Business Planning

How to Plan for Your Business Success

How to Plan for Your Success

No matter what marketing strategy you decide to pursue for your business, in order to be successful, your effort CANNOT be random, being successful with marketing requires planning for your success!

November is a great time to get an early start on your Marketing Plan for the next year.  Putting together a Simple Marketing Plan can ensure for a more successful year.  Too many coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs practice Random Acts of Marketing (R.A.M.) with no real strategy or plan for their businesses.

I’m on a mission to help coaches, consultants, and entrepreneurs to be less random and more strategic.  In this blog post, I will walk you through a simple strategy for success called The B.E.S.T. Marketing Plan™.  The B.E.S.T. Marketing Plan follows four core marketing strategies for growing your business as a coach or consultant:

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Posted by Nadine Mullings  |  Comments Off on How to Plan for Your Business Success  |  in Business Planning, Marketing, Marketing for Coaches, Marketing for Consultants

5 Ways My Faith Plays a Role in Building My Business

5 Ways My Faith Plays a Role in Building My Business
In the beginning of this year, I announced that I had refreshed my brand, which included a new logo, pictures, vision, and name.  If you missed that blog post, be sure to check it out.

Although all of those items I mentioned in the blog post are important to a brand refresh, one item that is also important, but was not mentioned in the post is refreshing the voice of my brand.  An aspect of my voice that has been eliminated in the past and will be included with my brand refresh is the importance the role of faith plays in my business.

We are taught that we should separate business and religion (or spirituality), so many people shy away from talking about the role faith plays in their business.  Well, with my brand refresh, I have decided to include sharing how faith plays a role in growing my business.

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Posted by Nadine Mullings  |  Comments Off on 5 Ways My Faith Plays a Role in Building My Business  |  in Blog, Business, Business Development, Business Planning, Marketing, Marketing for Coaches, Marketing for Consultants, Small Business

Do You Have a Business M.A.P.?

Do you have a business MAP?Do you have a business M.A.P.?  Wondering what a business M.A.P. is, and why you would need one?

It’s a Marketing Action Plan (M.A.P.), and you need one in order to take your business from one place to the next.

When you need to go somewhere, and you are not sure how to get there, you need directions.  You can use a map to get the directions, now a days that map is within your GPS either in your smartphone or in your car.  Well just like the map in your GPS, you need a M.A.P. for your business that is designed to take your business from point A to point B.  The destination may be different for each business, but the need to have a plan and take action is always necessary to get your business from point A to point B.

Similar to when you are following the directions in your GPS, you may at times need to make a u-turn or change routes, but the overall map in the GPS is there to guide you and get you to your final destination.  In fact, after we have made several miss steps or u-turns we love when we hear the words, “you have reached your destination“.  With a business MAP, you may not hear a GPS system say, “you have reached your destination”, but you know you have reached your destination when you achieve the business goal that you set out to achieve.

For example, if your business goal is to increase your sales by 20%, you need to create a M.A.P. on how to get there.  Instead of turns on highways and streets, the M.A.P. includes turns you can make in your marketing activity that can help you to reach your destination, so in the case of increasing sales, a M.A.P. could look something like this:

Point A-  Sales are 50 units a month

Step 1-  Increase leads by doing the following actions:

a.  Attending more networking events

b.  Placing ads on Social Media

c.  Creating an email campaign

d.  Creating an AdWord campaign

Step 2-  Increase referrals by doing the following actions:

a.  Joining a referral networking group

b.  Looking for referral partners

c.  Creating a referral partner program

d.  Having a referral incentive

Step 3-  Increase sales conversations by doing the following actions:

a.  Having monthly webinars

b.  Having monthly teleseminars

c.  Having monthly in-person events

d.  Having more one-on-one meetings with prospects

Step 4-  Increase your conversion rate by doing the following actions:

a.  Creating sales pages with good  content and strong calls to actions

b.  Creating emails with good content and strong call to actions

c.  Creating  videos with good content and strong call to actions

d.  Adding testimonials to your website and sales pages

Point B-  Measure the increase in sales

So as you can see the action that you take in your marketing action plan will determine the outcome of the destination of your business.  You can create a plan for each business goal that you have and make adjustments to the actions when necessary.

