2018: Dream becomes reality
2018 was a fabulous year for us here at Marketing Outpost!
Marketing Outpost Brick and Mortar
We saw a long time dream (4 years in the making) finally become reality. We branded, launched and opened our new office on Merrimon Avenue, taking our marketing services from the basement office to an efficient professional space made for collaborating and meeting with easy access and parking. As downtown Asheville becomes more and focused on tourism, we are seeing the business sector move toward the outer limits where rents are affordable and offices are accessible and that's what we did. Rather than spending wasted time finding parking (and paying for it, too), clients can zip in and out at Marketing Outpost. We've put together a fabulous team of marketing professionals ready to help area businesses achieve their ambitions.
Like many of you, 2018 also saw a major increase in business for us. If you were in any kind of business related to construction, you know what I'm talking about. It was difficult to even find anyone to mow the lawn!
As we look toward 2019, the question is...
Can it be better? 2019 is Mission: Possible
Yes, it can and here's how to do it:
1) Lessons Learned:
"If at first you don't succeed, then do what your mamma first told you. Admit when you've made mistakes and then don't repeat them."
Take this time before business kicks back up to look back over the year. Name at least 3 mistakes you made, what were the factors that caused them and then how can you prevent them from happening again? Mine? Yes, I make mistakes, too, and here are my lessons:
Be more careful about the clients you accept. For me, once I commit, I don't stop. We've all done it - taken a client we know may not be a good match but you do it out of sympathy and that never ends well.
Be careful about the volume of work because if you're not prepared you will make mistakes and some of those mistakes can cost you financially and with your reputation. Thankfully, the mistakes I made were on the financial side and not the reputation side. But I learned that process is important and the most important time process matters is when you're super busy. Those processes prevent mistakes or catch them early on when you can still do something about them.
Never stop prospecting. In my line of business the time distance between expressed interest and actually signing on can be months. Us marketing consultants spend lots of hours developing prospective clients, putting together proposals, etc. Once we get started and we get busy, then our time becomes a balancing act - continue to prospect or do the work? Well, you know the answer there - do the work. However, I've learned that I must continue to prospect in order to keep business in the pipeline especially now that I've got real overhead. We'll be working on that next year.
2) Get rid of Friction
I've been spending the last month cleaning up and getting rid of things on my "friction" list - these are to do items that have been on your list for awhile. These items were not a priority but they needed to be done. I've been using this quite time to check them off my list now. I hope to complete that by the end of January.
3) Watch your distractions
Everyone gets distracted especially when something is difficult we lean towards the easier. In my life, I got distracted over the last 2 years with a negative influence in my life. I got rid of it. I just quit doing it. Since then everything has blossomed. I realized it wasn't as important as I thought it was. I realized that the influence in my life wasn't positive - it was negative. However, from time to time, I get pulled back. I monitor it closely. Anytime something new comes my way or something gets on my to do list, I evaluate it through a filter:
Is it part of the bigger picture?
Is it part of my goals?
Is it a reaction or distraction from my goals?
If so, I take it back off my list and refocus.
Celebrate? Yep, Celebrate your achievements from 2018 because if you don't celebrate your successes, then what is there to look forward to. In fact, when you create goals you should go ahead and plan the celebration - what does it look like? A massage? A trip? A nice dinner out? Other than the financial reward and checking something off your To Do, list, you should celebrate the achievement of your bigger goals.
4) Create new goals
My new goals are not just financially focused. My new goals for 2019 are centered around:
establishing the business as a go--to marketing agency and learning center for businesses
hiring a FT marketing assistant with benefits
establishing and launching marketing classes
launching into new geographic markets
and the rest I can't tell you because it's a secret.
When you create these goals, write out specific objectives - these are measurable, have a timeframe and will keep you accountable.
5) Stretch Yourself
On my wall I have a set of goals and for each there are 3 levels -
1. I can definitely accomplish - based on doing the same thing I did before.
2. Will have to work hard to accomplish - based on having to work a little more (or a lot).
3. and the last one - the Stretch Goal. This level is what I perceive to be as unattainable. This level requires smart thinking, efficient use of resources (especially time) and constant monitoring. It actually can happen but it takes more than hard work. Years ago a private career counselor told me about these three levels and she said, write them down and then you will surprise yourself. When you surprise yourself, you realize you can do more than you thought! I call this Mission Possible!
As you set your goals for 2019, your Mission: Possible, remember that you will be tested. Goals don't come easy but they are worth it. Hang in there. Be persistent. Stay focused. You can and will achieve it.
So, what is your Mission: Possible for 2019?