“New year, new me.”
The new year is often a time for people to take a fresh approach to their life, habits, dreams, and ambitions. Whether you’ve joined a new gym or decided to quit a bad habit, chances are that you’ve made a resolution or two in your lifetime. Sometimes we fail at sticking to our resolutions, other times we succeed. Yet, as the new year approaches, the thought that you can start with a clean slate is exciting and can make even the biggest goals seem achievable.
When it comes to your business, you probably have goals for 2019. You probably want to start some new initiatives to improve your business, or maybe your goals are to stop doing certain things that are a waste of time, money, or energy. Whatever the case, our team wants you to succeed in your business. So here are 4 New Year’s resolutions you can make to improve your business in 2019.
1. Improve Your Strategy
“I resolve to stop playing the guessing game.”
When was the last time you decided to go on a long road trip, and that very same day you got in your car and started driving without anything packed, no map, no GPS, and no plan on where you’re driving? Chances are, you’ve never done that because that wouldn’t be very smart.
Why? Well, there are a few reasons why.
First, if you have no plan on where you want to go, why even go anywhere? You have no purpose to embark. Second, even if you did have a plan on where you wanted to go, you have no map or GPS to guide you there. You might get there eventually, but you’d probably take a lot of wrong turns and encounter a lot of roadblocks along the way. And third, if you did have an idea of where you were going, and a map to get you there, you still wouldn’t be prepared for the journey ahead.
If you have no plan on where you want to go, why even go anywhere? You have no purpose to embark.
It sounds crazy to think of someone going on a long journey without the right supplies, tools, maps, and plan needed for it to be a successful trip. Yet, we see this all the time and all-too-often this spells disaster for a business. If you only take away one thing from this article, take this point to heart—You need a strategy. Don’t play the guessing game. Pushing forward and “hustling and grinding” without a plan isn’t admirable, it’s silly.
2. Improve Your Competitive Positioning
“I resolve to stop copying the competition.”
When you own a company, you’re wearing a ton of hats. We get it. It’s difficult to know where you should be investing your time and money, and where you’ll get the most return on your investment. When you have been pulled in so many directions, feeling like you’re always putting out fires, and you don’t have a clear strategy it’s tempting to simply look at your most successful competitor and do exactly what they’re doing. However, this could cost your business big-time.
The purpose of a strong market position is centered around making your business stand out amongst the rest. Whether it’s a unique service you provide, a promise you make to your customers, or operational difference, you need something that communicates how you are not only different than the competition, but better than them. What’s your “special sauce”? What’s your “secret ingredient”? What are you “leading the industry in”? What’s something you can do that no one else can do?
When you have a strong market position, you’ll become a more clear choice above the rest. Customers will understand why you’re different and it makes their decision fall in your favor. If you only ever copy your competition, then you’ll likely make a lot of expensive mistakes and miss a lot of great opportunities. Without a strong market position, you get lost in a deep abyss of “the same.” People ignore you, and you end up scrounging for new customers each month and are forced to compete on price alone.
Without a strong market position, you get lost in a deep abyss of “the same.”
3. Improve Your Marketing Message
“I resolve to create a message that sticks.”
There are likely thousands and thousands of potential customers out there, actively searching for a service or product that you provide. The problem is that they’ve either never heard of you, or if they have heard of you, but your marketing message didn’t communicate that you were the answer they were looking for.
Maybe they were confused about what exactly you sell or the service you provide. They could have been misled to think you were too expensive and high-quality, or too cheap and low quality. Or worse, maybe their eyes just glazed over as they read your generic tagline that doesn’t really say much.
When you don’t have crystal clear message that is short and impactful, people won’t respond. You have only a few short seconds to communicate clearly with a potential customer, and if there is any ambiguity or misinformation they will ignore you and move on to the next option. Remember, you don’t have to necessarily be better than the competition, however, you certainly need to communicate better. Communication is the key to connection.
When you don’t have crystal clear message that is short and impactful, people won’t respond.
4. Improve Your Visual Identity
“I resolve to create the right perceptions.”
On the same token, not only should your words communicate well, but your visuals should as well. After all, as the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The visuals surrounding your business are just as important in telling your brand story as your words are – maybe even more so.
Consider this, if a large burly man knocked on your door wearing a clown costume, and with a high-pitched voice introduced himself as “Dr. Wilson” said he was here to mow your yard, you’d be confused right? Yet, this is how a large number of businesses operate and manage their brand. Their imagery, visuals, photography, colors, and typefaces are all saying different things.
Investing in maintaining a high level of visual quality and consistency is one of the best investments you can make into your business. Maintaining this identity gives you a strong voice when words aren’t enough. When people are first introduced to your business, it’s usually part of your brand identity: your logo, signage, business card, shirt, vehicle, etc. You only get a few seconds to make a good first impression, and you won’t get that chance back.
Maintaining this identity gives you a strong voice when words aren’t enough
“I resolve to have the best year yet.”
If you resolve to make these four improvements to your company in 2019, then it could be the most successful year you’ve ever experienced. How do I know this? Many of our past clients have seen huge growth in their business after committing and investing to grow in these four areas. There is also plenty of research and studies which show there is a huge return on investment for having a brand strategy. It’s just smart business.
The team at Longitude° wishes you a very happy new year! We hope that 2019 will be a year of growth realized and goals reached. If you’d like any help along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.