As we stand on the centre line between 2017 and 2018, how are you feeling about your business and your next steps?
Are you dreading what’s next, or excited for the possibilities?
Here are 7 steps on the Avenue to a creative, prosperous 2018:
1. Does planning freak you out? Plan three months ahead and no more.
Studies show most people achieve their goals when detailed in three month increments. You may have one year revenue goals, but plan your first quarter. Start with the end in mind, break it down from April to January, documenting your action steps.
2. Is social media a pain in the neck and you are wondering what the best platform might be? Pick one and do it well. If you try to tackle them all, you will water down the effectiveness and quit out of frustration. Pick one and master it.
3. Look at your industry to find one thing that is not being done, and do it. Put your stake in the ground. It doesn’t have to be grandeur; the slightest differentiator will make you stand out.
4. Look backward and make a list of all the things that went well in your business.
Trace the lineage of each; where did they originate? You may be surprised to find a common place, person or thing, threading your successes together. Reach out to those people, and acknowledge their contribution to your success. Is it time to develop a referral program, or an alliance with a like-minded business? Repeat the good steps and analyze the missteps. there may a clue to turning those around.
5. Schedule one day each week in your calendar for reflection and planning. At the beginning of each quarter, review the past twelve weeks. You may be surprised how far you’ve come in such a short period of time, and reveal further opportunities.
6. Back to your differentiator. Many small businesses struggle with defining their own unique offering. When we don’t know what sets us apart, we are vulnerable, thinking we need to discount our pricing to compete. We become reactionary, rather than responsive. When you know your true value offering; you can build a marketing strategy that is unique to you.
7. Sometimes looking to other industries and what they are doing will spur an idea to apply in your own business. Choose industries that are opposite or completely different than your own. Analyze what they are doing. What marketing message are they conveying? What does their brand say about them?
As you step into 2018, consider what you can do to put your stake in the ground. If you want a different outcome over the next 12 months, shake it up, step out of your comfort zone and DO different things to BE different.
Thank you for being a part of my 2017. Having you at the other end to read my thoughts, and ideas from Problem Corner, fuels my passion to share more in the coming year.
Wishing you a Very Happy, and Prosperous New Year.
Creating Opportunities for Growth
Download our new Goal Setting Workbook, complimentary! Get your 2018 off to a great start!
Would you like a 1/2 complimentary discussion about your plans? Call or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shauna Madsen has been an entrepreneur since 1988. She is a business planning and marketing specialist, an author, artist and specialty framer. Since 2005, she has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs with their marketing strategies, business plans, as a coach, facilitator, mentor and designer. She received international Gold and Platinum awards each year from 2011 to 2014 for creative excellence with the design and production of Womanition magazine. In 2017, she was honoured with the Womanition Supearlative Special Skills Award, and a Marcom International Gold award for the design and production of "Mentoring Women Leaders II", a compilation of stories by women in business, mentoring others to achieve success in business.