The first day of the new year is filled with a mountain of possibilities for an entrepreneur. Today is the day a business owner hits the ground running and begins to consider what comes next with their venture. What exactly should be the next move they make to be sure their business is in the best place to move ahead into the new year? While there are no exact answers, there are tips for the best way to get your business out of the gates fast and into a profitable place for the new year ahead.
Rescue a CEO and CEO Blog Nation asked entrepreneurs what their tips were to getting a business out of the gates fast in 2013.
Photo Credit: Olivia Maragna
Add value to your clients
My top 3 tips for getting out the gates quickly in 2013 are – 1. “Innovate and add value to your clients. Challenge the norm and do what your competitors aren’t doing!” 2. “My formula for success has been to surround myself with positive people who keep you accountable, support you when you need it and keep you grounded, to keep work and life in balance,” 3. “The best way to achieve success in the long term is to set goals and stick to them, do what you do best and ignore the ‘noise’ in the media, and get some good professional advice.”
Thanks to Olivia Maragna, Aspire Retire
Photo Credit: Chris Ball
Sitting down and setting goals
I love the new year period for reflecting on the past year and goal setting for the year ahead. To know where you’ve come from, where you’re going and why is huge. It’s tremendously simple stuff. Sit down for a day before you do any work in 2013 and run this past, future and current reality check for yourself and your business. I set three types of goals: 1. Annual goals 2. Monthly goals 3. Daily goals. Writing them down forms a contract with your self and makes these goals, no matter how lofty, real. Get out there and make it happen, happy 2013 everyone!
Thanks to Chris Ball, AdventureHoney
Photo Credit: Elle Butler
Find your inspirational spot
Everything is the result and culmination of past actions, so ideally, the momentum will have already started to launch the New Year. We set up the larger plan early in 2012 for 2013, then fine-tuned it in October/November, so we could make any bookings etc that are required (Ours happens to include overseas travel). That said, if you haven’t set a specific action plan for the beginning of the year, do not delay any longer. The most important task is to set aside a day (or at least a few hours). Leave the office. Leave the phone behind and find an inspirational spot with very few distractions – beside the ocean or river, or in a local park. Take a blank page and a pen (or set of coloured markers if you are a creative mindset). When you reach your “spot” … just stop. Close your eyes and think of nothing. Let your mind clear. About 30 seconds to a minute is usually enough. When you open your eyes, think about what you want to achieve in the next month to 3 months. Be realistic about what stage your business is at right now. Start writing – doesn’t matter how way out the ideas are, just write them. When you have a list of 6-12, determine the 3 most important ones, then begin writing the actions you can take to work toward them. Back in the office – schedule those tasks in your diary, then start taking action. If you have a business partner, they should do this too – but at a different place to you. When you return to the office, compare lists and determine together which ones to work towards.
Thanks to Elle Butler!
Photo Credit: Jennifer Schaus
Prioritize, Personalize and Capitalize
Prioritize which customers (about 20%) will give you the best ROI on your time. The top 20% of your customers are most likely responsible for bringing in 80% of the revenue and are more profitable. Personally reach out to them with a call. Thank them for their business and learn what their objectives are for 2013. Where & how can you help? Although newsletters are a great idea to reach masses and help with branding, they are not personal enough. Making it personal and investing your time / efforts / energy in those that will produce the greatest rewards for your business will prove beneficial. Capitalize on these profitable customers and be sincere in your appreciation of their business throughout the year. After all, it is a relationship, not just a renewal.
Thanks to Jennifer Schaus, Jennifer Schaus & Associates
Photo Credit: Patrick McFadden
Consistent, daily steps
To get your business out the gates quickly in 2013 as a business owner or entrepreneur you must start by compiling a set of simple, effective things to do consistently to address today’s marketing and sales challenges. Winning and keeping customers is what an effective marketing plan can do. The key to blazing by the competition is for you to have the proper mindset and ask yourself, “How am I building awareness with my prospects and clients through our marketing? Then everyday you ship something out the door to intersect with the marketplace, so people can interact with you, enough that they understand the value, they trust you to deliver the value and they pay you for it.
Thanks to Patrick McFadden, McFadden Coaching LLC.
Photo Credit: Greg Maka
An up-to-date database of all contacts
Organize your company database to include every point of contact for your clients/customers: address, email, cell phone, telephone, and fax (even though they are quickly becoming unnecessary). A company database is so often overlooked and many feel it’s too time consuming to create. One of my clients told me that he did a massive campaign using all those points of contact during a slow period in 2012 and got busy very quickly. This is gold to any business. Guard and maintain your database of customers (and prospects). Stay on their radar. This will help you kick off 2013 with a burst of business. Remember to provide a good offer or incentive.
