PR From The Saddle: New Year’s resolutions for business owners
Looking at making the most of resolutions, Tara Punter – of Tara Punter PR – shares her expert tips on making your year a success.
It’s that time again when we wave goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new one. 12 long, tantalising months lie ahead, a blank slate that allows us to start all over again and right the wrongs of the previous year. People around the world are promising themselves that they will lose weight, take up a sport that’s been on their radar for years, re-decorate their home or finally quit the job they hate and do something they love. In 2013, Google launched a ‘resolution map’ where they encouraged people to add their own goals and view other people’s – but the figures were a little gloomy in the end. A rather measly eight % of the people who joined in actually achieved their set aim!
For business people like you and me, there are a lot of reasons why New Year’s resolutions are a very good thing and why January is a brilliant time to start. But you might need a little advice to make sure you’re in that lucky 8% and don’t fall into the trap of not achieving your goals and ending up feeling like a failure because of it.
Why is setting goals important for business success?
In order to answer that, I must immediately ask a question of you – how else will you measure your success, if you don’t know what you’re aiming for in the first place? Organisations need to grow and improve to ensure resilience again market changes, and goals give both you and any team members who work for you a clear vision of what is required to succeed over the next six or 12 months.
Goal setting will also help keep you challenged and with an eye on the future. It’s totally natural to focus on short-term operational goals when business is busy – who on earth would decide to review their social media strategy if they have multiple orders to pack before the Post Office shuts?! But if you have goals and targets in place and know what the metrics you are looking out for are, it’s easier to take some time to review them when you can. You’ll also and immediately know if you’re tracking towards success and if you aren’t, you haven’t waited until year end to find out!
Why is the New Year a good time to set goals?
The run up to Christmas can be very busy for small businesses, but hopefully after a short break you’re rested and ready to think about the year ahead. There aren’t many businesses who don’t see a pattern in sales according to seasons, holidays and more, so a whole year in front of you means you can take that into account. As we’ve already mentioned the whole world seems to be making New Year’s resolutions, so you’ll find plenty of blogs, memes and other people out there to keep you motivated. You can divide your goals into monthly, quarterly or half-yearly sections and set dates to review them before your calendar gets booked up.
How to go about setting and smashing your goals:
So how can you make sure your goals are ones that you’ll stick to and have the best chance of achieving? Setting ludicrously easy goals is a waste of your precious time – yes, you’ll achieve them, but they won’t stretch you and you won’t step out of your comfort zone. Equally, trying to rival an international business that’s been established for 20 years is probably going to be setting yourself up for failure – not least if you’re a start-up feed merchant business in your first 24 months of trading.
Try following these two steps:
- Define your long-term aims. Where do you want to be in 3 years’ time? What are the threats that could make you less profitable, and what opportunities exist that you can exploit to stay in business?
- Create short-term objectives from those aims and use them to set SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. This means you make sure your goals are clear, that they involve metrics that can be applied and measured, they are related to your business aims, realistic and that you have dates set to assess your progress.
Stick to those time markers and factor in the time you will need to plan, strategise and to take action if you aren’t succeeding. What can you do if despite careful planning and plenty of time dedicated to it, you’re still not getting where you need to? This is the ideal time to call in an expert. I work with businesses in the rural, canine and equestrian sector just like yours to help them create PR and social media strategies, set goals and then smash them. I have different packages available for the wide range of budgets out there and I love to help businesses succeed. So, if you want to sell out in 2019, reach new audiences or launch a brand-new product, let’s talk!
Tara Punter PR is an equestrian and rural PR, journalism and social media company based in the Cotswolds. Tara has been helping businesses with their social media for five years – a business transformed into an internationally-loved brand that’s become synonymous with the success of small, medium and large businesses in the rural sectors. Tara is a horse lover herself, having been riding and largely involved with the equine industry for nearly 30 years. She helps business owners grow businesses through PR, social media, blogging and journalism and offers affordable and high value packages to her client base across the UK and beyond.