Assign Resources to Each Project
We need to keep digging into this project plan because it is not done. In lesson three we talked about the resources that we had at our disposal or the resources we needed to invest in to make our plans reality. We need to ask ourselves, then, as the next part of the planning process, what resources belong to what project. So again, we'll go through the list; What skills or knowledge are going to help you complete which project? What strengths, yours or your team's that are going to help you complete each project? What financial resources? Do you want a budget for each project? Maybe you have some cash stores that you want to assign to a project so that you get can there faster, get there with less hassle. This is the time to figure that out. Maybe you want to create a budget as part of your cash flow. Maybe this is the time you're gonna decide you wanna dip into that credit card a little bit. What organizational resources? Do you need to hire people to complete that project? Do you ne...
ed to find a contractor? Do you need to hire a coach? Are there team members who can step in on a project that maybe you wouldn't have thought about before? How are you gonna call on your friends to help you get this project done? Friends are very important, your social resources can help you complete projects. And then community, what can you ask your customers to do? What can you ask your local community to do? What can you ask your people in your industry to do to help you complete that project? You guys, you don't ask for enough favors. (audience laughs) It's time to start asking for more favors. Every time you complete a project plan, part of your job is to figure out what favors you're gonna ask for. Promise me you'll do that, yes? That's gonna add another column to this chart that we've been filling out. Now you don't just have projects, you don't just have action steps and action standards, but you've also got an area here to allocate resources. So let's take a look at, again, my project plan. We've got our projects, we have our action steps, we have our action standards, and now it's time to add resources. For reorganizing my team and filling in holes, what resources do you think I maybe needed to assign to this project? Financial resources, yep, I had to create a budget for that. It was a risky budget, it was good. (laughs) (class laughs) What else? Yes.
Some one to help with your job descriptions?
Yep, absolutely. What else? Anything else? What about for rebranding, what resources might I needed for that?
A designer, okay. What else? Guys, there's more to rebranding than graphic design. Yes.
A publicist or PR
Publicist or PR professional, yep. What about designing and executing our grand re-opening campaign, what resources might I need for that?
Current members, absolutely. Thank you very much for your help.
Email marketing, yep.
Finances for Facebook ads?
Yes, there was also a financial budget for that. So here's what that looked like. Reorganizing our team, set aside a $4500 per month budget for that, people we know, I love hiring people I know, whether they're family members or close friends or community members, so that was our social component there, and Asana, so actually an application at that point, I didn't include technology in the list that I've been going through with you guys, but that was a technology asset that we already had, we just needed to put to better use. For the rebrand we needed to use my copywriting skills, we actually had old branding for CoCommercial because that name existed in a different form before, so I re-utilized that old branding, that was an asset, a resource that I had at my disposal, just sitting on my computer, I just decided to put it back to use, very pleased with it. Our existing community was also part of the help with our re-brand, and then our email list was a huge resource for us here too, because I was able to survey our email list to fuel my copywriting, so that when we went to market with the new messaging I was 99% confident that it was gonna work. And then for the last one for designing and executing our grand re-opening campaign we needed a $5,000 budget for t-shirts, we needed to utilize Crowdcast, again technology, we utilized our existing community, and we utilized my Facebook page. So again, we've got all these different kinds of resources, all these different kinds of assets, but if I didn't take a really good look at what I had at my disposal, I wouldn't have been able to know how things were going to get done. So simply by saying, "What do I have? What's in front of me? How am I gonna get this done? What can I use to get this done?" and just assigning things out, deciding where's the money gonna go? When I'm gonna ask for favors, and when am I gonna put money towards something. What technology can I use to get that done faster? It made the projects come together much more easily. Questions about assigning resources?
It's kinda a one-off question, but you've mentioned asking for favors frequently. Would you mind sharing an example of how you ask for favors? Do you tie it into your goal or do you have some type of strategy for that?