Have you created your business M.A.P.?  If so, what marketing activities do you include in order to reach your goals?

Posted by Nadine Mullings  |  Comments Off on Do You Have a Business M.A.P.?  |  in Business, Business Planning, Marketing, Small Business

How do you differentiate your small business from all of the rest?

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Your small business is probably not the only business in the world that does what you do, so how do you differentiate your company from all of the other companies out there?  The answer can be found in identify your unique selling proposition (usp). These are the things that make you and/or your company different, but sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what your unique selling proposition is?  Follow these three tips to help you to differentiate yourself from the rest of the market:

  1. KNOW YOUR INDUSTRY–  the first step is to know what is going on in your industry.  What is the latest and greatest thing out there.  What changes have you seen in your industry?  What has remained the same in your industry?  How can you be an innovator within your industry?  You want to make sure your company is doing things differently, don’t go with the flow, go against it!  Most of the major brands out there became successful, by doing it differently or offering it in a different way.  Apple did not get to be such a major brand by following the crowd and doing it the same way as the others in their industry, no Apple became a super brand by being innovative!
  2. KNOW YOUR COMPETITORS–  It helps to  know what your competitors are doing, so you can be aware of what they are offering and how you can offer it in a better way.  Nobody really likes to snoop around (well maybe some people do), but it helps to secretly shop your competitors and get to experience the way they do business.  Sam Walton the founder of WalMart was known to be obsessed with his competitors, he wanted to know what they were doing, how they were doing it, when they were doing it, etc. so he could do it better!
  3. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE–  I know I probably say this in almost every post, but knowing your target market inside and out is really key in knowing the needs of your customers, and identifying what makes your product or service the ideal solution for your customer.  McDonald knew that people wanted food quickly.  They did not plan to be the best burger and fries out there, but created a system that offered reasonably good food (I know that is debatable)  in a very fast way, which is what the consumers wanted!

So if you strive to be innovative, to do things differently than your competitors, and to know the needs of your audience, you are on the path to differentiate yourself from the rest of the market and becoming a successful brand!

What ways do you use to differentiate your small business?


Posted by Nadine Mullings  |  Comments Off on How do you differentiate your small business from all of the rest?  |  in Business, Business Development, Business Planning, Marketing, Small Business

How to reach your IDEAL Target Market

One of the first steps to any successful marketing campaign is to IDENTIFY your IDEAL target market.  When it comes to identifying your ideal target market, there are two main factors that you should consider:

  1. DEMOGRAPHICS–  this is a description of your target market that includes factors such as age, gender, income level, marital status, ethnicity, etc.
  2. PSYCHOGRAPHICS–  this is a description of the personality type and interests of your target market and includes things like, values, beliefs, characteristics, hobbies etc.

Once you take the time to describe your target market, then you are better able to REACH your ideal target market!

The next step after defining your target market is finding out where your target market gathers in LARGE quantities both online and offline.  This could include places like:

    • Associations
    • Clubs
    • Organizations
    • Conferences
    • Tradeshows
    • Networking Events
    • Meetup groups
    • Facebook groups
    • LinkedIn groups
    • Specific Social Networking Groups

Now you know WHO your target market is and WHERE they hangout, the next step is HOW to reach out to them, and this could include activities such as:

    • Sponsoring Events
    • Participating in Tradeshows
    • Attending Conferences
    • Speaking at Meetings
    • Joining Clubs & Organizations
    • Partnering with associations
    • Online Advertising
    • Adding to conversations on online groups

Once you know WHO your target audience is, WHERE they hangout in large quantities, and HOW to reach out to them, you are ready to start executing your marketing campaign.

