Fire up your referral marketing plan

You may wonder why I would follow the last blog post Failing to plan is like planning to fail, really, with a blog titled Planning is Worthless! Actually worthless may have been a slight exaggeration… My intention was to point out that planning without follow up, measurement and review of the plan is a failure.

Since I started working with small businesses, I have seen this error again and again. Each and every time I teach a business planning class, I always emphasize how important it is to follow a plan, but also how important it is to make sure that the plan is dynamic and incorporates review and adaptation. I remember clearly a meeting with a small business owner who wanted to review and update his five-year-old business plan. The first step he took was to find it, the plan was wonderful, he told us, but it had simply been done, and filed away. Who knew what was in this plan that may have helped this business grow and prosper during the five years it had sat collecting dust on the shelf.

True, the stated business owner had gone through the steps of creating a business plan, a useful step all by itself. Anyone who has taken a long trip knows that plans don’t always work, obstacles and challenges arise. Often times, unexpected opportunities arise.

During planning, I am always reminded of some advice given to me by an old timer during a military training course. “No matter how much planning and calculation is done, the round on the ground never lies.”

You can’t argue with the results you achieve. If your Referral Plan doesn’t have provisions for measurement, you can do better. The process of Kaizen achieves such stellar results because it does require constant measurement of the plan, ensuring that you always know how the plan is working.

Knowing how your plan is working is a critical step in achieving the most from your plan.

Good Luck and Good Networking!

Rich Martin