It’s hard to believe, but we’re halfway through the first month of the year. If you haven’t yet done so, it’s time to think about what moves you really need to make to accomplish new goals for your business in 2015.
You know that saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”? We don’t want you to go insane, so we gathered some tips to ensure that your 2015 business game plan is as strong as possible.
1) Take A Look Back, But Don’t Dwell – You don’t need to change everything in the New Year, but it’s certainly prudent to take a look back and analyze what went well and what didn’t – so you can repeat what’s working and pivot from what isn’t.
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Did your marketing mix return value? What conclusions can you draw about your best sales days? How are your employees performing? How has your customer service been? What can you learn from any failures? Be honest with yourself, because if you aren’t, it’s a moot point.
2) Prioritize Areas For Change – Once you’ve identified what went well and what didn’t, write down and prioritize what changes will have the greatest impact.
Start with the most important, and then prioritize by what you can actually change in the near term. For example, getting a new store location might not be something you can realistically afford to do this year, but selling at other venues might be a small step that you can try in 2015 to test location performance and customer interest.
3) Make Hard Decisions – Don’t just change what’s easy. Sometimes the hardest part of running a business is making the tough decisions that are necessary for your business to thrive. We can get stuck in ruts that keep us where we are – or worse, put us behind – because we don’t want to do something that doesn’t feel good.
Firing someone doesn’t feel good. Slashing prices doesn’t feel good. But these things are necessary from time to time. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
4) Update Your Content – Whether it’s your social media pages, website or marketing and sales collateral, step back and take a look at existing content. When is the last time you updated your messaging? Is it fresh? What channels are performing for you, and what channels could you consider dropping?
When is the last time you updated your bio or “About Us” page?
“I like to update all my social media pages and make a big sectioned to-do list of what I want to achieve during the year,” suggests Laura Dunn, Founder and Editor of Political Style and Huffington Post blogger.
5) Kick Things Off Together – “We always have a kick-off day to run through plans and strategy for the year. It’s not just big companies that need these, and they aren’t expensive to do. It gets everyone ready to go,” suggests Sadie Groom, Managing Director of Bubble & Squeak, a UK PR Firm.
Even if it’s a simple day at the office where you spend all day brainstorming, calling in lunch, and sharing the company’s overall goals for the coming year, employees appreciate being involved – something that can foster camaraderie and loyalty among your staff.
6) Clean It Up – Take time to declutter your space, and your mind. When we tuck away one year and all of its bills, receipts, and to-do lists, we leave room for all the new plans we’re creating.
“I put the past to bed – file and box it all away, physically and digitally purging and cleaning my space. I also brainstorm with partners and set goals and plans for 2015,” says a small business colleague of mine.
Another great idea is to declutter your email. “I do a cleansing – of my email subscriptions!” recommends Joel Libava, owner of The Franchise King. Likewise, Jeanne Burton, Former Founding Gal at DesignHerGals, unsubscribes to all the email lists that she slowly and unknowingly became a regular on.
I recommend going through these processes this month, before the year begins to get away from you. Doing just a few of these tips will give you a sense of renewal and focus for 2015. Remember, you don’t have to do everything, but change is good. Find at least one you can make, and let us know how it works out!
Christine Perkett is a senior marketing and PR consultant, and the founder and CEO of SeeDepth, a PR Analytics platform that makes measurement easy, meaningful and profitable for PR agencies and corporate communications teams. She has been named a “Top 100 Must Follow Marketing Mind” in Forbes, “A Top 100 Small Business Influencer” in the Small Business Influencer Awards and a “Top 50 Social Media Influencer on Twitter” by Cision.