What other techniques do you use to identify and reach out to your target market?

Posted by Nadine Mullings  |  Comments Off on How to reach your IDEAL Target Market  |  in Business, Business Development, Business Planning, Marketing, Small Business, Uncategorized

What are you focusing on to get NEW business? Leads v. Referrals

picmonkey_imageWhen it comes to GROWING your business, getting NEW business is very important.  As business owners we look for various ways to get leads or referrals, but leads and referrals are not the same, and should be treated very differently.  Here is the difference between the two, and which one you should be focusing on:


According to, a lead is a suggestion or piece of information that helps to direct or guide.  A business lead is a suggestion that this person or business may be a good potential for new business for you.  A lead does not come with a recommendation it is merely a suggestion that this company or person may have the services or products you are interested in.  Therefore, before a lead will turn into new business, he or she will need additional proof or a sense of trust to feel comfortable with giving the business to you.  A lead provided by  a third party usually includes the person/company’s name, number or e-mail address for someone who is possibly in the market for your service or product.


According to, a referral is a person recommended to someone or something.  A referral results in more business than a lead because it is a recommendation.  When someone is interested in a product or service, they like to know if it is recommended, so if you come highly recommended by someone, you have a higher chance of getting that business.  A referral goes something like this, “Jane I would like you to meet John, John has a business with the services that you are in need of, I wanted to connect the two of you because I know that John does good work and I knew it would be a good connection for guys to meet”

The difference between a lead and a referral is really whether an introduction was made, and if the person was recommended.  If an introduction was not made and the person/company was not recommended, that is considered a lead.  If an introduction was made and the person was recommended, that is a referral.  Businesses close more business from referrals than leads, so what are you focused on getting?  Leads or Referrals?

Posted by Nadine Mullings  |  Comments Off on What are you focusing on to get NEW business? Leads v. Referrals  |  in Business, Business Development, Business Planning, Marketing, Uncategorized

3 Ways to Get Capital For Your Small Business

After attending the BE Entrepreneur’s conference earlier this month, I learned about three main ways small businesses can secure capital to grow their businesses:

1.  Traditional financing through a financial institution–  This is probably the most popular or most known type of way to get financing for your small business.  You can go through the Small Business Association (SBA) to get assistance with this type of financing, or you can work directly with a bank or a local credit union.  No matter which avenue you choose, you will be required to have good credit,  good financial statements, a good business plan, and you will be taking on debt for your business.

2.  Angel Investor or Venture Capitalist-  This type of capital I was not as familiar with, but I know it is available for small business owners, but mainly start-up companies and mainly technology companies.  Angel investors use private capital  to invest in start-up companies in exchange for equity in the business, and a Venture Capitalist is a person or company that provides capital for new commercial enterprises.  For angel investors and venture capitalist they are not interested in your credit, financial statement or business plan, but more interested in the business concept, the viability of your  product or services, the management team for the business, and the market demand or potential demand  for your product or service.  Venture Capitalist require equity in your business, so you loose some percentage of control for your business.

3.  Alternative sources of capital–  Alternative sources of capital have become very popular now a days with platforms such as crowdfunding.  Crowdfunding is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support organizations and companies.  The capital raised is by donations given in return for some item or privilege from the supported organization or company.  The great thing about crowdfunding is your business is not taking on debt or giving away any equity.

No matter what avenue or avenues you choose to use to get capital for your business, be sure to do your research and BE PREPARED before you start any process to gain capital for your small business.

