What does it take to be ‘better’ than last year?

There are a number of seasoned business and marketing experts making money out of positioning themselves to help us have a better year than last year.

Selling products and services to help us upgrade challenging and unrealistic resolutions we’ve already failed at to more quantifiable objectives – and those objectives to action oriented goals.

Working through their processes will provide, they say, more meaning and more focus and allow us to really concentrate on small steps that get us closer to bigger achievements.

I had planned to write my own first post of 2015 on how I go about it. I still might, but the point to observe in most advice about goal setting is that it often fails to address two elements. Specificity and commitment.

Any plan needs to be have a long term win, a detailed approach and an understanding of the commitment required to achieve it.

All this is backed up by current published research I read from Forbes.com and the University of Scranton which suggests 92% of New Year’s resolutions fail.

So, what does it take to better than last year?

Most new year plans cover areas like work, personal finance and health. So, consider these scenarios:

1. You want to deliver A SET AMOUNT OF new business to your company.

There are lots of ways to start. Create more engaging content and serve it up to people where they want it. Set up more landing pages to secure their contact details and to start a conversation. Run pay per click campaigns with time sensitive offers. Speak at events and again make exclusive offers.

But starting isn’t enough. What do these new customers look like? Where are they? What are they in the business of? What problems do they have? Why should they buy from you? What is it going to take to convince them to give you a shot?

Winning new clients takes diligence and commitment to that fixed end point ensuring every task you undertake along the way gets you closer to where you want to be.

2. You want a new job.

You could register with recruitment agents. Apply for positions you see advertised. Ask your connections for referrals.

But that will only get you so far too. Think about what you enjoy, what you’re good at, what you have demonstrable experience in and look to match. Identify companies you want to work for and approach them.

Remember, your honed and relevant CV sent direct offers a 20% saving in recruitment fees to the potential hirer and could well get you through the door.

3. You want to lose weight this year.

Joining the gym is one way. Going regularly is another. You could go further by disrupting your training by doing different things every day. Stepping away from the biscuit tin or the liquor shelf another.

So when setting goals for the long term, think through the incremental steps, the why, when and how? Break your progress down into achievable steps.

Being better than last year means taking a leap of faith today, and everyday. It starts right here, right now. Are you with me?

One word resolutions

Dan Rockwell, the LeadershipFreak on Twitter, posted today on how to set SMART single word new year resolutions.

These help drive the behavioural and attitudinal change we often seek as we enter a new year – and are a good deal more attainable than conventional resolutions we make and fail to stick to.

My word for 2014 is ‘invest’. Not in terms of financial investment – I’m not looking to create a stocks and shares portfolio. Rather, I’m using it as a way to prioritise and¬†justify the input needed to specific projects, relationships and causes.

With a multi-faceted role in a small business as well as the platform building adventure I’ve embarked on in recent years, I think seeing my time and energy as an investment will help me build better relationships, achieve more and above all focus more on the things that matter.

Procrastination can be a big problem when you’re thinly spread.

Q: What’s your word for 2014?

New year marketing resolutions

Now, is apparently the time to start getting your 2014 commitments into shape. Nobody and nothing stands still. What are you going to do different, better, more of in 2014 than you did in 2013. Can you answer the following questions?

What worked for you in 2013? What didn’t?

What did your customers value the most?

What was the best advice you gave?

What was the best piece of work you did?

What did you do to stand out from the pack?

More of that required and more. What are you going to stand for?

Better hurry, most of your competition are already working on it…


New Year, Same Old Approach?

Everyone makes resolutions at this time of year. We wait until January because that’s what we’re conditioned to do. Lofty promises to do things different, better, cheaper, quicker. Waiting for tomorrow, when tomorrow never actually comes.

What about today? Today is here, today is now. Today is live. What if you made one resolution today to change, improve or do something different from the way you’ve always done it or the way things have always been.

What if today you offered your prized customers a refund or rebate based on last year’s business or this year’s? Or rewarded prompt payment? Why don’t you announce a recession busting price freeze, or offer something new or free as a value add? Why not create a recommend a friend CRM programme so your best and most trusted customers do some of your hard work for you? Commit to writing a blog or a regular customer newsletter.

Embrace the digital environment and ensure your business is represented on platforms like Linkedin, Twitter and FaceBook if relevant. Create a ‘wiki’ or share content

A better approach in what is going to be a very difficult year, must surely to be constantly change, try, experiment and not just wait for tomorrow.

So, what’s your approach to the new year?