I want to wish all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This is my last article for the year and I am happy to say goodbye to 2013. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. Before we say goodbye to 2013, it’s a good time to review 2013 and reflect on your hits and misses for the year. If you haven’t done your strategic planning for 2014 now is a good time to get started. Don’t forget to write down your personal and business goals for next year as well.
Think about things that went well this year and what didn’t go well. When you review the things that you did especially well this year try to imagine ways that you could have made it even better, you can always improve performance even if it is only a little. What if you can find a way to improve performance by 5% or by 10% what would that do for your bottom line?
You can learn a lot by analyzing your failures. Thomas Edison said, “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” He also commented on his invention — the light bulb — saying, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” Have you found your 10,000 ways yet, or have you given up?
Remember the words of James Joyce who said, “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” We all make them but the successful only make the same mistake once. Learn from last year’s mistakes and improve your business.
Strategic planning is essentially the process that a business uses to determine its direction and to develop its strategy to achieve its goals and allocate company resources towards reaching those objectives. It’s helpful to focus on what you do whom you do it for, and how to you plan to attain your objectives. Think about how you plan to grow. Is it organic growth or do you plan to use acquisitions to grow your business?
If you are striving for organic growth, how will you add new customers? What will you do marketing wise to attract them or to get your phone to ring? You have to cut through a tremendous amount of clutter to get reach your target audience, how will you be different enough to get the attention that you need?
If you are planning to grow by purchasing competitors, how will you integrate their structure into your own? What will you do to retain their loyal customers? How can you welcome them into your company? How will you allocate resources toward training of your newly acquired service techs and how will you train any office staff that you intend to retain? You have many other questions to consider as well if you go this route. Other business owners have been very successful by buying up their competitors.
Goals are important. Written goals are even more important. As 2013, ends pull out your written goals and see how many of them you hit. If you didn’t hit some, reevaluate them and determine if those goals are still important to you. If they are, reset them and write them down again for 2014.
A client thanked me for my help and guidance, he said that this is the best year that he has had since the 90’s. He thanked me for helping him refocus and reignite his passion for his business. I’m happy to have helped in some small way. I hope that these articles will help you refocus and reignite your passion for your business and that you have your best year ever, in 2014. Until next year…
My website contains links to all the marketing articles I’ve written for the HVAC-Talk Newsletter. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of my new book, Navigating the Marketing Maze, click here. If you need a branding consultation, a complete strategic marketing plan, or help with marketing services, call or send an email to discuss your needs.
Andy Fracica is president and CEO of Fracica Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, and social media strategy. He has over 30 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience in the heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. He concentrates on helping companies deliver their message in an ever increasingly crowded market by helping HVAC dealers more effectively market their businesses without breaking their budgets. Contact him at 260-338-4554, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Fracica Enterprises, Inc. website.