checklistThis is the fifth part of the “Is Your Business Making These 10 Mistakes?” series. Part 1 can be found here, Part 2 is here, Part 3 is here and Part 4 is here.
Plan the Next Six Months, Not the Next Five Years
I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with me on this one, but I don’t recommend spending a lot of time planning your long term goals, because things change too fast and too often. This is what I do for myself and it works out great for me.

  1. I think of where I want to be in six months.
  2. I reverse-engineer the process to come up with an action plan. For example, if I want to launch a new line of products in six months, I write down all the milestones I need to accomplish and their deadlines.
  3. I take the first milestone and break it down into actionable steps. “Find manufacturers” isn’t an actionable step because it isn’t something you can do without having to break it down into smaller pieces. “Search Google for ‘deodorant manufacturers'” is an actionable step because it’s something very specific I can do.
  4. I plan each week and decide what I need to do this week to be on schedule for my plan.
  5. I plan each day.
  6. Every day I get the actionable steps done and I move on with my plan.
  7. I adjust the plan of action every week because things change every day. That’s why you don’t want to sit down and plan the next five years.

It’s All About the Back-End
A front-end offer is the first product a customer buys from you. Back-end is everything else you sell them. One of the most valuable lessons I learned through the years is that the money is in the back-end. People that bought from you in the past are a lot more likely to buy from you more often and buy more expensive products (assuming their first experience with you was great).
Ninety-five percent of all businesses stop marketing to their “old customers” after the first purchase. This is insane! After they bought a cell phone from you, sell them extra batteries, airplane chargers, cases, upgrade their plans and sell them broadband Internet.
When a customer places his first order with you, that’s where your real marketing should START, not end.