It’s been a week filled with conversations, website mock ups, briefings, agency agreements and catch ups with old colleagues. However the one thing that has shocked me is the amount of repetitive direct mail I have received daily from each political party several times over. It keeps falling through the letter box – Royal Mail must be rubbing their hands with glee but I’ve not had any conversations with any of the parties so none of them will have any clue as to whether any of it has made any impact. If we only spent half as much time listening as broadcasting we could save a lot of money which is why I find social media so exciting as it can support so much of the listening. We no longer passively consume marketing messages but actually blog or tweet about it or even set up websites to help others to lobby companies. This is a whole new phenomenon for a marketer to deal with which our political parties are only just coming to terms with.
I promised that I would this week cover some of the steps involved in setting up my new business in web savvy field marketing for travel businesses, for those readers who are just setting out in business.
The key thing I’ve learnt having set up a few businesses is that no business is ever the same but the key matter of importance is to listen to your prospective customers and find out what they are looking for and will value. I found out last week that some of them would be interested in webinars and research so I need to make sure we have the right solution in place for them and need to tweak the launch plan accordingly with their priorities.
In addition I’ve discovered that my smart phone is a godsend as I set tasks on it so it beeps me when I have promised to do something to keep me on track. I’ve also learnt that without a launch plan time will slip away as you are wearing so many hats in the early days and this helps to keep me focused. So far I’ve identified several sets of tasks grouped as follows and displayed as gantt charts so I can see the dependencies between the sub tasks under the following headings:
This covers everything from 3yrs of financials with P&L, staffing, branding, shareholder agreements, agency agreements, payroll, bank account set up, business plan with competitor analysis. (click here for business plan format if you need one).
This covers target list of clients to research, questionnaire design, pilot, researching and reviewing results.
First Client Reference Site:
This covers all the steps to getting our first reference site in place.
This includes the development of key messages, design of marketing collateral, sales process and telephone follow up. I’ve learnt that documenting your processes is key as you grow your business so that new people can learn the ropes quickly without having to ask for help all the time.
Website set up:
This includes time for website mock ups and story board re navigation path, briefing with mood board for design agency and developers, testing and supporting PR plan.
This includes design of the services and USPs* we plan to offer, and development of the training materials and templates we will be using and for example mystery shopping some of the online software we will be using to run events and build communities. One of the new products I’m thinking of launching is a new product called WULM* – can’t help thinking that banks serving businesses could be doing a lot better if there were regular league tables on their ability to deliver on this.
Database set up:
I always see this as the gold dust of the business so there are tasks here as to how we are going to build and maintain our database of suppliers, contacts and customers such that they are managing their permissions and we have transparency in the process.
Conference Plan (for launch):
This is the plan for how we will soft launch the business including preparation for key meetings and research on prospective clients.
As you can see it will be a busy month ahead leaving me little time thankfully to drown in the mountain of repetitive political mail on my doormat.
USPs = Unique Selling Points to answer the question – why should I buy from you?
WULM = Will you listen to me