Preparing for the First Quarter of 2017

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Stepping Out of the Blocks

So as part of your preparing for the first quarter of 2017, you have been reading and learning about what strategies and your mission you need to put in place.  You know all about goal setting and vision boards.  You even know you have to have a certain budget for promotion and advertising, right?

STOMP Wheel of Strategy

Mission

The first and most important part of running your business is to understand why you are doing it and what problem it solves.  Your mission can change and develop over time but to have it formalised either in writing or in your head gives you a basis to go from.

Vision

This is important.  If you cannot imagine your business growing, adding stock, staff or services over time it has no room to grow.  It’s challenging at the beginning, especially when you are trying to do a business plan but it gives you something to attain and you builds roads to reach the end destination.

Set Goals

Once you have your vision for the business you are in a position to set goals.  A short while of meandering is allowed of course, it allows you to let the creative sparks fly.  It is like when you move into a new house, they suggest you don’t decorate straight away.  This enables you to see how the light strikes the walls through the seasons and you get to feel more secure and familiar in your new home.  This is the time that complacency can set in though, tough as it is, you must try to remain true to your vision.  Make your goals initially short and easy to achieve and it bolsters your

Preparing for the 1st Quarter ITN

Budget

This depends very much on savings and cash flow within your business.  Having a clear understanding of these both means you have the ability to look fully at the next two sections.

Promote Online

This includes your website and social media platforms.  Your budget and vision determine your website map, if you do it yourself it get it built/updated.  The social media platforms are essentially free until you start to pay for ads of course.

Training

I include this because there is always something else we need to learn!  It could be using an accounts package, updating your training if you have to do it annually like Financial Planners or getting social media training.  By including this in your strategy now, the hope is by the end of the year you have plugged the gaps in your knowledge and are more empowered to progress with your business.  Self reliance to a large extent

Implement

Implementation is now the key!  Having set these strategies in place, its giving them life that makes them work.  I have been asked only recently what apps do I use to do my job.  I use loads to be honest, but for me personally I find my trusty whiteboard and iPhone hub calendar the most used!

Using apps only happens after you have gone through the phase of “I can manage this myself” stage.  I did that for a couple of years but to be honest I wasn’t as busy as I am now, so it didn’t matter as much.  It is also the fact you have to pay for these apps that can be quite galling too. It has taken some time for me to see the values in them (and I have paid for some of the wrong ones over time as well). Now that I have this experience and been recommended these apps I have found several that have genuinely saved me time.  The adage “time is money” is so true in business and helps me with the work / life balance too.  Especially as I am a Mum of two busy girls in Primary School!

Each Marketer out there will have their preferences and other businesses out there will use less or more than me.  I have used so far to date Adespresso, AgoraPulse, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Postplanner, Klout, Buffer, Repost, Canva, Affinity Designer and several more.  I don’t use all of these by the way, I have used all of them at some time though!

Create a strategy using these tools and make 2017 a landmark year for your business.

“Once you have the tools of work, you can work”

If you would like some assistance with any of these points to create a working strategy for your business then please contact Melanie via www.stomp.ie.

This article originally featured in Irish Tech News – I am the Author. 

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