Fall Retreat 2012: Going for the Touchdown

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For a couple of days in November, the entire Zer0 to 5ive team holed up in our Philadelphia offices for our Fall Retreat. The focus of this retreat was education and we were able to learn with some very hands-on activities that went beyond PowerPoint presentations and into the application of the principles.

There were some of the usual retreat activities, all with a football spin for fall: account reviews, a crash course from ouraward-winning creative group and way too much caffeine. However, the opportunity to brainstorm with local entrepreneurs on a variety of topics, including branding, website design and go-to-market plans, made it a touchdown for all of the team members.

The beauty of these interactive group sessions are undoubtedly the unique lessons that each individual departs with. Here are just a few key takeaways that struck me as often overlooked – but ultra-important – best practices, for those starting a new business or endeavor.

Get off the sidelines and into the game: If you have a business idea, do yourself a favor: get organized and get the ball rolling. Don’t lose out on a great opportunity because you hesitated for too long. Just like there are new players coming from college to the pros every year, someone will be always be rising up to steal your thunder.

Develop a good game plan: Start with a clear and concise business plan. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and I’m pretty sure neither was any successful business! It’s the foundational elements like this that keep you on track and focused on the end goal, even when the unexpected happens.

Identify your fan base: Whether you’re offering a product or a service, know who you’re trying to appeal to. Some business models are best suited for the mass market while some appeal to highly targeted niches. Knowing who you’re targeting allows you to answer the key sales questions of how, when and where to target them. If you can’t answer those questions correctly, you might end up looking at a lot of empty seats.

What are your best practices for entrepreneurs? Leave them in the comments below!

Post by Kristen Everett
Zer0 to 5ive Senior Strategist
Twitter: @krissyeverett

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