I was reading a book the other day. I was in a hurry to get my reading done for the day so I could check it off my list and move to the next item. The topic of the chapter really knocked me on the head – especially with my hurried attitude! It reminded me about the importance of having margin in our lives.
If we fill every waking moment with activity and spend less time with our families and time just “being still” we will burn out quickly. Margin is important to maintain a healthy balance. Without it we will get tired and possibly lose motivation to keep our passions going in our business and other areas of our life.
It was a great reminder for me and thought it might be for you too.
Just a thought…
Did you make the grade?
Go back and look at your strategic marketing plan for this year. How have you been doing? Are you on target or did you miss the mark? What grade would you give yourself and/or your team?
October is a perfect time to review your current plan. Why October? Because it is time to start writing your 2012 plan! Don’t wait until December or worse, next year – start now.
Take a realistic, objective look at marketing campaigns and tactics that have produced the desired results this year (I hope you have been reviewing and revising campaigns/ tactics throughout the year). Successful strategies should be incorporated into your new plan.
It is equally important to take a look at the marketing campaigns and tactics that have not performed well. Don’t keep doing the same thing over again if it is not producing results.
This will go a long way in helping you create a plan for 2012 that is achievable and effective. If you start planning now you will be much more prepared for the New Year. It is almost here!
More tips on strategic planning coming up soon…
Are you ready?
The Christmas Season will be here before you know it. The Channel Advisor planning calendar for 2011 identified the following as the Top 10 online shopping days from 2010.
- Monday, November 28 (Cyber Monday)
- Friday, November 25 (Black Friday)
- Monday, December 12 (Green Monday)
- Monday, December 5
- Tuesday, December 6
- Thursday, December 24
- Tuesday, December 13
- Wednesday, December 14
- Thursday, December 15
- Wednesday, December 7
In this economy Ecommerce sites need to get creative to gain the attention of frugal shoppers. Knowing ahead of time what the most profitable days are during the season can help narrow your focus and plan accordingly. From a strategic perspective, plan for major promotions during these days to maximize your 2011 Holiday revenue.
What is holding you back?
Each of us has at least one thing that holds us back from reaching the “next level”. The next level is different for each of us personally and professionally.
In working with and talking to many small business owners and entrepreneurs I see some of these obstacles repeatedly. This is a great exercise for me to look at my own business and think critically about what is holding me back from my next level.
- Complacency – complacency is a killer. If you are complacent you are moving backward.
- Fear – fear can immobilize you and keep you stuck.
- Hesitation – hesitation can be good until you can make an informed decision. Many hesitate out of fear and we know where that gets you.
- Snap decisions – while hesitation can immobilize you, making snap decisions bring your company down in the blink of an eye.
- Lack of balance – having a balance between work and your personal life is a key element to success. It seems that lack of balance catches some people early in life and for others it takes years. I find myself in the middle years – I pray I choose to continue striving for balance.
- Lack of planning – business plans, marketing plans and operational plans are critical for business success. Plans no longer have to be 50 page tomes that no one will read much less follow, but plans are still necessary.
- Lack of flexibility – plans are important. SO is flexibility. Plans are not chiseled in stone (they should not be). Whatever plans you make will change. If you expect this up front and can “go with the flow” you are less likely to hit other obstacles such as fear, hesitation or snap decisions.
I could go on and on. There are so many obstacles. What obstacles are you facing and, more importantly, how are you overcoming them? I’d love to hear your success stories and your struggles.
“Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life”
– Harvey MacKay
- I get to learn something new every day
- I am blessed to work with a variety of talented, dedicated and passionate people
- I am blessed to be able to “fill in some gaps” where small business owners need it
- I am blessed to take my 20+ years experience and help entrepreneurs
- I am blessed to have passion for what I do and I love doing it!
Tell me what you do and why you love doing it!
Webster defines “adaptable” as capable of becoming adapted. It goes on to give an example “an activities director who’s adaptable to any kind of situation.”
As small business owners we must be adaptable to any kind of situation. Stick it out in business long enough and you will come across many situations in which you must adapt. Being able to adapt can help keep you sane at times.
For me, being adaptable does not mean compromising my core values as a company or as an individual. Is there a difference for you? I’d love to hear about it.
When you get bad news what do you do? Do you look for the downside or for the upside? It is very difficult to look for the upside in things when you lose a client, lose revenue or lose a strategic partner. Sometimes there is no upside – at least not one that is very apparent.
I believe everything happens for a reason – even in business.
- Sometimes a client leaves to make room for a new client or clients that you may not even know are coming down the pipeline
- Sometimes you lose revenue from one source to gain it back thorough another
- Sometimes you lose revenue to prompt you to cut expenses
- Sometimes you lose a strategic partner because they were not as strategic as you thought they were
- Sometimes things fail because you were simply supposed to do something different
No matter which role in my life: small business owner; wife; mother; volunteer or friend I try to receive “bad” news by looking for the upside or the lesson behind the turn of events. It has been my experience that many times there is a lesson I am supposed to learn through the “bad” experiences. I seem to learn the hard way – sometimes I have to get knocked upside the head to realize I need to make a change.
Is your head hard too?
How do you handle “bad” news in business?
Did I Say That?
I read several articles and blog posts today about the marketing firm employee who Tweeted on behalf of Chrysler. I won’t rehash the entire story (you can read it here).
He meant to send a Tweet through his personal account and accidentally sent it through the Chrysler account. His Tweet read: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to (expletive) drive.” A horrible mistake that cost him his job and his employer the Chrysler business.
@pwilson wrote a great blog post today talking about the power of our words. Whether you are Tweeting, talking, writing or any other form of communication your words hold power. They have the power to harm or to help.
– Reality check –
How are you using your words when communicating with…
- Your staff?
- Your clients?
- You vendors?
- Your family?
Something to think about…
P.S. As a marketing professional who manages several social media accounts this affects me on many levels. I will save that post for another day.