As the year comes to a close, many of us reflect and start planning for the future. Many personal resolutions are made, such as losing weight or spending more time with the family. But what about making some resolutions for your business? Now is the time to take stock of what was successful this year and what efforts didn't live up to expectations. From there you can create new goals for 2011 to help drive a successful new year.
Did one of your special offers work like a charm? Was it that "Buy One Product Get One Half Off", was it a free gift with purchase, or a customer loyalty discount? If something worked well, plan to use it again this year or use it more robustly in a slower period of time. If a promotion fell flat, determine what went wrong. Did the offer not resonate with your clients, was the timing off, did your staff not promote it enough? Compose your thoughts and then review collectively with your staff. Ask for their insights for what worked, what didn't, and why. Then the team can brainstorm promotions for the entire year.
Today more than ever businesses are pooling resources and working together. Talk to your neighboring businesses and see what their plans are for 2011. Try co-hosting an event to tie in both your services and drive businesses both locations. A few ideas are to have a sidewalk sale or VIP event. If the business next door is a coffee shop or cafe, have them carter the event and give out discount cards. You reciprocate with a free service or discount on retail products. Promote the event with postcards and emails to both your customer bases and use local advertisement methods to get the word out. There is power (and profit) in teamwork.
Many businesses take a haphazard approach to business planning. Owners and directors can get caught up in the day-to-day and forget the benefits of pre-planning. All it takes is a bit of forethought. Being proactive in plotting out a course for the year makes the year less stressful, empowers your team, and gives you goals to strive for. The biggest benefit is keeping everyone on the same page. When you are all working from the same script, things come together. Need some help? Click here to see our yearly promotional planner.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. You will be amazed at what taking some time to reflect and plot out future goals can do. Setting a focused agenda for the year will keep you and your team on track to make a successful and profitable new year. Cheers!
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