No I'm not having a calendar malfunction. It's a business development strategy I learned from one of my coaches, Mark LeBlanc of Small Business Success. By resetting your benchmarks every 30 days you get to celebrate the beginning of a rolling 12 month period of business activity. It's a fresh start on the first of every month.
When Mark first shared the idea it sounded crazy. Then I tried it. I've celebrated the "New Year" 48 times on the first of the month. I plan to do it again this Friday. October is the month where many business people start to coast. October is traditionally my best month. It's the time when my clients sharpen their tools, lighten their load, and get organized. In honor of Mark's New Year celebration here's my list of solutions you could give yourself as a gift. Go ahead you've been good this year.
Your New Year Business Gift List
Find New Prospects
Easier than you think. They are standing right next to your existing customers, on social. Jot down the names of your three best customers. Give them a call. Ask them where they hang out online. Join the LinkedIn groups they frequent. Social platforms are designed to attract birds of a feather. Find your customers, find their peers.
Find Your Lost Customers
It's a given that your technology changes each morning at 8:15. It happens in the moment you log into the Cloud. The most important change in the age of COVID-19 is your customers use technology differently. They have moved to the mobile web. They hang out on social. If you're losing market share, it may be because they have left the office. Go find them.
Embrace the Cloud
The sky is not falling and neither is the cloud. It's decision time. Are you going to continue to build walls, or bridges? Moving your operations to the cloud extends your reach while reducing your expenses. It connects your team, your devices, and your community. Placing all your eggs in a local hard drive basket is a recipe for disaster.
Become a Road Warrior
The simple fact is your competitors don't wait until they return to the office to execute. Clients are impressed when you say, "I'll take care of that right now." Imagine a prospects surprise when they hear from you on the way home from a networking event.
How many times are you going to write the exact same email before your choose to automate the process with a template? The age of manual labor is over. I feel much better knowing the pilot up front is working with a checklist instead of winging it. Automating repetitive tasks not only makes you faster, it cuts expenses while growing profits.
You can either make things happen, watch things happen, or wonder what happened. Create a personal early warning system to deliver critical business development intelligence to your inbox each morning. It's no longer KPI's it's OKRs
. Knowing in advance what's about to hit the fan is a critical customer experience skill for business executives. Act, don't react.
There is more to enabling your mobile web presence that stuffing it into a tiny smartphone display. If "Call Me" is the invitation you wish to share with prospects, make sure they can. Visit your site from your mobile device. Tap on any phone number you see. If don't get the opportunity to call, Check out my post on Click-to-Call
The common complaint about social engagement is, "It takes too much time". Instead of trying to keep up on all the social profiles, focus on the only one you really need. Find out where your customers hang out and go all in. Social is not about sales or marketing, it's about PR. It is the #1 place to get discovered online. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has taken a back seat to the Mobile/Social combination.
Focus on what's about to happen, what is happening right now, and what just happened. Start with "Save the Date". Publish images of HSP, (Happy Smiling People). Finish with "Celebrate". Show, don't tell folks that all the cool kids hang with your organization.
Build a Referral Network
Back in the day, "Build your Rolodex" was a master networker's battle-cry. Now it's called CRM (Contact Relationship Management". It's just good business. Become the go-to asset for all the resources your clients need. Look for a platform with a focus on social listening. It's the best way to keep your ear to the ground without keeping your nose to the grindstone.
Make Technology Work
Count the apps on your mobile device. Ditch the ones you never use. Organize what's left by usage. Keep the good ones close. The next group is all your comms. Honoring your clients communications preferences is the highest form of virtual respect.
Moving all your information to the Cloud reduces the amount of software you need. Cloud-based platforms are connected. Enter info once into the Cloud and you'll never retype again.
Bright Shiny New Year
Embracing even one of the solutions above would be a valuable gift to yourself or your organization. Inch by inch, life is a cinch.