My Biz In A Bundle – Lesson #4
Hope your journey with your Business Journal is going well.
We’re to the final pages where you plan and track your adventure. You are a pioneer, you know. These final pages are based on your internet presence. But you can modify them for on-premise sales.
Page 22 – Product Planning – gives you the necessary questions to bring in product for sale You can use an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets form if you have a lot of product. But you need to plan and track it. Not just for the internet postings, but for inventory control so you know when and how much to reorder.
Page 23 - Upcoming Product Promotion Schedule - Just like vendors at trade shows, if you manufacture goods you need to schedule your ship date and then back out your process by giving hard dates for:
- Production Period
- Material Acquisition
- Ordering Period
- Promotion - pre--sales
- Develop and photograph samples
- Decide/Design product
Page 24 gives you space to track “evergreen products”. What are evergreen products –
Evergreen products are those items that have an everlasting appeal. They sell all year long, with no peak or off-peak periods. It is a product that your customers will continue to purchase over time. Small journals are evergreen if they aren’t too specific an interest area.
Page 25 is space to schedule an Email marketing/promotion schedule. You’ll want to include the name of the product, the focus of the campaign, the title of the email and the date you intend to send it. You’ll also want to write your email series and use an autoresponder for getting them out. Don’t convince yourself that you can do it without an autoresponder. You must be disciplined enough to write the entire email campaign and schedule them for sending or it simply won’t happen, especially if you’re a Solopreneur.
A work process I discovered 20+ years ago, handle a piece of paper once. When it’s in your hand deal with it. Once it hits the “to do” pile, you are leaving yourself open to not doing it on time or not at all. And, by the way, that includes filing. File it or throw it out. Using a “filing” box is another recipe for failure to locate the document when you need it.
And Page 26 is just a starter for your email list. Within a short period of time you’ll have more emails that you’ll want to write down. That’s where your autoresponder comes in. I use a WordPress plugin called Mail Poet. It’s free until you get 1,000 names on your list. Then you pay a reasonable monthly fee, and you should be generating enough income off your site to pay for it.
Pages 27 and 28 are for income tracking. The sales tracking page is imperative to start. Once you have started a full business journal, you’ll record those numbers in your journal. Eventually your online sales records will be available in spreadsheet format and you’ll not have to worry about tracking every little sale. But to start, do it!
Page 29 is for those websites that sell their own goods and allow you not promote their items and get a piece of the profit. Those are called affiliate sales. If you participate, be sure they’re a reliable and honest company. Do an online search for comments on their affiliate program and be sure they have a system in place, so you’ll get your percentage, and the customer gets their product.
Page 30 is for upcoming product ideas you are going to create or have decided you will purchase wholesale and resell. Be sure you know “why” you’re adding it to your collection. Whether it’s your own idea, or product you’ve found at a trade show, or online, be sure it fits into your mission, focus and overall theme. Unless you don’t care if it ever sells.
Page 31 is your Social Media Posting Tracker. If you haven’t used Social Media before you should consider having a business account on Facebook (FB) and Linked In (LI). And learning to use them is easier if you join Meet Edgar. I use it to post weekly Journal Writing Prompts to my Facebook Business Page, and a quote to my Linked In Page weekly. I also do a post on Linked In (a B2B focus) which is a short summary and link to my recent post on Jana’s Journals. I do a weekly process of writing a post. Posting it with SEO, adding images, writing the summary for LI and posting it. There are links across websites and to Linked In and Facebook. Once you get a system, you’ll begin to see some results. But as long-time blogger Darren Rowse talks about on his website – don’t expect to see results for a year to 18 months. It takes that length of time to establish your creditability – both with your buyers and google.
Start your daily writing habit and post new product weekly. Find the Business Journal that fits your size and style and start making it an integral part of your business. You’ll be glad you did.