In this blog, I am going to show you how to quickly and easily create a simple but extremely effective business strategy for your balloon business. It’s quite a long blog post and I make no apologies for that as I know it will make a big impact on you and your business… Make sure you read to the end… I promise you I am going to share a MASSIVE secret that changed my world when it came to achieving what I want in life and business and will make the biggest difference to growing your dream business.
Right now as I write this, many of us are having some downtime in our business and in our life. Time we don’t usually have. Time to pause. Time to really think about the direction we want to take in our lives and business. It’s a fantastic opportunity to really focus on the actions we can take, in the future, to quickly and easily grow a strong and sustainable balloon business. Time waits for no man though, and hopefully, before we know it, it will be business as usual. Our time and attention will once again be on creating orders, managing enquiries, marketing and the zillion things we have to do. So how do we take the thoughts we are having now, turn them into a business strategy and most importantly an action list we can implement in our business once life goes back to normal?
What is a business strategy and why do you need one for your balloon business?
A business strategy is simply a focused and predefined set of actions which will enable you to achieve the things you want in your business.
Its aim is to enable you to attract more of the types of customers you want in your balloon business and hit your financial goals whilst running a smooth, stress-free, business day-to-day.
When you hear people talking about strategies for business, it can create all sorts of feelings, especially if you don’t have a business background, but let me share the first secret with you. Having spent over 25 years working in all types of businesses, what I know for sure is: the simplest strategies are by far the most effective. They are the most likely to be actioned and this is the key to creating growth for your balloon business. No business strategy will do anything for your business if you don’t
a) make it a priority to take action and
b) stick to the plan.
The truth is many people spend hours writing a good solid business plan. They set clear direction for their business on paper. They work out the steps they need to take and then they leave it sitting in a folder in their desk or on the shelf… promise you won’t do this… It would, of course, be a total waste of your time… am I right?! Make sure you read to the end where I share the biggest secret to powering the growth in your business. It will really help you to achieve what you want for your business (and your life)
Where do you even start with a business strategy for your balloon business?
Ready to start your balloon business strategy? Looking at a Blank piece of paper or screen? Don’t worry it’s actually a very simple and quite fun exercise to do. So let’s look at the 3 stages of business strategy. The structure I use for defining my business strategy is a model used in all types of business from great big corporate giants to small one-man businesses like you and I. I have simplified it to work for small business but essentially there are 3 stages.
So the top-level (and the place you need to start) is your vision also known as the “WHAT” level. Make sure you pay attention to this level as its extremely important to the secret I share with you at the end!
The first thing you need to do when creating a business strategy for your balloon business is to decide what you want for your business and for your life! This is about deciding what your destination happiness looks like. When you have implemented your business strategy, done all the hard work and grown your business, what do you want your business and your personal life to be like? It’s a time to daydream and think BIG!.
Don’t limit yourself by how you will achieve this, how much it will cost, how long it might take or if it’s even possible – that is not important at this stage. You will work that out later. Don’t limit yourself, either, by what might be happening in your life currently. Often when things are tough or we are facing adversity things seem far more impossible. I want you to do this exercise believing you can achieve anything (because actually, even if you don’t know it yet, I promise you that you can!)
I want you to spend some focused time daydreaming, so you can imagine your future when you have a profitable and sustainable balloon business. Ask yourself….
- What does your business look like?
- What sort of work are you doing?
- How much time are you spending in the business?
- Do you have staff?
- What does your home and family life look like?
- What personal growth and attributes have you developed along the way?
- How do you feel?
- What are the things you have you achieved?
It doesn’t have to be all about materialistic either. It could be about spending more time in your family or giving back to your community or other balloon professionals etc. What’s important is its what you want your life to look like when you reach your destination happiness in both your business and your life.
Once you have worked out what your vision and destination happiness looks like you need to create a way to record this so you can check in with it regularly. There are many ways you can do this and it’s important to do it in a way that speaks to you because you need to revisit this often to motivate you and keep you on track. You can write it in essay form. You can record a voice memo or record yourself vlogging on video. My favourite is to create a vision board. I have an overarching vision board for my life for my long term goals and desires that I update regularly but every year I create a focused vision board for my business and my life for where I want to be in 12 months time. It’s like a yearly stepping stone to take me a step closer to the big vision. It really works for me because it’’s highly visual and creative and works well for the way my brain works.
