Luck Is No Strategy – Create a Plan and Let It Guide You

When starting out, or entering a new market, most businesses owners focus on their products and the services they offer market. Their belief and excitement in their new venture can overshadow some of the necessary preparations that ensure the sales and revenue meets with their expected success. Sales and a clear path forward are left to fate which often results in lack-lustre sales, longer than expected sales cycle plus additional costs.

Without a plan you are inviting failure and increasing your workload
To avoid these common pitfalls, it is important to create a clear business plan for each new market. Doing so will highlight the areas that the business needs to address in order to achieve the success visualized.

The process isn’t arduous or particularly time consuming. In fact, keeping it simple will enable you to create a map that helps you to identify the 20% area of effort that will deliver 80% of your revenue and success, in keeping with Pareto’s 80/20 principle.

Business and Sales Plan Templates
There are a multitude of resources available on the internet, some free and others at cost that will help you to quickly and easily create a business model and sales plan to support a new venture. Strategyzer’s Business Model Canvas is a free, clear and simple to understand template specifically designed for this activity and recommended by many leading business advisors, including Steve Blank & Bob Dorf authors of ‘The StartUp Owner’s Manual’

The Business Model Canvas covers crucial areas such as your key partners, activities, resources, customer relationships and of course your value proposition; clarifying these areas with pertinent questions that will get you thinking about your product or service from the perspective of the end buyer as well as that of your business. Ploughing ahead with a new business or product innovation without considering and planning each step of the way to market and ongoing sales is like wandering through a new landscape in the dark – you’ll miss many of the highlights and are almost guaranteed to stumble and fall.

Two heads are better than one
It’s best to complete your supporting business plan and sales strategy information with a third party in order to draw out any gaps you might not see on your own and to identify key areas, ideas and areas for market research to focus upon.

The Strategyzer business template not only provides a format in which you can capture the necessary information needed to build a sales strategy, it will also allow you to test your assumptions and hypothesise on the best channels to engage with potential customers and create realistic customer profiles. As Eric Ries says in his book ‘The Lean Startup’ – ‘The Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop is at the core of the Lean Startup Model.” This approach allows businesses to bring products to market quickly and test their minimal viable products and business hypotheses quickly and effectively.

If you are working with a small team or your business lacks an internal sales resource, it can be hugely beneficial to engage an external representative or sales resource to assist you with the process. The team at The Sales Desk have many years of combined experience helping businesses create and implement sales and business strategies that drive business growth and avoid the pain of chasing ideas and plans that have not been tested or properly researched. The Sales Desk covers all aspects of the sales process from planning to closing the sales and each step in between.