Bang! The starters gun has gone off for 2013. In fact, it went off in December, when you should have been preparing all of your important relationships for the new year, as we wrote last year in “Stand out from the crowd this Christmas”.
“Nobody really gets mentally back to work until after Australia Day” a few people have said to me this week. Now I don’t know about you, but I am conscientiously “back at work” this week, as are many of the business owners and colleagues I know. Sure, they took a nice long holiday, and enjoyed the fact that pretty much the whole nation has been on three or even four weeks sabbatical… but we’re back, we’re feeling brave, and ready to confront what 2013 has in store with as much courage as we can.
This year could be challenging if you let it escape early without holding the reins, or perhaps, if you get a firm grip now, it could be awesome.
So, what do you do after you’ve switched on your computer and aligned your pens for your first week of furious action, deleted your junk mail, called all your live clients and spoken with your team …
1. Define the trends in the market and the sectors that you want to “piggy back” on this year and decide the ones you don’t want your business associated with. Then communicate them with your team. Stick them on the wall if you can find a place.
The last half of 2012 struck fear through many sectors of our economy, especially in Queensland where government, iron ore and professional services all went off the boil at once and for some time. You can avoid a repeat of this by looking hard at the client-sector breakdown within your workload and diversifying it across a couple of different industries shifting away from those with structural issues.
2. Write down your target clients and target influencers, and detail the next action you will take with each. Put a deadline on the actions and hold yourself accountable for them.
Only you can make your year more successful than last year and it is done by making more effort with more people. Despite how tough it might feel, there is work out there in most sectors, you just have to find it and win it.
3. Get your 90 day marketing plan ready for a February start to the year of “tactical activity”.
Almost all of our clients have detailed, tactical 90 day marketing and communications plans that run through the active quarters of the year Feb – April; May – July; August – October; Nov – Jan. Why do we break the quarters up like this you ask? Well, these are the cycles that we have found businesses truly function in. What do they contain… all the clever tactical activity we have assembled for you this quarter and who is accountable for making it happen.
4. Kick off your first client communication
Put yourself at the front of everyone’s mind by giving them some useful information for the new year. Email it, post it, or personally deliver it, but please, please, please communicate with your clients.
5. Then, get out the door and start talking to people.
Starting the year off from a long holiday like this year’s is not easy. When you sit down with others, you may just find that your clients are struggling to motivate their new year of energy, and your courage and vigour is just what they were looking for. You may even be able to help them with their new year’s resolutions of better management, staffing, planning or execution, just because you made the effort before others.
Happy new year. We look forward to catching up with many of you over coming weeks. If you want some help with your plans, materials, strategy or execution, please dont hesitate to give us a call.
Rebecca Wilson is the Owner and Principal Consultant of Stretch Marketing.