Happy New Year!…Building Success from Day One.

Well, it’s a new year…a clean slate…full of new possibilities, and that applies to every part of life. In our personal lives we make decisions to be more patient, more caring, or more attentive. In the world of business, we take a hard look at our situation. If we are serious about success, we make goals for the new year, and develop a plan as to how we can make this new year even more productive and successful than the last. Some may decide that there is a need for more advertising, marketing, or networking to give the business more exposure. Others know that 2017 must include a wider range and more consistent use of social media, starting with LinkedIn and Facebook, and moving to Pinterest and Instagram, depending on the business.

Be sure to make a detailed goal sheet for the year, listing specifics and creating targets in a variety of areas. Make sure that the list has actionable goals instead of vague ideas that really can’t be measured. For instance, it is better to say something like, “read 1 business book every other month,” than just saying, “read more business books.” Then put the goal sheet somewhere that it can be accessed easily and often. Keeping goals at your fingertips is the most important factor in achieving them. Don’t be afraid to add goals that will shoot for the moon. If it is on the list, it will be in the mind, and if it isn’t achieved in 2017, it can always be added again for 2018.

One of the most basic building blocks that must be part of your goals if you are to have success with advertising, marketing, networking and social media is to have a current business portrait that will make you look your best. A great business portrait will start with posing and lighting to capture the best angles, and will also include enhancements that will minimize imperfections, giving you a portrait that will reflect professionalism and confidence. Too many have a casual photo, a really bad photo, or no photo at all on LinkedIn…even on the website. The problem with this is that business owners must make a personal connection over the internet, a very impersonal medium. People want to see you before they do business with you. I have been doing business portraits for over 20 years, and would love to help you with this should you have need.

Since email is one of those aspects of a business that can so easily get…and stay…out of hand, I find it very helpful to do a big sort at the beginning of the year, eliminating all of the junk and separating those that can be classified as prospects for the near future. This helps me to start the year off with an uncluttered inbox, and some new possibilities for upcoming weeks. Even though I follow up as I go, there are always some irons in the fire that are business waiting to be had. If you are anything like me, you also have countless business cards on the desk awaiting filing, or follow up. I have CamCard, an app that allows me to photograph my business cards and put them right into my contacts, and I make it a point to catch up on that at year end. Finally, I make a list of priorities and follow it, helping me to feel like I am on top from the beginning instead of underneath.

Business owners have to cover all the bases, and the details can be downright unmanageable at times. In addition, the specifics vary somewhat for different professions, so an individual plan will be most helpful in conquering the chaos. Figure out what works for you, so that you can move into 2017 with the confidence that will bring success!

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