This is the time of year when planning for next year is in full swing. It’s also the time of year when you hear a lot of grumbling from some of the team members about aggressive goals, the need to understand new product and service offerings and the pressure to land new accounts.
Many people dislike planning for the future because it may require them to change – to do something different. It may seem easier to maintain the status quo, but staying the same is the equivalent of going backward in today’s fast-paced environment.
I always wonder why people are averse to change as I love the excitement of learning new things. If our organization had decided that we were printers and only interested in putting ink on paper, I don’t believe we would be enjoying our current success.
Ink on paper has become a commodity purchase and the decline in print shipments attests to the fact that marketing messages are being distributed in other channels. Email and social media became the channels of choice due to their perceived low-cost/no-cost pricing, until marketers realized that an integrated solution is far better than a single channel solution. And, that is helping marketers realize the value print can bring.
Having the opportunity to expand our services into web development, variable digital, QR codes, personal URLs, data enhancement, management and mining, lead generation and online storefronts has been so exciting. It has stretched our intellects by opening our minds to understand how effective marketing happens.
Technology is driving change so quickly, that if you aren’t dedicated to lifelong learning, you’re going to be left behind. Webinar, seminars, white papers, conferences and peer groups are all great resources for valuable information.
The need for constant adaption to market conditions and opportunities requires planning. Decisions need to be made, goals need to be set, measurements to gauge success or lack of success need to be identified and funding options need to be discovered. I believe that failing to plan is equal to planning for failure.
Success doesn’t just happen to most of us. Success is a result of having a vision, planning, setting goals, hard work, continuous improvement and change, when necessary. Plodding along day after day in the same rut will lead to nothing more than whatever lies at the end of that rut. And, it certainly has to lead to a stagnate mind.
I love the challenge of a new year and the possibilities it can bring. I enjoy the process of tweaking the business plan, developing sales goals and marketing strategy. Taking the time to meet with top clients to discuss their plans for the new year almost always leads to conversations about new projects that will head our way. Now that’s good news!
I hope this time of year finds you knee-deep in your planning efforts and excited about the potential of the coming year. Plan for success!