Kathleen, you ask interesting questions.
I am a Quickbooks Consultant and a fact based leader.
When I accept a job, I start by measuring performance and future goals.
A business plan and a budget are a must.
At my age, I am excited about 2011 and beyond.
I am continuing to build my consulting companies for my children to inherit.
Have a successful year
I agree with Luckiest. This is a good question...let's see...
I learned that no matter what marketing plan you have, or mediums you use to get your message out- they are worthless if they are not being targeted towards the ideal client. That is, the person who has the interest in your product, the money to pay it, and the authority to make the decision.
Also, that to have the best shot at growing your company, the best asset is a team.
Many of us try to do everything ourselves...and its really not an effective use of our time, talents and resources.
Last, to manage and plan for this year...our company is set on using experts online and offline to help us make strategic moves.
Success to all!
Sounds like you really thought through 2011. What else would you recommend others to look deep into?
Thanks for the comment...as to what else I would recommend pertains to social media discussions I hear all of the time...and these are my thoughts in regards of that subject:
Social media plays an important part of the way businesses communicate now days. However, what I see missing in many businesses is the understanding that social media is only a tool... and cannot stand by itself.
As a matter of fact, it does not mean anything if your prospects are linked from say- your Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, accounts to your website...if your website is not set up to maximize the visit from your prospects.
For websites to be effective, they must:
1. Have a clear idea of who their ideal prospect is and tailoring their message to them
2. Be offering tremendous value to ideal client
3. Have an effective squeeze page to capture emails
4. Have a compelling enough offer to capture emails
5. Have a clear USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
6. Have a well known autoresponder company such as Aweber to handle their e-mail campaigns
7. Set up tracking devices to see what is being effective and what is not
So, here we are, spending all the time and resources to be part of the social media scene and then wondering why social media is not working for us...Interesting.
I think it's very important that small businesses not only utilize their website community but also integrate as much social media into that destination as possible. The trick is maintaining consistent and persistent engagement across all venues. Example would be if you are going to blog on your small business website then you should create yourself an editorial schedule. Always refreshing the content atleast 2-3 times per week. Keeping your customers engaged. Don't just go out there and create a Facebook corp site and Twitter account to never update it.
That is true. I think the challenge for all of us, is time. We have great intentions and start something, and then leave it, as another- more important- priority sets upon us. The website, social media, networking meetings, measuring results, and the rest of the deals that come with building a successful business all take time and effort.
That is where teams come into place, to help, complement, and bring in new ideas.
However, I am with you...at the end-it is all about keeping our prospects/customers engaged.
Thanks for the imput.
What did you learn from 2010? Marketing plans or advertising you won't do again? Found something specific that seemed to be successful? Did you have to decrease staff and 2011 may bring you an increase? What will you do to manage and plan for the next 364 days?