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Are you ready for 2015?

Participating Solution Provider

Are you ready for 2015?

Have you written down your goals?  Have you taken a step toward achieving them?  (Yes, I realize it is only January 2 but the office supply store is open and buying a pad to keep a To Do list would only take a short time and a baby step forward.)  


If you are reading this blog, then I can guess two things about you:

  1. You are probably a small business owner with a list of clients with whom you want to have a good relationship this year.
  2. You are a Constant Contact client (or are considering to be one - go here for a Free Trial)
  3. You are ready to get your goals for 2015 started.

One of my goals for 2014 that I met was to make sure I sent my monthly newsletters out on a specific day of each month.  Mine is the first Thursday.  I met that goal for the most part (sometimes I was a day or two late but I did get my emails out consistently.)   I noticed that my year ended much better than it started and one of the things I attribute it to is the consistency of the newsletter. People are seeing my name and my business branding at least once a month.  Therefore, I encourage you to utilize email marketing even more in 2015.  News articles are supporting that email marketing is getting a better return for small businesses and retailers than other marketing.  Last month I read this article supporting how many more shoppers were enticed to a website through email over social media (read the article for yourself here.)


I watch The Profit on CNBC regularly.  Marcus Lemonis has three things he uses to evaluate successful businesses: People, Products and Processes. I know if I am the people, that one is covered. In a sense, I am the product too since I offer a service (but backing that up with good products like Constant Contact helps too). I need processes that are more consistent in 2015.


Ellens-To-Do-list.pngAnother goal that I have is to use my Client Relationship Management system (CRM) to a greater consistency and to more of its ability.  I started 2014 with no true CRM system beyond Outlook; I keep my emails organized, use reminders and calendar well.  I never felt like I had a good handle on finances.   I chose my CRM, Results Software, because it had integration with Constant Contact and other business tools too.  Having a better CRM is keeping me more organized with knowing what I am doing with clients, prospects and even former clients.  I know that I have a handle on what I am billing and projects I need to work on.  This year one of my goals is to develop written processes and my CRM will support that as well.  For instance, one of my goals is to follow up every meeting with a snail mailed thank you card (in addition to an email.) Even as a solo professional that is not trying to coordinate projects between sales people and consultants, adding a good CRM into my business toolkit has me more confident that I am keeping better records for projects and billing for each of them.  


So as we all begin 2015, what goals have you set?  Do they include a consistent email-marketing program? (In one episode of The Profit, Marcus asked the business owners if they had an email list to send a message about their clearance which was another confirmation for me about email.) How often should you send out your news? What should your emails include? What day are you marking on your calendar to send out your email? Do you have a CRM that will help you to feel more confident in your processes and billing? Does it integrate with your email system? How are you tying it all together?  Leave me a comment here and let's set some goals together.  

Ellen McDowell
Ellen McDowell - Your Social Butterfly
Master Certified Solution Provider