Thanks to Greg Maka, 24-7 Marketing LLC
Photo Credit: Michael J. Flanigan
Keeping partnership strong
To get your business out the gates quickly in 2013 I see three important keys. The first is partnership. Partnerships allow you to leverage an existing audience without having to build your own, which takes time. Also partners can help provide useful resources. The second is networking. This includes everything from social media to in person. By networking you can get access to resources and people who can help you achieve your goals. This can help you get face to face with the people you want to do business with or in contact with the people you need. The last key is being helpful. This ranges from helping people by answering questions online to providing a great resource like a cheat sheet for baking a cake. The main thing here is to provide something useful that will draw in prospects. By doing so you have created a captive and qualified lead and you don’t even have to reinvent the wheel. Take a great resource that already exists and improve upon it. A bonus tip is a spin-off of networking and is all about outreach to influencers in your arena. Talk to them and try to help them any way you can and you will be able to gain credibility if they endorse you. Then you have access to their audience as well.
Thanks to Michael J. Flanigan, The Expressionary
Photo Credit: Ted Hessing
Differentiate between opportunities, strategies and tactics
My best tip for getting out of the gates quickly in 2013 would be to differentiate between opportunities, strategies and tactics. It may sound simple but so many business owners adopt tactic after tactic an wonder why their businesses are going no where. For example, instead of stating a 2013 goal as to ‘get a website’ (tactic), why not describe the opportunity your business has first. If the opportunity is to use the Internet and electronic media to gain more sales leads, all kinds of strategies open up that may be more profitable than the then the original tactic. You could then decompose the opportunity to strategies, prioritize them in order of profitability and return on investment . Imagine how different your goals would sound if they were tied to strategies capitalizing on opportunities rather than the list of tactics ‘du jour’? Imagine how much easier it would be to make progress on those goals and get out of the gates quickly in pursuit of them with a clear picture of what needs to be achieved and why.
Thanks to Ted Hessing, Charlotte Web Development
Photo Credit: Lorrie Thomas Ross
Get out there with simple marketing assets
Getting a business out quickly in 2013 is simple – get out there with simple marketing assets to back you up. Entrepreneurs and business owners often wait til everything is perfect to launch a business. There is no such thing as perfect in business. Start small and snowball! To get a business out, professionals have to step out. Fixating on all the internal details is a must, but there’s no point if you aren’t out there promoting the business. Start talking to people and get networking and do it on the right foot with professional marketing collateral. Build a presence with a simple website (a one page site will often do the trick), have your logo established, have professional business cards, get a social media presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. We often advise our clients to “fake it til ya make it” – slow is the same as stop in today’s business world. If you have a product or service to sell, get out there.
Thanks to Lorrie Thomas Ross, Web Marketing Therapy
Photo Credit: Brandon Lewis
Form strategic alliances
The single best way to get your business out quickly in 2013 is to form strategic alliances to get the word out fast about your business. Make a list of all the people and organizations that naturally benefit from your success. For example, suppliers want you to succeed. When you succeed, they succeed. Ask your suppliers to provide advertising funds or ask them to spread the word about your business. Ask your accountant or bookkeeper to spread the word about your business. Do the same with your web designer, graphic designer, printer, or anyone you spend money with on a normal basis. If any of them have blogs, ask them to write a post about your new company. Solicit help from everyone that naturally benefit from your success and watch your business take off with a blazing start without breaking the bank.
Thanks to Brandon Lewis, Revenue Jump
Photo Credit: Kimberly Judd-Pennie
Creating a social media plan
Social networking and a strong internet presence are definite musts for almost any business that wishes to achieve success in the coming year. It’s extremely important to have a well-designed and accessible website, and to promote that site using popular online media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Pintrest. Optimizing your site with strong keywords and content is also a necessity, because without it your page will get lost in a sea of results pages deep on sites like Google and Yahoo. Manage all your accounts to the best of your ability (or hire someone if you don’t have the time), and frequently add new content to keep your newfound customers interested and coming back to your site.
Thanks to Kimberly Judd-Pennie, Cybermark International
Photo Credit: Shreyans Parekh
Create case studies of competitors and yourself
One great tip for business to get out of the gates quickly in 2013 is to create case studies of yourself and your competitors from 2012 and relevant past years for you to compare progress, shortfalls and competitive advantages. By dissecting key attributes for the success of yourself and more importantly, your competitors, you are able to paint a precise picture of your gains and pitfalls over the last year and in the case of businesses affected by seasonal trends, such as Koyal, you are also able to dictate strategy on a monthly and quarterly basis.
Thanks to Shreyans Parekh, Koyal Wholesale
Photo Credit: Natalie Alaimo
Taking advantage of your down time
Many businesses tend to quiet down over Dec and Jan whilst their owners are enjoying some holiday time with their family and friends. In between feasting, drinking and having fun people are spending more and more time online particular on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. This means that if you can spare 10 minutes each day (or even every few days) to jump online you are going to be better off than many business owners. During this time it’s not about selling, it’s about building your community and interacting with them. This means when you are back at work at the end of January your already have an engaged community online who are ready to buy your products and services. The type of content you should be sharing now is attraction content.
Thanks to Natalie Alaimo, Natalie Alaimo International
Photo Credit: Mike Wolfe
Creating a map for business
We work with our customers to create a plan for the upcoming year. It starts with setting goals for the year and then creating a “map” towards achieving the goals. Creating goals and writing them down gives us something to look back at throughout the year and it means we can get started on achieving them right away. If the goals are not written down it’s easy to give up or forget what you’re working towards.
Thanks to Mike Wolfe, WAM Enterprises LLC