So things didn’t go as planned last year. Now is the time to take a fresh look at your business’s plans, goals and the setbacks of the past year.
“It’s the beginning of the year, and for many, that signifies a fresh start, a new beginning and a renewed sense of purpose. During this time, it’s only natural to reflect on the past year and start to make those annual New Year’s resolutions,” says Candace Peters, marketing and communications coordinator of The National Society of Leadership and Success. But have a plan to achieve these resolutions, she says.
10 Steps To New Year’s Success:
1) Identify your goal: You must know where you want to go in order to get there.
2) Have a plan: “Map out your action plan on paper. Include your action steps in your daily calendar, and break your long-term goal into smaller short-term goals,” says Peters.
3) Think ahead: “Consider the problems that may arise. Did you succeed in completing your New Year’s goals last year? What contributed to your success or your inability to achieve your goal? Apply those factors to the current goal,” explains Peters.
4) Know what’s going on.”Always have a hands-on approach with your manufacturers. If you cannot personally do regular site inspections for quality control, make sure you have someone who can,” Richard Henningsen, co-inventor of the Blizzerator, points out. “Also, whether you have one or dozens of distributors, make sure they are qualified. Set minimum limits as to sales requirements based upon product sales and availability.”
5) Protect yourself from your competition: “Never underestimate the lengths your competition will go to disrupt your business flow, borrow ideas and concepts and even product designs without permission. Protect yourself. Use NDA and non-compete documents,” says Henningsen.
6) Improve your customer service: The goal is to make your customers happy. “Large or small, if your customers are not happy, you have no sales. Consumers don’t care that you’re having difficulties. They care that they have a problem and if you don’t take care of their problem…they will remember that,” add Henningsen.
7) Do your research, research, research: “If you don’t know why something failed, you are missing a huge opportunity. What if a small tweak to the product or positioning makes all the difference?” asks Adam O’Leary, marketing and design consultant of Encite Marketing. Find the lesson in your failure. “There is a learning opportunity in everything,” he adds.
8) Do you have proper promotion? Maybe your failure was due to lack of publicity and promotion. “It is unbelievable how many businesses do not promote their product or service correctly. Just because you have a successful year, doesn’t mean you stop marketing and promoting your business,” notes O’Leary. “You are competing for consumers’ attention all the time and if you stop being top of mind, people will forget you.”
9) Set realistic expectations: Of course it is great to dream big, but you have to take baby steps sometimes to get there. “Are the goals you set unattainable? Set small, achievable short-term goals and then set the next set.. This gives you confidence and motivation as you increase incremental and sustainable sales goals,” says O’Leary.
10) Don’t throw in the towel just because something didn’t work one way. There may be a solution. Don’t give up.