Where is Your Business Going This Year?

Dear Reader

I don’t mind admitting that 2012 was a really tough year for Appletree. The recession crept up on us and we'd been too busy marketing our clients to notice that our marketing wasn’t being done properly. At the start of the year I set some high financial goals, but we didn't have the action plan behind them, to show how we would achieve them – so we missed them all by a long way.

By comparison, 2013 has started brilliantly and looks set to stay that way. What's the difference? Why is this year the one when we get back on track and exceed our targets? How is it that we now have a steady flow of new prospects waiting to work with us? It's all in the Plan. Read on and you'll find out how we've created one and how you can too, so you can really take your business places this year.

Best wishes,


Where is Your Business Going This Year?

Here's what happened at Appletree last year and the marketing lessons we learnt:

January – full of good intentions and positive feelings, I set some big scary turnover goals. Well, they're supposed to be big and scary, aren’t they!? Lesson one – goals need to be achievable.

February – having not hit my January target, I just carried on doing what I was doing, hoping that something would change. I took time out to reassess the business and figured that just by working harder I would get to where I needed to be. Lesson two – working harder won't necessarily get you places.

March – my Admin Assistant decided to leave at take a job he'd been offered. Just as it felt like my team was really gelling, it was all about to be broken up. I decided not to replace him, but to take on a Marketing Apprentice who could learn the ropes and really spend time doing marketing for Appletree. Lesson three – make sure you've got the right resources you need for your marketing.

April – another member staff who had been with me for 5 years decided it was time for her to leave too. This meant I really had to find the right Apprentice and I knew I needed to find the right person. Lesson four – don’t rush into any decision that will affect the future of your business, including marketing investment.

May – at the start of the month, things were looking really bleak. I stood back and took a long look at why I do what I do. I realized that I'd lost my mojo and when I reconnected with what I'm passionate about, things started to look up. Lesson five – focus on what you're passionate about and really good at and it will sell itself.

June – a week after our Marketing Apprentice joined the business I knew we would be OK. He came with loads of energy, enthusiasm and ideas. Lesson six – don’t try to do all your marketing yourself.

July – with the new team settling in well, we looked properly at what we wanted to achieve over the coming year (our financial year runs from 1 August.) This time we set realistic goals. Lesson seven – as for lesson one and they also need to inspire you.

August – I took a two week holiday in Wales and did a lot of work on my second book. I had time to think and came up with some good ideas for the business (including our Christmas cards to get the early bird discount!) Lesson eight – take time out to rebalance.

September – when I came back from my holiday, I realized I'd been away for too long! We didn’t hit our September target, but October was looking good. Lesson nine – make sure your marketing still gets done while you're away.

October – the first month of hitting a new target! The enquiries were coming in more rapidly and consistently, as a result of more focused marketing. Lesson ten – don’t try to promote everything to everyone; focus on what you're really good at and have a reputation for.

November – this is the time of year when many businesses start to think about how to do their marketing differently the following year. We were taking bookings for work for November, December, January … Lesson eleven – help your potential clients to see how they need your services.

December – by the beginning of the month, when the Christmas cards went out, we had already created our Marketing Plan for the first three months of 2013 and the targets were being met. Lesson twelve – plan ahead – way ahead! Put your plan somewhere you can see it and keep referring to it EVERY day!

That's a snap shot of the highs and lows of last year and some key lessons learnt. If there's one thing that helped the business, it's the existence of a really strong Marketing Plan. Because a plan isn't just about what marketing to do – to put a plan together properly you need to look at where your business is (your strengths), where you want it to go (your goals), who can help you get there (your resources), how much it might cost and how much time you've got. Work on that and it will really focus you into having a great year!


Planning in Practice

Do you have a steady flow of clients knocking at your door?

If not, do you know how to get that steady flow?

Join us in Reading on 21 March 2013 for a full day workshop, where you'll all get the help you need.

Using our tried and tested process, that's the result of 18 years of experience, we'll help you create a solid Action Plan by the end of the day, so you know exactly what to do. Follow your Plan and you're guaranteed to bring new clients to your business.

A private session with a Marketing expert would cost you £1000 but this workshop costs just £40 +VAT!

Places on this workshop are limited, to so book yours now and don't miss out.

Click here to book online – scroll down to the event on 21 March 2013.


Successful Selling

Once you've got your Marketing working really well, you need to know how to convert all those leads into new clients.

My friend Kevin Mapplebeck from Precept Optimum Performance is running a seminar to show you how to do this on 27 March 2013 in Newbury.

Learn the 7 principles you can use to really boost your business, including the value of nothing, the power of price, the principle of reciprocity and social proof. It will be a really practical session.

Click here for all the details and to book online.


Send to a Friend

You can send this newsletter to a friend.


Still Scribbling?

You've received this issue of Scribbles because you asked for it or I thought you would find it useful. If you would rather not receive any more issues of Scribbles, please click here and you’ll be unsubscribed.


Created by JAC: the most helpful email newsletter service in the UK

For more information about JAC visit www.JustAddContent.co.uk.

If this issue of Scribbles has been forwarded to you and you would like to receive regular issues, please follow this link.