What Do You Want 2019 to Look Like?
For many of us, the last few weeks of the year can, in some respects, be the among the most challenging. Business is slowing down, and our attention begins to shift from work to the well-deserved break that comes between Christmas and the new year. The office parties, early holiday gatherings with friends, school programs, and rush to check items off your shopping list can easily throw us off our daily routine. However, there are still plenty of things left to do before we can kick back and celebrate another (hopefully) successful year.
The effort you put into closing out 2018 can have a significant impact on how you start 2019. Obviously, you’ll spend this time settling accounts, getting your books in order, and conducting holiday marketing activities. But what are you doing to prep for next year? While this can be a hectic and distracting time of year, it’s vital that you carve out time in your schedule to work on your 2019 plans now, so you aren’t scrambling when January comes. So, take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee and ask yourself, “What do I want 2019 to look like?”
Set Your Goals
Breaking down your various production goals into monthly or quarterly increments is an efficient way to keep track of your progress and can help determine early on whether you need to make any adjustments to your overall plan. Set up a document that outlines your monthly/quarterly production goals and split those goals into specific categories. As the year progresses, compare those goals to your results. This will give you an organized and detailed overview of your growth (or lack thereof). Aside from production and revenue, consider the other goals you’d like to achieve over the next year. Do you want to target new markets? Or bring on new employees? Outlining any operational, administrative, or non-specific goals is an important part of staying focused on the big picture.
Establish a Marketing Budget
Make a list of the different marketing activities you use or would like to explore in 2019 – web development, seminar marketing, community events, lead gen, etc. Now, assign a dollar amount you feel comfortable spending on each. This won’t be a concrete budget, as changing trends and results will likely call for periodic adjustments. But it will give you a foundation on which to build your overall plan of attack. Plus, you can start the year off with a better idea of the returns you would like to see from each investment.
Personal & Professional Development
Your plan for a bigger and better 2019 should include more than quantifiable metrics such as goals-versus-results and revenues-versus-expenses. Think about steps you can take to grow as both a person and a professional (as the two really do go hand-in-hand). What can you do to better serve your clients? How can you build credibility? What are your strengths and weaknesses? You might be a financial guru who could fill a book with advice on how to save and invest for retirement but aren’t confident enough in your abilities as a writer to actually put the pen to paper. Or maybe you want to tap into video marketing but tend to freeze up in front of the camera. We all have those areas in which we could use some improvement, and they certainly don’t take away from our tangible job skills. However, pinpointing certain weaknesses and working to overcome them can be very beneficial to your business as a whole. Think of personal/professional development as a list of new year’s resolutions that you won’t forget about by the end of January.
- “I want to sharpen my writing skills, so I can start posting more blogs on my website.”
- “I want to read more on generational marketing, so I can more effectively target Millennials.”
The examples above may not be what you think of when drafting a marketing plan, but both can have a significant impact on how well you execute that plan.
Obviously, there is so much more you will need to consider for the year to come, but it’s important to start somewhere. And just as important to get started ASAP. Let us know if you would like a little help.