We’ve all made them. And broken them. New Year’s resolutions are those mystical things we concoct towards the end of each year which then evaporate in the first week of each new year.
Sound familiar? Don’t worry – you are not alone. And when it comes to marketing, breaking New Year’s resolutions happens in the majority of micro businesses.
I have learned that we keep breaking so many of our New Year’s resolutions because of one or both of two reasons:
Let’s talk about the first reason: We don’t have a plan.
We think it’s ok to merely say:
I’ll do Facebook ad campaigns in the new year…
I’m going to attend more networking meetings in the new year…
I’m going to get more active on Social Media in the new year…
I’m going to write and publish one blog a week in the new year…
We very seldom sit down and PLAN it. How exactly am I going to achieve this goal? What are my deadlines, resources etc.? Where will you start? What intermediate steps needs to be taken in order to reach that goal? Who will help you?
A resolution by definition is a vow, a goal, a promise – and these can’t be achieved unless you carefully plan it.
In order to stick to our New Year’s resolutions, we need a written, crystal-clear plan of action – or else it will fall apart and we’ll end up as so many people do – with an evaporated New Year’s resolution by the 5th of January.
ACTION: Make rough notes on all the types of marketing tactics you might be interested in
ACTION: Determine your marketing budget for the year
ACTION: Decide how much time you have available to do marketing
ACTION: Create a marketing calendar and highlight dates when you will be launching new products or services
ACTION: Write down your ultimate goal for the year (for example: increase sales by 10%)
Let’s now look at the second reason so many New Year’s resolutions fail: Our WHY is not big enough.
This forms part of the planning. WHY do you want to achieve this particular goal? What is the reason? How strongly do you feel the NEED to achieve this goal?
And what would happen if you don’t achieve this goal? What will the impact be on you and your business?
Sit down and weigh up your WHY’s – is your WHY for achieving the goal bigger than your WHY for not making the effort?
Here’s an example: Say I decide to attend more networking meetings in the new year. My WHY for achieving this goal is to potentially meet contacts who might refer business to me – thus increasing my income.
My WHY for not making the effort could be many things: “don’t have time”, “it will be more fun to play my computer game”, “I’d rather do this other bit of work” etc. So if I make the decision to “rather do this other bit of work”, I am saying that my goal of meeting new contacts at networking is LESS IMPORTANT than this other bit of work. Therefore, my WHY for achieving my New Year’s resolution is not big enough. My WHY for NOT achieving my New Year’s resolution is bigger.
ACTION: Look back at your ultimate goal you created in the previous action point and write down as many “WHY’s” for your goal, as possible
ACTION: Look at each marketing tactic you want to employ this year and ask the question “WHY” (Is this where your customers hang out? Has this tactic worked in the past?)
I urge you to sit down and write an action plan with clear WHY’s for your New Year’s resolutions. And then, when you start working on your plan, keep that WHY clear in your mind. If you feel your focus drifting, or procrastination setting in, remind yourself of your WHY.
To your success and business growth in 2015!
Tiana Wilson-Buys of Talking Business: Business Consultant and Coach – creating order from business chaos.