This New Year’s Eve Commit rather than Resolve
New Year’s resolutions are more often than not, promises (to yourself) not kept.
For decades, making a list of New Year’s resolutions has been the IN thing to do around the holidays. How many of us have previously resolved to lose weight, smoke less, drink less, gamble less, save more money, learn a new skill, exercise more or spend more time with the family? Most of us have only hoped to be able do some of these things in past years. Most of us have also returned to our old ways by no later than the second week of January. Is this not true?
Making New Year’s resolutions is generally a waste of time. Why not -instead- make a commitment with yourself that you have a much better chance of keeping? By their earned reputation, resolutions are expected to fail. Ever get together with several couples and resolve to plan a cruise with the whole group for later in the year? How often has that kind of candid and casual “wouldn’t it be nice” resolution ever come off? It seemed like a good idea at the party and if it doesn’t happen, so what? It is like most resolutions that we make. They sound very cool at the time, but usually end up going nowhere for reasons we cannot always point to. Usually, we can live awhile longer with the consequences of such failed resolutions. No big deal.
Face it, if you don’t lose weight – next year – you can live very happily as an overweight person among an entire nation of overweight people. If you don’t save more money – next year – you can join the rest of the nation living paycheck to paycheck. But, if you don’t get your business house in order, you can risk having to close your doors – FOREVER. And, then what will happen?
From a marketing standpoint, if you make any New Year’s commitments – for next year – they should be related to strengthening your business. This is a commitment you cannot afford to break, because smart marketing brings you more customers. More customers bring you the revenue you need to keep moving forward.
Smart marketing begins at your front door. On the Web, your front door is your website. If you have an ugly front door, people may not come knocking. Your website must be professional-looking and appealing to consumers visiting it for the very first time. You only get one chance to make a favorable first impression.
When was the last time you spent any quality time reviewing your website for possible upgrades or replacement? If it has been more than four to six months, it is probably time to revisit it again with a very critical eye. Does it still measure up? Did it ever measure up? These are the questions you must ask yourself and – by all means – solicit other opinions from family, friends and customers.
A business is a dynamic entity. It is constantly evolving and most of the considered changes involve your customers. Your products and services may change. Your pricing and payment terms often change, too. MUST HAVE applications and new technologies emerge or become increasingly important to your business’ efficiencies and ultimate success. For example, PayPal is so much faster than the US Postal Service these days – especially when it comes to getting paid quickly. So, why not consider an E-commerce package for your website? That is – of course – if you do not already have one installed?
If you are not confident that local consumers are finding you ahead of your nearest competition, search engine optimization is another area that you may need to delve into. Perhaps, you should enlist the help of an experienced SEO consultant. Is there anything worse than being a wonderful yet, largely unknown business?
Rather than offer you an extensive list of the many criteria a perfect website should include (and probably scare you away), I would much rather have you make ONE very simple New Year’s commitment. ONE commitment that I know you can easily keep. ONE commitment that I also know will lead you to a progressive and effective strategic marketing plan to help your business succeed.
If you make no other New Year’s resolutions – this year – you owe it to yourself and to your business to make one New Year’s Eve commitment. After the ball drops and all the college football bowl games have been played, sit down at your computer station and carefully review your website, as if you were a prospective customer of your business. At first glance and as you progress through the web pages what do you think about it? Be honest with yourself? Is it all that it can be? What might make it a better website?
Are you prepared to keep your commitment to improve your business website? If this were ONLY a New Year’s resolution, you could likely get away with doing nothing at all. Face it, if you don’t do anything to improve your website and your business marketing – next year – you ‘ll just be one of the more than 50% of all new business that fail in their first few years of operation. So, don’t just resolve to do something you really need to commit to doing. Resolving instead of committing is like bringing a knife to a gunfight. Just saying.