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Massage Today
December, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 12

Got a Success Plan?

By Colleen (Steigerwald) Holloway, LMT

As 2005 comes to completion, many business owners are taking a moment to reflect back over the past year to evaluate how well their business did. It's normal to review your income to see how much money you've earned, and to review your expenses to see where the income went.

If business was good this year, bravo. But why not take action now to ensure an even better 2006? If business wasn't so good, it's important to find out why, and to designate time right now to create a 2006 business plan, or as I prefer to call it a "Success Plan."

Creating a "Success Plan" gives you the foundation necessary to make changes in your business to improve it. You might desire more clientele or more staff. Perhaps you could use a solid accounting program to keep track of your business income and expenses. Maybe you'd like to find a way to work less hours next year. Whatever your goals, a "Success Plan" is your blueprint for creating a better business.

So, what action can you take today to prepare for a more successful 2006? Here is a step-by-step action plan to guide you:

  • Evaluate Your 2005 Goals - What goals did you accomplish this year? What goals do you still want to accomplish in the coming year? If you didn't set goals for 2005, don't worry. You can do this step at the end of 2006.
  • Review Your 2005 Marketing Efforts - What steps did you take to market your business this year? How did they work? If you didn't track your marketing efforts, go through your calendar and write them down now. Compare the cost of each marketing effort with the rate of return on your investment. Highlight the marketing ideas that worked best.
  • Review Your 2005 Marketing Budget - What is the total amount of money you invested in marketing your business this year? Was it more or less than you planned? If you didn't keep a record of your marketing expenses, take the time now to list each marketing effort and the cost incurred in implementing them. This is very important to do now so you can track the results and plan better for 2006.
  • Re-evaluate Your Business - Does it resemble your dream business? Are you generating the income you desire? Are you satisfied with the type of clients you are serving? Is the size of your business too large, too small or just right? Perhaps you need more help running the business. Do you feel well-trained or do you feel you need more education to improve your skills? The key to this step is to "evaluate" not judge, so just write down your observations here.
  • Evaluate Your Client Relationships - Are your current clients the type of clients you imagined you'd have or did you somehow end up with these clients? Do you want to focus on a certain type of client? Are you truly serving your clients? When was the last time you contacted your client base? Do you offer them special offers, free resources and health reports? What about surveying them and asking for their opinions?
  • Visualize Your Dream - Business Take a few minutes to close your eyes and quiet your mind. Now, picture in your mind what your dream business would look like. Consider that time and money is not an issue when doing this. Write down everything you see and feel. This exercise will help you create your business goals for 2006.
  • Establish Your 2006 Marketing Budget - How much money did you invest in marketing your business in 2005? Will you need to invest more, less or the same amount of money in your 2006 business?
  • Create Your Marketing Plans for 2006 - Review your 2005 marketing plans and choose the marketing efforts that worked well. Add some new marketing plans to try. Talk to your colleagues and see what marketing efforts worked for them. Read a marketing book to help you establish new marketing plans.
  • Create a Success Plan Calendar - Plot each marketing plan on a calendar. Highlight all of the major holidays so you can implement your marketing efforts well in advance and maximize your gift certificate sales. It is important to post your calendar where you will see it often. If you create your calendar and then never look at it, then it's useless.
  • Make a Tracking Book for 2006 - Use it to write down each marketing effort as you implement it, and the results. This will help you determine which marketing plans are working and which ones are not. It also will assist you in establishing your 2007 Success Plan.

By taking the time now to review the status of your business for 2005, and set new goals and marketing plans for 2006, you dramatically increase your chances for a more successful business. Remember, by failing to plan you're planning to fail. Why not start right now, step by step, and create a "Success Plan" that benefits you and your business?

Click here for previous articles by Colleen (Steigerwald) Holloway, LMT.


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