By Hope Katz Gibbs
Author, PR Rules: The Playbook
You know that you need to be methodical and efficient about your business by having a strategic Plan A — and a Plan B and Plan C, just in case. But how do you take all of your big ideas and narrow them down into a coherent PR and marketing plan?
Try creating a Vision Board, starting with these three steps:
1. Have a conversation with yourself.
Take a deep breath, and close your eyes. Ask yourself: What do I really want for and from my business, and my life? What answer pops into your mind?
You may be surprised by what comes up; maybe you don’t even really want to keep doing what you are doing! Scary, right? If that’s the case, then keep going deeper into the question. You also might want to grab a journal and write down your thoughts.
But if you hear loud and clear: I want to run and grow this business, then keep reading!
2. Take stock of your assets.
The good news is that most small businesses have little overhead and a limited staff, which frees entrepreneurs up to respond when opportunity strikes.
The bad news is that too many entrepreneurs are drowning in daily tasks, managing vendors, and keeping up with bookkeeping. If that’s you, try this:
• Grab that journal, and three different colored markers.
• Draw a line down the center of the page.
• Pen the headings: Things I love about my business / Things I hate.
o With marker #1, add items to each list.
• In the “hate” column, circle what could pay someone else to do.
o With marker #2, add reasons why you feel as you do.
• Explore this fully on additional journal pages.
o Now step back and re-read your words. With marker #3, put a star next to the big ideas and reasons that make your business special. Cross out what you can let go of.
3. Create a vision board.
Now that you’ve fleshed out what’s going on in your head — and your heart — begin taking those ideas and crafting your strategic plan, an idea I got from life coach MarthaBeck.com.
• Tack a piece of poster board to your office wall.
• With a stack of sticky notes in hand, jot down all of your big ideas, one per note, and put them on the board—at first in a random pattern as they pop into your mind. Add, delete, and get creative as you list items you put a star next to in your journal.
• Step back and look at the big picture — then place the sticky note with your biggest goal on the far right side of the board. Work backward to create the timeline of steps that outline what you need to do first, second, and third to get to that end goal.
Playing with this exercise is a powerful way to see — literally, in color — how to take your business to the next level. Keep mining down into the how, why, and when of what you’ll do next.
The fun truly begins as you put your strategy to work, and of course as you get the word out. Explore some valuable PR tools and tips from other entrepreneurs at our website www.InkandescentPR.com and business magazine, www.BeInkandescent.com.
And, learn more about how to realize your big dreams by putting the 8 Steps to PR Success into action with the help of our book, www.PRRulesPlaybook.com ($25 on amazon.com).
Here’s to your incredible, indelible, Inkandescent success!