I’m a firm believer that every day when we wake, we intend to do and be the best for ourselves, our friends, our families, our communities, and for our businesses. I also believe that the start of a fresh year is a special time for reflection, renewal, and re-invigoration, both personally and professionally.
- What worked well for you in 2019? What didn’t work out so well?
- Were there things you intended to do that you just never got around to doing? Were there things you never dreamed of doing at the start of 2019, but somehow you managed?
- Did you spend as much time with your family and friends as you intended?
- Did you focus on your business or career the way you wanted to?
Looking to the past can provide much-needed insight into lessons learned and offer glimpses at opportunities missed and obstacles overcome, but don’t dwell on what’s already come and gone. Reflection can help you determine where you might need to make adjustments, but it can’t change past outcomes. The future and how fruitful it is for you depends on the actions you take today, tomorrow, and the next day. The future is where you should be focused.
FOCUS CLEARLY ON 2020
Let’s take a quick look at some business-related areas you should be focusing on in 2020 . . . and beyond.
- Are you where you want to be professionally? When you started your business or set out on your current career path, most likely you had some sort of plan or idea of where you wanted to be in one year, three years, or more. It’s now 2020. How does your present reality relate to your goals? If you’re not where you want or need to be, what can you do differently to get there? Think in terms of resources, business tools, new system or processes, or even training and development you could turn to in 2020 to make a difference.
- Is your business as successful as it could be? What could you do more of or do differently to make 2020 a banner year? Most likely, you engage in career or business planning at the end of each year (and if you don’t, you should!). What is different about this year’s career or business plan that is going to make achieving your goals more attainable than previous years? If you don’t have a plan, what’s stopping you from building one? Your plan doesn’t have to be overly complicated, at least to start with. You’ll be surprised how the simple act of compiling a list of goals, action steps, and time-frames can make what seemed so tough to wrap your mind around suddenly appear concrete and attainable.
- Are you reaching customers and prospects on a regular basis? Do you have a comprehensive marketing and social media strategy for your business? Do you have specific goals and ways to measure results? These days, most businesses and individuals enjoy some form of online presence, whether in the form of social media, blogging, eCommerce, digital advertising, or by maintaining a website. That said, what can you do more of or better in 2020 to reach more prospects than ever before? And once you’ve reached them, what can you do to convert those interested into paying customers? It may be as easy as adjusting your marketing mix and tweaking your message, or it could be something more substantial.
- What new products or services do you want or need to provide? What are your customers telling you they need from you in terms of products and services? What are you competitors doing? Just because something has worked well for years doesn’t guarantee it will stay that way. In business—and even our personal lives—simply maintaining the status quo can be detrimental. What are you doing to remain competitive, cutting edge, and trendy? Is an online/eCommerce approach the right solution for you, or is a greater social media presence the answer?
- Aside from providing excellent products and services, what are you doing for current customers? Are there ways you can strengthen existing relationships, encourage repeat business, and prime your referral pipeline by having current customers refer their friends and family? Think in terms of regular e-blasts, blogging, and social media posts filled with relevant and valuable content your customers can’t get elsewhere. How are you filling that need?
- Is your business brand or personal brand consistent with what you/your business stands for? Brands change over time as they reflect the evolving roles they play in the lives of their customers and clients. How do you ensure your brand story remains relevant? Is the way you appear publicly consistent with the “you” your customers have come to know and love? A brand audit, looking at all aspects of how you appear both to internal and external audiences is a great place to start.
- How is what you’re doing today supporting where you want to be in three, five, or 10 years? From your brand story, to your business success, and even planning for your legacy and what comes next, how can you ensure the actions you take in 2020 support and reinforce where you and your business want to be? Do you have an underlying strategy that guides all your actions?
MAKE 2020 YOUR BEST YEAR EVER
By their very nature, answers to the questions above will be unique for each business, career, and situation. At Barrel O’Monkeyz, we don’t believe in cookie cutter solutions, and neither should you. What works for you won’t necessarily work for a competitor, and vice versa.
Barrel O’Monkeyz can partner with you on business planning and strategizing, digital marketing and social media, product development, ecommerce, and ways to craft and communicate your brand story effectively for the long haul. Contact us to explore how we can help you make 2020 your best year ever.