It’s time to look back and reflect. Yes, just like every single year. We have good wishes and resolutions, we are determined to leave wrong choices behind, learn from our mistakes and improve on our strategies. But then the year goes by and everything gets buried under the sand.
There are some areas in your life you can afford to slack off, but when it comes to business, making sure you take stock of previous choices and planning for all eventualities is essential.
So, start by looking back over the year in terms of sales, promotions, marketing activities, successes and failures. What worked and what didn’t? What would you do differently? How can you take advantage of the work that you’ve already done and use it differently and perhaps more effectively?
Sit down, look at the horizon and start triggering your train of thought. Let it flow. You may even want to play with whatever comes to your mind and start creating a mind map that could very well evolve into a set of actionable goals.
Small term ‘win goals’
Start by creating small term ‘win goals’ – easily, quickly achievable objectives. These will give you your first win for the year and will allow you to move onto something that is a little harder with more confidence and enthusiasm.
Once you hit your goal, make sure to reward yourself, particularly those you had work hard to reach. Cross them of the list as you go and accept the reward you have written against the goal.
Solid, achievable goals
A set of carefully considered goals can be your blueprint for the year and help take your business from strength to strength.
No idea where to start? Here are some keywords to help trigger your train of thought.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to revisit customer relationships. Did your customers show satisfaction with your services over the year? Why not asking them how you’re doing and how you might make improvements. Ask for honest feedback and don’t take it too personally – learn from their comments and turn them into actionable goals. If technology will help you achieve those goals, don’t hesitate. Whether it’s in the form of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, mobile coupons or QR codes, new ways to connect with customers seem to appear constantly. Here are some further suggestions to help you improve your relationship with your customers.
Nurturing talent and staff welfare has fast become a ‘hot topic’ for all organizations, with many looking to improve internal colaboration. Make 2013 the year you stay on top of your HR, employment law and health and safety matters.
Take a fresh look at your business technology. Is it still up to scratch? An outlay now on more up to date technology could speed up key processes, saving you money and resources in the long run.
How about mobility? Is your website mobile enough? Remember that by By 2015, more U.S. Internet users will access the web through mobile devices than through PCs. On average, 15% of all searches on Google today are from a mobile device. How well are you catering to this mobile population? You might want to make 2013 the year you optimize your search marketing, email marketing and website to focus on this growing mobile community. If that’s the case, this article could help you.
In the race to master new social media tools, don’t overlook your own website. It doesn’t make any sense to build a beautiful and savvy Facebook presence that funnels people to a boring, inaccurate, and out-of-date website. Keep it current and engaging!
Your website is often your first point of contact with customers, so make a pledge to spruce it up this year. Ensure your website content is relevant, fresh and informative and make a commitment to refresh it regularly throughout the year. Whatever it is, you want a website that is easily found, easily read, professional and useful for your customers.
As an entrepreneur, remember that you’re solely responsible for your own motivation, productivity and well-being. There’s no boss to pat you on the back or give you a raise. It’s up to you to keep yourself motivated and inspired.
In 2013 be sure to reward yourself for specific milestones like a big client win, meeting a tough deadline, or working “overtime” for multiple nights on end.
Or perhaps this is the year when you start delegating tasks more and more and start using technology to allow you to spend more time working from home?
But most importantly, don’t spend all this time writing goals just to lose them in your to-do file. Keep them in a visible place or perhaps even you iPhone notes section. Always read what your goals are for the year and track the progress against weekly or monthly datelines depending on the goal.