A new direction

It’s funny. I talk to people in a lot of different professional fields; and the consensus is that nobody wants to do less business in 2011 or even do the same amount of business as in 2010. Everyone wants to do more—to get different results. Well, sometimes the only way to get different results is to start doing things differently!

I like to think of the New Year as a new opportunity to change directions. It’s the ultimate benchmark. All the “best of” lists and “top 100” lists come out, studies get released, and it just really is a great place to start fresh.

Why change course?
A lot of people don’t want to mess with a formula that has given them results. And I can understand that! As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Well, often what people think of as the “correct” way to do things is actually just habit—something done for so long that it just becomes the de facto way of doing business. It’s what I like to call a habit that’s only adequate.

I encourage you to look at what you’re doing that is simply an adequate habit and change it into something new and productive. After all, the world around us is changing. If our habits stay the same, they will ultimately hold us back.

Even simple things can go a long way
One thing a lot of businesses overlook is taking advantage of the ideas brewing from within. A great way to get insight and find ways to change course is to let your sales team do the talking at meetings. Ask them questions and let them know what is working and what isn’t. Your sales team is often the first contact with customers, which means they can provide a perspective that you may be missing.

Aim for new clients
The best way to realize goals is to make them specific and tangible. If you have a group of people in mind whom you want to reach, make it a priority to develop realistic strategies to reach that goal.

This may mean research, a new social-media campaign, or a change of direction in your marketing strategies. The important thing to remember is to be flexible and ditch what hasn’t gotten you to that group before. Once you free the resources from the strategy that didn’t work, you can concentrate on developing new methods and reaching new customers.

Be creative
Year after year, I am amazed at how quickly the marketing world changes. Just 10 years ago, nobody had heard of social media. A decade later, social media has forever changed the way people make decisions about what to buy and whom to do business with.

My challenge to you is to challenge yourself and come up with something new and innovative for 2011. You’re brand is sure to be stronger for it.