The year is marching on, isn’t it?
All those New Year’s Day vibes have worn off completely. We’ve returned to the everyday slog of our businesses.
How are your resolutions? What’s happening with your goals? Are they buried under your day-to-day tasks, forgotten?
It’s a sad state. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. You can re-boot your business anytime you want. And what better day than the Ides of March?
This midway point — in a month that’s still in the first quarter of the year — provides you an opportunity to look at what you’ve accomplished so far and make plans based on reality, not on hope.
Without the rose-colored glasses of the New Year’s goals you set, you can see more clearly what you need to do to meet your objectives. You can make plans based on what is, rather than what you wished for.
And you know what? Plans that are based on reality always work better than wishes anyway.
Here’s how to develop your own Ideas of March:
1. Create space for thinking
Block out some time and turn off all distractions. Grab a calendar, some paper, or a text file on your computer, and gather the plans you made at the beginning of the year.
Look at those plans to see how they line up with what’s really happened in these first ten weeks of the year. Use the tips below to guide you.
2. Make sure your foundation is in place
Before you aim for lofty goals, make sure you’ve got a firm foundation under you.
Because no matter what your plans for your business, if these things aren’t set up, your base is going to be weak.
- Do your business name, tagline, and brand align and reflect what you offer to your prospects? If not, work on this first.
- Do you have a solid website for your business that’s easy to use and looks polished?
- Do you have a system in place for developing leads? This can be email marketing, speaking gigs, a guest posting strategy, a “freemium” model, or something else. You’ve got to have something set up to attract people to your business.
If any of these items is weak or missing, focus there first. Build your foundation, then you can expand your reach.
3. Look back
As you look back at what you planned to accomplish this year, ask yourself these questions:
- Are my goals the same, or have they changed? There’s no harm in changing your goals. Sometimes you have new information to work with, or the business climate has changed. You have to respond to what’s happening right now, so if your January 1 goals aren’t working any more, change them.
- Am I making enough time to work on my most important goals? If the day-to-day tasks involved in running your business are getting in the way of working toward your goals, decide right now what you’ll change so you can make real progress in the weeks and months ahead. See the next section for how to make it happen.
- How have my results been so far? Are sales what you expected? Are your email subscriber numbers where you wanted them to be? Are your fans, followers, comments and overall interaction at the level you’d hoped for? Take stock of your current situation.
4. Look forward
What will you do with the 42 weeks ahead of you? That’s still plenty of time to make a real impact on the direction of your business.
As you recalibrate your goals and look ahead, take the time to set up a structure so you’ll be successful.
Try these tactics:
- Decide on a handful of projects to focus on. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
- Break your goals into small steps. Set deadlines for the milestones and put them on your calendar.
- Put aside time every day to work toward your most important goals. If daily effort isn’t practical, block out longer sessions over several days. Turn off everything and put your head down to accomplish your tasks.
Beware the Ideas of March
They’re more practical and powerful than the wishes of January 1.
How will you put the Ideas of March to work for your business? Share your techniques, advice and encouragement in the comments: I want to hear from you!
About the Author: Pamela Wilson founded Big Brand System to empower small business owners with marketing and design information that gives their businesses an edge. Want to learn more about using images to communicate? Sign up for the free 12 Days of Visual Buzz series here.