Yes! I am also bad at asking for favors, we're just gonna be 100% transparent here. I should ask for favors way more than I do. I've been called out by my friends before to say, "Tara, you never ever ask for anything. Would you please stop that?" (laughs) So I made a goal this time, but I didn't actually meet the goal of the number of favors that I was going to ask, so again, I'll be 110% transparent this time, but I do have a process for asking for favors. So in this case, yes, absolutely, when I reach out and ask I'm gonna make people aware of my goal first and foremost. Because I'm a goal-oriented, results-focused kind of, because I'm that kind of person, when I state my goal people want to help out with that. And I think that actually works for the vast majority of us. When you state your goal people want to help. So that is the first part of the process. The next part of the process is simply saying, "I'm gonna make this as easy for you as possible". As part of the execution of our grand re-opening campaign we developed an influencer campaign. I'm friends with a lot of people who have email lists and followings and Facebook followings and all of that stuff, so I scripted out an email that said here's what we're working toward, here's why we're working toward it, here's what we see changing in the market, thank you so much for the support that you've given me in the past and for your friendship and I'm really excited about these things that you're working on, here's how you can help out with this goal. And we basically gave them three things that they could do. They could actually just join our community, "We would totally appreciate you as an influencer being a member of our community, here's your invitation". 2) Can we send you a t-shirt and will you post yourself as a selfie and to hashtag it CoCommercial? Great, lots of people were on board for that one. And then 3) Here's a Facebook post, can you just share it on your Facebook page because I would really appreciate that too. By making it as easy as possible, tying it into our goal, talking about the big picture vision behind it, everyone I emailed in that initial campaign followed through in some way. Many of them followed through with all of the things, which was fantastic. The bottom line I think when asking for favors is making it as easy as possible. Right now we're planning a big one day virtual conference, it's gonna be members only, another part of our quarter two target and plan, and one of the things that I did asking for favors for people to come into that conference the same way you'd ask someone to be interviewed on a podcast or for a tele summit or something like that, but I have a whole bunch of pet peeves about that, so when I was designing the asks for that I took those pet peeves into account. So not only did I talk about our goal, the big picture behind it, but I said, "Here's what you need to know. There's no promotion. There's nothing to prepare. And all I need is 45 minutes of your time. Oh, and all of your people can join for free because there's a free 30 day trial, and so no one needs to pay for anything, so if you wanna help promote it, it's gonna be really easy." And again, all yeses, just because I asked for favors, and just because I made it as easy as possible and tied it into my goal. Does that help?
Yes, thank you.
Okay, ask for more favors.
So you launched a business and made the leap.
Congratulations! But now you are a year or longer into being a business owner and you are HUNGRY for more.
You have put in the hard work to build your business to where it is today but big decisions about what to focus on and what opportunities to pursue, threaten to slow your progress.
You want to make the right decisions for your business and your customers so you can feel confident, focused, and accomplished as a small business owner.
Goal-setting & Planning To Grow Your Standout Business helps you make the right decisions about your ideas, opportunities, and plans so you can earn more money and save time on the path to your dream.
Whether you’re offering a service, selling online programs, or designing a product, Tara guides you step-by-step through setting the goals and creating the plans that will grow your business.
By the end of the class, you’ll have a framework for knowing:
- What to focus on to grow your business without working harder
- How to know which project comes first so you’re never backtracking
- How to know you’re making the right decisions for your business so you can achieve your vision
- How to set goals you can actually achieve with the resources you currently have
Tara is a bestselling CreativeLive instructor, with a wide variety of business classes including the first step for entrepreneurs, Build a Standout Business. She is the founder of CoCommercial, the business association for digital small business owners and the author of the book Quiet Power Strategy. Tara’s work has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., and Design*Sponge. Her podcast, “Profit. Power. Pursuit.” was named one of the top women-hosted podcasts for entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur magazine.
By the end of this class, you will have a clear vision of what you are building, a clear path to build it, and a project plan to take you closer to turning your vision into reality.