Four Things Every Entrepreneur Can Do In 2012
January is a traditionally slow month for most business. People are getting back from mini holiday vacations. It takes time to get back into the groove and get back into the grind. As a business owner or business owner to be, you are planning ahead. One key characteristic of being every entrepreneur is the ability to plan ahead. So, I hoped you planned for the New Year. Planning ahead helps you focus what you want to accomplish and breaks your big goals down into smaller daily tasks.
So, with that being said, here are five things every entrepreneur can do in 2012 to make the year ahead a successful one.
1. Set Personal Goals
In order to achieve any goal, you first must set the goal. You should know where you’re going, how you’re going to get there and what you will need along the way. Think about where you want to be by the end of the year. Break it down into smaller goals. Not only is it easier to measure, but as you achieve these smaller goals along the way, they will give you a moral boost to keep going further.
Your personal goals can be anything. You may want to improve your work/life balance, eliminate debt, save more money, take the family on a vacation or simply improve your physical fitness.
Setting a goal now, will help you get there in due time.
2. Set Business Goals
As a small business owner, you know you are tight on time. I know that most days, I wish the day had more hours in it. Despite that as an entrepreneur, you have a billion things to do, it is essential to set goals for your business.
Much like personal goals, setting small goals is key. This gives you the ability to easily measure and adjust your journey along the way towards your goal.
I know setting goals is sometimes difficult, but one way that has worked well for me to set goals is through the use of the S-M-A-R-T steps.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Time Measured
By using the above SMART method, I ensure that my goals are realistic as possible. Why set a goal, if you know it will be impossible to achieve.
An example of a SMART goal would be, “I want to acquire one new client by the end of next month through referrals from my current customers.”
3. Develop a Marketing Plan
Part of developing a marketing plan is understanding who you’re targeting and what you want to sell to your intended target. You don’t need to be a marketing genius to create a marketing plan. Looking at your target market’s needs and creating a custom marketing effort to that audience will ultimately give you the best return on your marketing dollars.
All you need to do is define who your customers are in terms of demographics (age, gender, occupation, income), geographical ( your city/district/province), and behaviours (their attitudes, values, interests, and benefits sought).
Once you know who you are targeting, it’s easier to determine what products and different price points you will offer.
4. Get In Touch With Your Customers
Keep in touch with your customers. Did you hear that? Keep in touch with your customer. All the time. A phone call, a small thank you note, a quick visit or email will go a long way.
Thank your customers for their valued support and address any of their needs, concerns or wants.
Please avoid sending mass general mass emails or cards. They are so cheesy and such a turn off. Anytime I get one of these, they go straight to the garbage. Make your email personalized as possible. If you’re sending a card, write a hand written note.
Work hard to keep your customer happy and the relationship as live as possible. We all know what happens to poorly managed relationship – they end before they’ve begun.
Good Luck in 2012 and may all your goals, wants, dreams and desires come true.