I create a physical version and a digital version and put it everywhere. On my laptop screen. On my phone. On my noticeboard. Above my desk in my office. In my diary. It’s there to keep me motivated and remind me to keep on track. When I am making any decisions in my business and personal life or sitting planning goals and targets I use it. I always ask myself will this help me get towards my vision? and By doing this is it going to get me there quicker or is it going to take longer. This helps me focus on only doing things that will move me and my life in the direction I want it to go in.
I encourage you to take your time with this section. Take time to think and imagine the possibilities. Involve your family as the vision for your life is ultimately their life too. Ask your personal and business partners to contribute as to what they would like to see on the vision. Getting their buy-in to your vision, ultimately means getting their support along the way, and that is priceless. When you are working to a joint vision you will find they are more helpful, more likely to hold you accountable and their input is also much more relevant because they understand the bigger picture (even if they don’t run a business themselves).
The second stage is the strategic level and it’s about working out “HOW” you are going to achieve this. It’s about asking yourself questions like:
- How much money will I need to make in order to make this happen?.
- How much of that needs to be profit?
- How much salary do I need to pay myself?
You need to cost the different elements of your vision and come up with a financial target for your business. You can then look at how you will achieve this income. You need to ask yourself
- How many customers will I need and who are the right ones to enable me to achieve this?
- How many orders and what type of orders do I need? How does that break down into monthly goals?
Don’t let big numbers overwhelm you. Sometimes they can seem so impossible and daunting. If you start to feel overwhelmed simply focus on one part of your vision and when you have achieved that then focus on the next.
It’s not just about the financial targets though. You also need to look at your strategy to attract the right sort of customers into your business. Ask yourself…
- Who are the POWER customers I want in my business to help me towards my vision?
- How am I going to market my business to get the right sort of customers?
- What social media platforms will I find them on?
- Do I need a website, a blog, or email newsletter?
- How many followers on social media or on my email list am I going to need to get enough orders to hit my financial goals?
- What sort of messages and types of social media do they want to see?
- How am I going to work with that social media algorithm to grow an engaged audience there?
- Where else can I find these customers offline?
- Who can I network with to tap into their audience which contains my POWER customers?
- How much budget will I need to market effectively?
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For most people (but not always) growing a successful and profitable business often means uplevelling what they are currently doing. If this is the case for you then ask yourself :
- How will your business need to function once you have that level of business?
- Will you continue to manage that level of orders on your own?
- Will you need extra staff?
- Will you need to get more equipment to allow you to be more productive?
- Will you need more space or a bigger vehicle?.
- Will you need to outsource some stuff so that you can concentrate on the elements of the business that will really fast track your growth?
- If your plan is to reduce the number of orders but do bigger orders will you need more storage space?
- Will you need to travel further?
- Will you need to spend time away from home?
- Will you spend more time in the consultancy and planning phase if so how will you manage cash flow.
- What contingency plans do you need in your business should things go wrong and you can’t work?
- What do your terms and conditions need to look like?
- What legal support do you need for your business?
Finally, it’s about looking at what you currently have and identifying the gaps. Look at your own skill mix and decide whether it’s strong enough to take you where you want to go?
- Is your portfolio appealing to the types of customers you want to attract?
- Do you need to learn new skills?
- Do you need professional photographs?
- How are you going to expand your portfolio whilst running your existing business? Look at your business skills…
- What do you need to learn? You can’t learn everything at once so what are the key things that will really grow your business in the short term and needs to be your focus for now and what do you need to learn later?
Strategy is all about making decisions about what steps you need to take and what processes you need to put in place to allow you to move towards your vision. It’s about getting super clear on the things that will really make a difference. It’s about setting yourself some overall targets and goals for the long term vision, which you then start to tick off over time, ultimately leading you to achieve your vision.
