I have recently found myself in need of plan B since the last quarter has not gone as well as expected. Whilst the first two quarters of 2018 were very successful for us, we found quarter three to be slow. There are many factors that may have affected this but identifying these did not change the fact that I needed an alternative plan and I did not have one.
To aid my thinking, I put plan B into Google in the hope that some helpful plans might come up, only to discover that Plan B is actually an English hip hop recording artist from the 80’s. I looked further and found lots of advice on how to construct your business plan including doing your market research, checking out your competition, getting your financial information right etc. But nothing about constructing a plan B; I guess it might not be such a priority in business planning.
You’ll be happy to know that after some careful research, I did find interesting advice. Here are a few examples:
- The hip voice:
Don’t expect things to go to plan and you will always be ready to shift your plan is the main advice from David Kadavy of the Mission Podcast. According to David, ‘Things almost never go according to plan—and that’s okay.’ The solution, according to David, is to ‘remember things won’t go as planned. You can make it part of the plan to not have a plan.’
Whilst I agree that not sticking to your plan at any cost is a good idea, I found this approach a little too relaxed and acknowledging my anxious composition I looked for alternative, more ‘old school’ types of advice:
- The sensible voice:
The Dummies Blog seems to deliver on this front and suggests considering three areas of change in your business focus:
- Redefine your product by re-assessing your product concept and the benefit it brings to your target market. This process could mean that you bring out a new product to attract a new market or make some shifts which will help you target your current market better.
- Move your business to another dimension or location. This could mean that you move your showroom to another area or make it easier for people to approach your business on-line depending on your specific circumstances.
- Revamp your operation and processes through considering whether you need new equipment, skills or staff. To me this area of focus must first and foremost include an assessment of your sales process, lead generation and conversion rate. This is because without new sales, your business growth will be threatened.
Whether like me, you found your business has slowed down recently or you were getting nervous reading that 77% of SME’s are not ready for Brexit, I think we all agree there is a change afoot early next year. If there was ever a good time to construct a plan B, it’s now. Check out how we might be able to help your lead generation and sales strategy refocus here or get in touch to discuss further.