t happen. Then put those resources in place or adjust your plans accordingly.