Sometimes when you are starting out you have no idea what the answers are to these questions. Often there are question marks which you will only get clearer on along the way as you develop your business skills in different areas. Don’t be put off if you don’t have the answers. Use your instinct but put a star beside it to make sure you come back to clarify as you investigate further and your business knowledge grows. Try and surround yourself with people who have already developed successful businesses similar to the one you want. Look at what they have done to get there. Ask plenty of questions and be open to learning and as you grow as a business owner. Your business strategy will grow with you.
The final stage is to take focused and consistent action. It’s the “DO” section of the strategy. From years of coaching business professionals, I can tell you that this is the stage that makes or breaks a business strategy. It’s also the stage which is most likely to go wrong. The best-planned strategy means absolutely nothing if it stays on the paper it is written on, never to be put in action. Similarly, it means nothing if you don’t stick to it consistently week after week, month after month. I am not going to lie to you its probably the hardest bit of any business strategy. It’s the reason the planner and the business education industry makes so much money. People are always looking for the magic “thing” that will help them stay on track with this stage. What they don’t realise though is that there is no planner or course in the world that will keep you on track if you are not checking in daily with the vision. You see its the vision that will always keep you focused and taking consistent action.
In a busy world time is our most precious commodity and it goes faster than any of us would like. We all start the year with big plans, goals and dreams. A few months or even a few weeks in and we suddenly realise time has passed and we still haven’t made a dent in that todo list or plan we created on day one. We become disillusioned and it becomes harder to focus on doing what we need to do. Over the years so many business professionals have told me that they need more focus and less distraction in their life. They need more time, or they need to spend more time doing the things they know they should do but don’t. You see they think the opposite of distraction is to focus but actually this is not true. It is impossible to simply focus more. We can all try and may even succeed in the short term but ultimately for most, it seems to be unsustainable if you are not tuned into the real reason you need to focus.
The secret to achieving more in your business and your life…
Now I could give you a lesson here on how to be more productive with your time, manage to-do lists, prioritise tasks, time block your day etc (yes I have tried them all)… but what I am actually going to do instead is let you into a MASSIVE secret…. It’s the secret that really successful people know but don’t share with others…
The solution to distraction, to going off track, to not being focused is not to try and focus more or be more disciplined. It won’t work… not unless you know this one thing… if you want to stick to your plans and achieve great things you need to understand that
The opposite to distraction is not focus or discipline… it’s ATTRACTION!!.
It’s something I learned a long time ago to help me focus, hit goals and move forward with my life. It’s how I progressed my career in medical sales and marketing, won awards and grew my balloons and venue decor business. It’s how I learnt to set up the Balloon biz academy online and why I continue to try and help others.
The key to tapping into attraction for business growth is in your vision board. I will come back to this in a minute but first let me give you an example from my own life…
Real Life Example….
As a creative entrepreneur, I struggle with numbers. Always have done. It’s not that I can’t do numbers… I am actually very good at maths, a whizz at excel and can create an amazingly beautiful spreadsheet that will run an entire business… Getting on top of numbers whether its finances or tracking social media statistics is something I know is essential to growing a business…. but even so they just don’t float my boat!
I see them as something I HAVE to do rather than something I WANT to do. I would much rather spend time creating gorgeous balloons, getting a creative fix on Pinterest or a zillion other things I enjoy more. So what happens, if I am not careful, is that anything to do with numbers ends up on the bottom of my to-do list. It gets moved on to the next to-do list and the next to-do list and so on.
Yet I know what you focus on grows! I know that the magic happens when you start to track things. I know that if I focus on the money in my business, the sales figures, the expenditure I will absolutely make more profit to fund the life and business I want. So why is it so hard for me to focus on this? The answer is I am not attracted to the money itself. Never have been really. Neither am I attracted to the fact I have X number of followers on my social media account or email newsletter. To me they are a little bit of a vanity metric. So how do I get myself to focus on these things because I can assure you if I don’t I will float along aimlessly in life making some progress but nowhere near the progress I could make?
The key is in my vision board. You see my vision board where we started at the beginning of the strategy is essentially what I am attracted to in life. It’s my desires for the future. It’s the things that excite me. The things that will bring me happiness. It is what I perceived to be the most attractive future I could want for me, my family and my business.
