Why You Need a Business Planning System NOT a Business Plan

Written by David Coffman

Continued from page 1

The focus needs to be onrepparttar PROCESS not onrepparttar 145715 plan. If a continual, ongoing planning process is in place, a written business plan is just not important. Writing a business plan without a planning system in place is a massive effort that is done very infrequently. Many businesses write three to five year plans and update them annually. The plans are reviewed periodically during each year to analyzerepparttar 145716 plan vs. actual variances. Little, if any, thought is given to strategy betweenrepparttar 145717 annual updates. Strategy should berepparttar 145718 focus everyday. Setting up a planning system allows and sometimes forces you to focus on strategy. A planning system consists of two functions. One is a goal setting and attaining process, andrepparttar 145719 other is a trend watching or environment scanning process. Setting up a planning system takes several steps. The first and foremost task is to set aside or make time for planning on a regular, ongoing basis. It must become part of your routine, not an occasional event that can be easily postponed. Inrepparttar 145720 evaluation phase,repparttar 145721 owner or management team andrepparttar 145722 company are analyzed. Fromrepparttar 145723 analysis, key or critical areas ofrepparttar 145724 business are identified. These areas are filtered down to focus onrepparttar 145725 most important ones. Performance measures are determined and systems to gather and processrepparttar 145726 necessary data are set up, if needed. A base of current performance is used to set goals.

Nowrepparttar 145727 regular, ongoing stuff begins. Strategies are formulated, tested, implemented, monitored, and reworked untilrepparttar 145728 goals are achieved. Each planning session is split between working on strategies and trend watching. As goals are achieved,repparttar 145729 goal setting and strategy formulation process begins again.

Let’s putrepparttar 145730 focus back where it belongs on continuous, ongoing planning instead of writing business plans. As Karl Albrecht said in his book Corporate Radar, “The majority is not always right,repparttar 145731 conventional wisdom is not always wise, andrepparttar 145732 accepted doctrine could well be flawed. The more fashionable an idea,repparttar 145733 more it is likely to be exempt from critical evaluation. Breakthrough thinking sometimes calls for contradictingrepparttar 145734 most widely held assumptions and beliefs.”

David E. Coffman CPA/ABV, CVA has authored a number of articles, reports, white papers, and books about small business valuation and planning topics. He founded Business Valuations & Strategies in 1997 to work exclusively with small businesses in these areas. His “Power to Prosper Small Business Planning System” is available at http://www.bus-val-strat.com.

Using Alternative Media to Generate More Customers

Written by David Frey

Continued from page 1

Tip # 2

Alternatively, with your broker, identify potential programs NOT onrepparttar market that may accept your insert.

Tip # 3

Use large, bold type and a strong, simple offer on your

insert. Allrepparttar 145714 rules that apply in creating a compelling space ad also apply in creating a compelling insert.

Ask yourself, "What is it, exactly, that I want my prospect to do when they get my insert?" Then put that in your headline.

Tip # 4

Make sure that you are utilizingrepparttar 145715 maximum allowable size of insert.

Tip # 5

Make sure that it is easy to respond (this should go without saying). And use free offers to generate leads.

Tip # 6

Make it clear why your insert is riding along insiderepparttar 145716 package. You need to link your copy intorepparttar 145717 relationship that already exists betweenrepparttar 145718 company offeringrepparttar 145719 PIP and your product or service.

For instance, a Home Depot insert that went to new homeowners said, "You've just moved in..."

Tip # 7

Always have new offers and new creative ready to go. After awhile, ifrepparttar 145720 PIP program is a regularly shipped item, people get tired of seeingrepparttar 145721 same old ad. So you need to mix it up once in awhile.

Tip # 8

If you've been successful with one PIP program then test a few more. ______________________________________________________

Here Is a Comprehensive List of PIP Program Managers ______________________________________________________

Leon Henry practically inventedrepparttar 145722 package insert business. They still haverepparttar 145723 largest and perhapsrepparttar 145724 most experienced PIP brokers inrepparttar 145725 industry.

Leon Henry, Inc. 200 North Central Avenue Suite 220 Hartsdale, NY 10530-1940 Phone: (914) 285-3456 Fax: (914) 285-3450 E-Mail: lh@leonhenryinc.com Web Address: www.leonhenryinc.com

Here are several other PIP management companies.

1. AM/Direct (Peterborough, NH); (603) 924-9262

2. American Marketing Network (New York, NY); (212) 243-8065

3. AMG Global (Redbank, NJ); (732) 741-0585

4. Atrium Marketing Group (Chicago, IL); (312) 733-3383, ext. 36

5. Bernice Bush Co. (Irvine, CA); (949) 752-4210

6. BrightStar Marketing (Lake Bluft, IL); (880) 700-7483

7. D-J Associates (Ridgefield, CT); (203) 431-8777

8. DK Group (Hillsdale, NJ); (201) 358-6100

9. Edith Roman Associates (Pearl River, NY); (845) 620-9000

10. Effective Mailers (Roseville, MI); (248) 588-9880

11. Everyday Media (New York, NY); (212) 481-7300

12. Gage Marketing Services (Minneapolis, MN); (612) 595-3862

13. GTE Directories Direct Delivery (Tampa, FL); (813) 664-5400

14. IDG Communications List Services (Framingham, MA); 1-888-IDG-LIST

15. List Services Corporation (Bethel, CT); (203) 743-2600

16. Media Solutuion Services (Atlanta, GA); (770) 955-3535

17. MKTG Services (Newtown, PA); (215) 968-5020

18. Our Tribe Marketing (New York, NY); (212) 462-0036

19. Pihera Advertising Associates (Lebanon, OH); (513) 932-5649

20. ProForma PrintNet (Marina, CA); (323) 692-9200

21. Right Lane Media (Saint Paul, MN); (877) 412-3200

22. Select Publishing (Madison, WI); (608) 277-5787

23. The American Mailshop (Sioux Falls, SD); (605) 338-4004

24. The Media Organization (Woodbury, NY); (516) 496-2577

25. Tobin Productions (New York, NY); (212) 727-1500

26. VentureDirect Worldwide (New York, NY); (212) 684-4800

27. Vis/Aid Marketing (Inglewood, CA); (310) 399-0696

28. Walter Karl, Inc. (Pearl River, NY); (914) 620-0700

29. Web-Magnets.com (Hot Springs, AR); (501) 627-0817

30. Worldshop (Grand Rapids, MI); (616) 957-0555


Conclusion ____________

Getting Eric's gift from Omaha Steaks reminded me just how powerful a Package Insert Program can be. And package insert programs are just one type of alternative media.

There are many types of alternative media to choose from to reach your target market:


Co-op Mailings

Statement Stuffers

Sampling Programs

Card Deck Mailing

Catalog Bind-Ins/Blow-Ins

Newspaper Inserts

Supermarket take-one racks

It's wise to work with an experienced broker who understandsrepparttar 145726 industry and can help guide you through to successful campaigns.

The broker doesn't cost you anything. The company offeringrepparttar 145727 insert media paysrepparttar 145728 broker so you'd be silly not to work with an experienced broker.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to eating one of my Omaha steaks!

David Frey is the author of the best-selling manual, "The Small Business Marketing Bible" and the Senior Editor of the "Small Business Marketing Best Practices Newsletter." To get your free lifetime subscription visit http://www.MarketingBestPractices.com

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