So, it’s that time again.
A fresh new beginning. Your business is warming back up, you’ve got your eyes set on the horizon and you’re full of invigorated energy from (hopefully) a break you’ve recently had (and deserved).
Fantastic! I’m exactly the same.
Now you’re thinking: What should I be doing right now?
Again, I’m the same. Or at least I was. Then, I decided to put a bit of a checklist down to help guide me on the things business owners should be going at the start of the year, and I thought: I should share this with everyone.
Ok, so here is my top ten things that I do at the start of the year that you can use as inspiration.
10 Business Actions to take at the start of a new year
1. Reread your vision, mission and purpose statement
Not your team. You. You should be reacquainting yourself with what your original direction was. If you don’t have these, then it’s time to create them. If you do, but they’re out of date, it’s time to rewrite them.
If you’ve forgotten what they are completely, then it’s time to reread them. Why? Because a vision, mission and purpose are at the soul of your business. If you stray from these, you become vanilla and stock standard. You lose the driving force behind why you started in the first place and, trust me, this ripples onto your staff and then onto your customers.
Go check your vision, mission and purpose statements and let them reconnect you with what matters most to your organisation. Once you have, THEN share it with the team.
If you need help writing your vision, mission and purpose statements, let me know. I can help you.
2. Set the tone of the year for your business and for your staff
Next, decide on, say 5 principles that will carry throughout the year. For instance, at Melotti Media, we decided on the following key tone-setters:
- Work smarter not harder
- Nailing the brief
- Efficient use of time
- Cybersecurity alert
- Uphold client confidentiality
These were great, as we were able to remind everyone, every month of the framework we were working within. These also kept my whole team attentive to things like reading briefs more thoroughly, being more efficient, paying more close attention to cybersecurity and more.
Having these five really did set a good tone for the year and we actually saw tangible results. For example, we were earning more revenue per project 12 months later while still working the same hours – meaning we were working smarter not harder. Tick!
What about your five? Again, if you need help developing these team-wide principles, let me know. I can help you.
3. Get your induction process right
Hiring new team members happens a lot throughout the year. So, it’s really important that you have a strong induction process set up, EVEN if you don’t think you’ll be recruiting over the next 12 months.
A lot changes extremely fast in business today, so it’s better to be prepared.
This means establishing a process that offers a very warm welcome when a new member comes on board, a full training system and all the resources that you need to give them so they can feel comfortable and well-supported.
One thing I do a lot for clients is help them write internal purpose documents, which is like a handbook that you can give them. I’ll help you write it and then you can give these out to all of your team to inspire them every day.
4. Checking on your Marketing
I always say to every business: are you proud of what your brand is saying to the people who matter most?
If your answer is not a solid “yes”, then it’s time to set the intention this year to get it there. This means looking at all of the language, wording and communication you use to connect with customers and considering how well it connects with them.
Today, your audience is very discerning and particular. They also have a lot of options out there besides you. So, why should they choose you? How do you stand out to them?
Again, if you need help with your core brand messaging development or you would like to get your marketing collateral rewritten, I’m here for you.
5. Be bolder this year
Have you noticed that every brand, every logo and every website is starting to look the same? That’s because they are!
This is problematic for businesses on so many levels. Firstly, it’s boring people. Second, customers can’t differentiate you from others, meaning that you have to compete on price. Third, people’s expectations are increasing and business creativity is not keeping up.
So… take a calculated risk or two this year! Experiment with your brand, reinvigorate your messaging and be a bit bolder this year. Playing it too safe means you’re becoming easy to ignore and that’s NEVER good. Don’t be afraid to try new things and get a little edgier.
If you need help to push your brand, sales or corporate positioning a little left of mainstream, contact me. I’ll give you a hand.
6. Watch your competitors (not too much)
This goes without saying. While you should never get obsessed with them and mimic them, it’s still a smart business strategy to check on what’s trending, what your competitors are going and how they’re doing it.
Some of their initiatives can inspire you and often, you can beat them at their own game if one of their campaigns is half-developed or not hitting the spot as you could.
Big corporates do this all of the time. The big banks watch each other, observe each other’s services and innovative products and then find better ways to do it. This can be a good tactic while not copying them while giving you valuable market intelligence too.
If you want to build a content marketing plan together for even more ideas for the next 12 months, I can help you.
7. Reconnect with past customers
The stats are everywhere but in summary, I’ve found that continual purchases and transactions from current customers are significantly more efficient (and rewarding) than continually trying to prospect over and over again.
So, reach out to older customers and clients who you haven’t connected with in a while and check-in. You don’t want to say: “so what do you need now?”. Instead, I find that circling back on the past projects that you collaborated on together is a great conversation starter.
“Hey, Bruce. How are those key opinion leader articles going on LinkedIn?”
“Hi there, Michelle. Long time! How is that pitch deck we wrote going for your sales team?”
This reminds customers, strengthens relationships and reignites a connection which can open up many more opportunities in the new year for your business.
8. Go for business awards
Social proof is everything, and nothing does this better than winning awards.
Clients and customers are always digitally interviewing you (and other alternatives) – and their eyes always catch on what relevant awards you’ve won. It’s more evidence towards why they should choose you.
So, give them that! There are so many local and national business awards out there. Do a bit of a hunt at the start of the year, choose which awards and categories you want to go for and then mark their open and close dates in your calendar.
I know that awards are easy to put off but they pay off and can help you and your team find more confidence in your operations.
If you need assistance submitting awards or help writing business awards, I’m here to help you!
9. Educate yourself
You hear all of the time: “never stop learning!” – and it really is true.
Even if you’re a gun at what you do every day, head out, look at what else is out there and embrace the learning experience, in whatever way you prefer. Technology and trends are changing so rapidly that you can’t expect to be an expert forever.
Open yourself up to opportunities to learn and develop your skills as this should never be something that just stops. Attend classes, go to functions and participate in networking events. We all know they’re good for us.
If you want me to do a bespoke marketing or content class for you and your team, just ask.
10. Enjoy the process!
Last but DEFINITELY not least: have fun.
While managing or running a business is seldom fun every day, it’s still important to find the experience rewarding. If it’s not, then why not? If it is, then give yourself the time to enjoy it.
I know my biggest issue is not taking the time to breathe it all in and enjoy it. It’s a symptom of our time, I think. We’re always bustle bustle bustle. However, put this one on your list so you make the time to appreciate where you’re going, how far you’ve come and what you’ve achieved.
In the end, we need purpose and if we don’t take the time to appreciate it today, it’s going to be an unfulfilling life.
Ok – now you’re ready to take the new business year head-on.
What did you find most inspiring?
I hope my checklist of business activities to take at the start of the year has encouraged you to head off empowered.
Remember, my team and I are always here if you need copywriting, content marketing or brand messaging strategy services.
As I said, all you need to do is ask.
How can Melotti Media help your business succeed this year?
To engage your customer and achieve ongoing business success today, you need a powerful message, quality copywriting and consistent content. However, this is easier said than done.
Perhaps you’re time-poor and spread thin, or writing may not be your expertise.
So, let us take care of your message marketing, copywriting and content marketing needs!
Our Message Marketing services can sharpen your words to achieve your goals, today.
Melotti Media | Copywriting & Message Marketing Bureau