Teri A. Coutu, Business & Marketing Consultant
This is the time of year many business owners are looking ahead and determining what they are going to do to attract new clients in the new year. The New Year offers many businesses an opportunity to appeal to the “resolution” crowd, the “New Year, new you” enthusiasts, and the “make this your best year ever” followers. Marketing professionals are frantically putting together online ads, tip sheets, landing pages, social media posts and other marketing materials to help clients gain attention amidst the upcoming holiday promos.
While it’s great to know what your next program is going to be, many small businesses lose sight of the big picture and how that program fits into their goals for the year. With that in mind, my question for you is, what do you NEED to do next year?
I have become a firm believer in Stephen R. Covey’s “Begin with the end in mind” when it comes to setting business and personal goals, but many small businesses object to this process because it requires thinking, and our society is more focused on staying busy doing something, anything, without putting too much thought into it.
Recently, a client indicated she wanted to offer a special online program in January, but she had not decided when to offer it, or what to offer after it, or how much to charge. She knew she wanted to offer this one program and would probably want to offer others throughout the year, but that was pretty much the extent of her current plans for 2021. So, I suggested we do some strategic planning and begin with the end in mind.
These questions were just the start of a strategy session that led to a full plan for 2021. Aside from the financial benefits of program planning, writing down what your goals are makes it much more likely you will achieve them. Your program plan becomes your roadmap leading you to your destination, and you focus on it daily to ensure you are moving forward. Without that map, you could end up in a place you don’t want to be at the end of next year.
Time spent thinking and planning is rarely wasted, so decide what you need next year and work backwards.
Stay tuned for more thoughts about getting ready for 2021!