For the record, I hate to cook.
I am not a foodie. I’m not a fan of blenders. I’m not entertained by measuring and mixing. If there are things to be done in the kitchen, I’d much rather be somewhere else.
When my son was little, I put on a good show. I made sure there was always a decent, well-balanced meal in front of him. But now that my son is a man on his own, I’ve dropped all pretenses about caring when it comes to cook books.
Fortunately I married a great cook. With nary a complaint, he regularly transforms raw meat and veggie into mouth-watering delights. Sometimes when enough guilt accumulates, I try to reciprocate by cooking a special meal just for him.
One of my specialties is enchiladas. Recently I poured my heart and soul into making the best enchiladas ever. I prepared the meat to perfection. I mixed the spices with the care of a chemist. Counter to my tendency, I didn’t rush anything. It paid off big time. The enchiladas came out worthy of a picture on the cover of Martha Stewart’s magazine.
The only dark cloud was in my husband’s stomach. He was definitely under the weather and had to take a rain-check on dinner. No problem, I thought, we’ll have beautiful enchiladas waiting for us tomorrow.
The next morning when I wandered into the kitchen to get my first cup of coffee, I was shocked to see the enchiladas still sitting out on the counter. Someone (me) forgot to put them in the fridge. They were still semi-beautiful, but they were inedible. So much for my good intentions.
Cooking has points in common with the preparation of a business, communication or marketing plan. You may or may not be enthusiastic about doing it, but it has to be done.
Typically we start by establishing parameters and visualizing the finished product. Next comes a mental inventory. What ingredients should go into a plan? Do you have everything you need to get the job done?
If you don’t, stock up by getting outside advice and opinions. Consult with business, communication and marketing professionals. Adapt their recipes to your situation. Blend in the needs and demographics of target audiences. Sift out anything that might cause adverse reactions in current or potential clients/customers.
Then roll up your sleeves and bake business, communication or marketing plans that will attract new customers and keep your current clientele coming back for more.
But don’t take off your metaphorical apron just yet. The task is not complete when a plan is cooked up. The task is completed when components of the plan are put before consumers and consumers are reacting positively. That requires a large measure of follow through.
- Follow through on constantly changing objectives and strategies.
- Follow through to assess what is working and what is not.
- Follow through to monitor the status of assigned responsibilities.
- Follow through to revise plans to capitalize on new opportunities.
- Follow through to critically weigh your outcomes against those of competitors.
- Follow through to ensure that your business is well- positioned to capitalize on whatever is next coming your way.
Plans are like enchiladas in that they do have built-in expiration dates. They will spoil quickly if left unattended or forgotten. Even the best plans will eventually be outdated and unworthy of being offered up to customers/clients. Success comes with serving only the best and freshest plans to your target audiences.
As good cooking keeps harmony in families, good plans keep businesses in business.
Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising.
Visit www.comm-concepts.com or call 303-651-6612.