Last year I wanted to spend more quality time with my family. Running a busy business that is busiest at weekends and during the summer months plays havoc on quality family time as I am sure you know! I knew that of all the things on my vision board it would make me the happiest! I knew that in order to have 100% focus on quality time away from my business (because I am a workaholic who can’t say no!) we needed to get away. So on my vision board, I put the word holiday. After a few months, I looked at my vision board and realised I wasn’t really much further forward in reaching a lot of things on there.
I was getting distracted by the day to day running of the business and a lot of the stuff that could actually grow my business to help me achieve my vision was getting dropped off the bottom of my to-do list. I decided I needed more attraction to start getting things ticked off the vision. The most important thing on my vision board was some quality time with my family so I focused in on the holiday. I decided I needed to get super attracted to this holiday so I started researching it. I decided the type of holiday we needed was something fairly close (the twins had never flown before) something relaxing, low key but still lots of wow factor for our first holiday abroad as a family. I went online and I found the perfect all-inclusive holiday resort in Spain. It had everything! Pools to die for… gorgeous apartments… family entertainment…. A gaming centre for the twins… loads for them to do… 24-hour food and drink… and a short plane ride away. It ticked every single box!
I priced up the cost for the holiday and I pencilled out the dates in my diary. I then took a photo of the hotel complex from the website and I made loads of copies. I put that holiday photo everywhere. It was on my noticeboard. On my mirror. On my phone. My laptop screensaver. Everywhere… I even had one in the car. I worked out a plan of how much deposit I needed and how much I needed to pay in instalments to get the holiday. I looked at that photo all the time and imagined us arriving there. I was almost fixated I guess with making it happen.
Do you think I was checking in with my numbers more now? or that I kept a better eye on my income? Of course, I did. I was fired up and looking constantly at how I could get more orders, reduce my expenditure, how I could make more profit in my business! Do you think I posted more regularly on social media, grew my audience and generally did more tracking and actions to grow those numbers? You bet! You see… The focus that attraction brings meant I grew my business at an astonishing rate. Not only did I earn enough money to go on our holiday but I also achieved so much more on my vision board.
You see it isn’t focus or discipline you need to take action and get more done it is attraction… That is the whole purpose of the vision board. It’s also why once you make your vision board you need to get super attached to it in your everyday life. You need to make it your go-to place and let it drive the fire in you to grow your business and do the things you NEED to do in your business as well as the things you WANT to do.
The other reason I want to share this SECRET with you now is because attraction doesn’t just make you do the things you NEED to do it also helps you find the way! In times of adversity when often the future looks a little bleak, you have been thrown a curveball or nothing seems to be going right in your world, attraction will light the fire in your belly that makes you say I am not going to let this stop me. I am not going to give up on my dreams. It doesn’t matter how hard it is. How many times I might have to try and try again I will find a way to get there. In fact, when times are hardest you need to spend more time looking at your vision and what destination happiness means to you.
Check out this video with from Jay Shetty, who is totally amazing, and says it far more powerfully than I can when it comes to the secret of using attraction to achieve your goals
Learning to create a strategy to achieving what I want is probably one of the biggest lessons I have ever learnt in my life and without a doubt the reason I have been able to achieve so many things I have wanted both in my business and on a personal level. The example I gave here was for a holiday but actually it was more than that it was to spend quality time with my family. I have used it before to land my dream job, to achieve sales awards, to start my own business, to start the academy. Whatever you want to achieve in life you just need to become so super attracted to it that you will find a way to get there… I would love to know what you are super attracted to. By saying it out loud or by putting pen to paper you subconsciously acknowledge it and this is the first step to getting super attracted to achieving your dreams!
I hope you have found this blog post useful… I hope it helps you create that fire in your belly to achieve great things and I hope it shows you the simple way to do this… please let me know what you think in the comments!
Hi there! It’s so great to have you here! Having grown my own balloons and venue decor business I really want to help you grow a profitable and successful business too! I can’t wait to see where your journey takes us!
Until next time… Stay Amazing!