Posted by Nadine Mullings  |  Comments Off on 3 Ways to Get Capital For Your Small Business  |  in Business, Business Development, Business Planning, Uncategorized

3 things to consider BEFORE making ANY business decision

As a business owner you have to make many business decisions all the time, but how do you know if you are making the right decision for your business?  I feel there are 3 things you should ALWAYS consider before making ANY business decision.  These 3 things are:

  1. Logic– this is when we use our mind to think about the consequences of the decision.  We try to decide will this decision make logical sense for my business mission or goal?   Most business owners always consider the logical reasoning before making a business decision. Logical reasoning includes things like:
    • Does this make sense for my business?
    • How much will it cost me if I do this, or what will it cost me if I don’t do this?
    • How will this affect the bottom line?
    • How profitable could this be?
    • How much time and energy would I have to spend on this?
  2. Emotion–  Some business owners consider the emotional side of making a business decision, but not all business owners do.  The emotional reasoning includes:
    • How would this decision make me feel about the business?
    • How do I feel about working with the individuals involved?
    • Do I feel this could really work?
    • Is my heart in it?
  3. Spirit-  Now this factor is overlooked by many business owners, but could quite possibly be the most important factor.  The spirit is the small voice inside of you (your gut) that usually tells you whether this is right for your business or not.  It is not based on logic or feelings, but on your intuition!  Sometimes we overlook the spirit in making business decisions because logically  the decision looks like it makes sense, or even emotionally we really feel that it could work, but the spirit is somewhat like knowing but not recognizing.  The spiritual reasoning includes:
    • Not really being able to explain why it makes sense or does not make sense, but you just know
    • Not being able to reason whether a decision is right or wrong, but you just know
    • Not relying total on your feelings, but relying on the sense or the direction the decision will take you
    • Paying attention to those small clues that are usually overlooked that give you guidance and direction on the right decision to make

Each decision factor is very different, but all are necessary and should be considered before making ANY business decision!

Posted by Nadine Mullings  |  Comments Off on 3 things to consider BEFORE making ANY business decision  |  in Business, Business Development, Business Planning

The Four Seasons in Business: What Season is Your Business In?

As most of us know there tends to be times in our business when we are super busy, and times in our business when we are not as busy.  I feel business goes in seasons.  Much like the quarterly weather seasons we experience, the business seasons are necessary for us to go through and appreciate.
  • Season 1 (Winter)-  This is the time when business is kind of “cold”.  We are not getting a lot of business, but we have enough business to keep us a float. We can use this time to make plans and work on building up our network.  Business plans are at the heart of our business and when things are slow we should review our plans, update our results, and plan on ways to improve.  Our networks also tend to be the source of our new business, so building our networks in the “cold” season will help us to get more business for our other seasons.
  • Season 2 (Spring)–  This is when we start to see the fruits of our labor.  We start to get phone calls from people who are interested in our business.  More people are interested in joining our team or partnering with us.  During this season we can say “Business is good”  because we are seeing results.  The goal in this season is to provide excellent customer service and exceed your customer’s expectation.  When we exceed our customer’s expectations and keep our customers happy, it will lead to referral business, which is one of the main ways to help grow your business.
  • Season 3 (Summer)–  This is the time when things are more relaxed and comfortable for your business.  You are getting a steady stream of business, but you are not overwhelmed.  This season is the ideal time to think about creating new products and services that you can offer your clients to enhance your business.  People always like new things, so it is important to consistently offer new products and services in your business.  This season is a great time to offer new products and services because you are able to manage your work load.
  • Season 4 (Autumn)-   During this season your business may experience a slight decrease as you are getting close to the “cold” season.  Don’t be alarmed, now is a great time to amp up the advertising and promotion of your business.  More advertising and promotion of your business during this season will help increase your sales volume due to the natural decline in sales volume you  may be in experiencing.  This season is also a great time to be sure to plant your seeds (follow-up phone calls, presentations, networking, etc.) so you can have a fruitful Spring!

Each season my vary in length and time, but most businesses experience all 4 seasons at some point in the life of their business.  The key is to stay focused and realize nothing lasts forever.

Posted by Nadine Mullings  |  Comments Off on The Four Seasons in Business: What Season is Your Business In?  |  in Business, Business Development, Business Planning