I attended a seminar this morning with the title How to Make 2016 Your Best Year yet: Your Annual Plan. This was a free seminar put on by Krista Bleich (former owner of Krista’s Kitchen) on developing a business plan. We’re been in the process of thinking through our business plan for our own company and identifying area where we could do better, so I was happy to attend this morning.
For me it was helpful to look at the 7 areas of a business, separate them into manageable chunks, and identify which parts need more focus. The 7 areas of a business are shown below:
Start with branding. Who are you and what are you all about? Take some time to think about identity, and what makes you unique.
After branding comes marketing. How do you project or communicate your branding to your audience. How are you getting in front of people with your brand? What avenues or channels are you using?
Sales is how you turn that marketing/messaging into a sale. How do you get people to buy your product or service? It’s helpful to remember that people don’t actually buy products, they buy you! So you need to sell yourself. Your product is a ‘by-product’ of them investing in you.
Of course, after you make the sale you have to deliver it. In web design, that means making the website, launching it, and making sure it is kept up to date and accomplishing it’s goals.
Management is a two part thing. The first is managing your staff, making sure they have the tools they need to succeed, communicating your vision, and setting up workflows. In my mind it also included managing your clients, making sure their needs are being met and fostering a relationship with them that provides recurring value. Management is a big deal!
And lastly finance. Finance is about the overall financial health of your business. It has more to do with reporting and understanding those reports than it does with how much money you have, though that is important too.
Leadership provides leadership to these other areas. A strong leader can identify and tie all the pieces together. They cast vision, inspire, and make the tough decisions.
It’s helpful to list out all the different areas of a business and identify which areas need work and which don’t. We’ve been running our design business for over a year now and I’m starting to see areas where we need work. I appreciate Krista taking the time to talk through these things with me. How about you? Which areas are you strong in? Which areas need improvement?