At this time of the year, many business owners, coaches, and consultants are making plans for the new year. Although I know creating a plan is SUPER important, the one thing I think everyone needs to do BEFORE they even start on a business plan, marketing plan, financial plan or any other type of plan for 2017 is to reflect on 2016.
You’ve probably heard it said before that it is important to reflect on what happened this year, but I feel not only should you reflect, but that reflecting should also be the foundation of your planning.
Here are 9 marketing things to reflect on in order to have an AWESOME new year:
Did you create a Marketing Plan for your business this year? If so, what were the goals (income, sales, clients, etc.) that you included in your plan? Did you surpass your goals? Did you reach your goals? Or did you fall short of your goals?
I created a Marketing Plan for my business, and one of my main goals for this year was to become a six figure business. I knew it was a tall order, especially knowing the fact that most women-owned businesses do not make it to the six figure mark, but I wanted to make that dream a reality in 2016. Unfortunately, I fell short of my goal this year, but I learned a lot and plan to make 2017 a six figure year!
Look at your marketing activity, what activities worked the most in generating the most awareness, income, leads, sales, etc. for your business?
Events are a great way to grow your business and I would have to say that I got some of the best results from my in-person workshops and events. I also know that most of the visits to my website and leads generated from my website came from blogging, email marketing and social media marketing. All three marketing activities are a great way to increase awareness for your business and to amplify your message to reach a larger audience.
What marketing activities should you continue for next year, and what marketing activities should you stop doing next year?
I plan to continue with my core marketing activities (Blogging, Email, Social Media, and Text Message Marketing) for 2017, and I will be increasing the amount of workshops and webinars I will be conducting next year. Although I was very strategic in my networking events for 2016, I plan to make sure I am super strategic in any events that I attend in 2017 and make sure that the events are a good fit for my business.
What new marketing activities should you add to your marketing mix in 2017?
I plan to add three new marketing activities to my marketing mix:
- Speaking Engagements
What networking events garnered the best connections?
Whether you met prospects, potential partners, industry colleagues, or simply learned something new that you can apply in your business, what networking events helped you the most in 2016? I cut back on a lot of my networking activity this year and decided to be more strategic with my networking activity. I consistently attended three main women’s networking groups:
- Atlanta Women’s Network– As a member and sponsor, the monthly meetings allow me to connect with professional women in the metro Atlanta area.
- eWomenNetwork– is an awesome international women’s networking organization. This year I attended the annual conference and was blown away by the awesome content and connections that I made at the event.
- ProWin– Although I am not a member of ProWin, I attended the majority of their bi-monthly luncheons and made some good connections.
When it comes to networking groups, you have to find the right fit for you and consistently attend those events in order to build the relationships.
6. What vendor relationships worked and which ones didn’t?
I worked with several new vendor partners this year including website developers, graphic designers, a virtual asistant, videographer, etc. I also make an effort to review those relationships and make sure that it makes sense to continue to work with them in the new year based on the results of this year.
7. What expenses can you cut back on for 2017?
Every December I take the time to look at my personal expenses and contact certain companies to either terminate or negotiate my rates for the next year. This is an activity that I will also be doing this year with my business. I have already identified several software programs that I signed up for and did not use or did not find them beneficial for my business, so I will be terminating those agreements this month.
8. What do you need to purchase or buy to be more productive in 2017?
Continuous education and personal development is key to being a successful business owner, so even though I invested in a few programs and some coaching this year, I plan to invest more in coaching in 2017 so that I can take my business to the next level, and become a six-figure business next year. I have already selected a key coaching program that I will be joining.
9. What was the biggest business lesson you learned this year?
The biggest lesson I learned this year was something I already knew, but this year was a reminder that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. As a business owner, coach, or consultant, you should have multiple streams of income and not rely on one source (i.e. one client), because in every business things can change and one of your sources may be eliminated, so always have multiple streams of income.
Have you reflected on these aspects of your business? What other questions do you like to answer at the end of the year to reflect on how your year went? Be sure to leave a comment below.
For more tips, tools and techniques, be sure to sign-up to get marketing insights straight in your inbox.