Here comes 2009!

Welcome back to work, everyone…hoping that everyone took some good family time off over the holidays since it sure seemed like our clients did!

The great thing about taking a little break is that it gives perspective–and I come back optimistic and eager about the new year…I saw trends over the holiday that are quite promising…I was asked to submit 3 different proposals, which doesn’t normally happen…I have 3 projects booked for this month, which doesn’t normally happen.  With those kinds of things happening, it’s easy to forget about all that doom and gloom ‘R’ word talk…

But I’m not going to get TOO comfy even with such good signs–this is a year to go back to basics and to really get clear on my target customers and how I can help them…especially in times like these.

Some thoughts that I’m having and have already begun to implement:

Update my website (it’s been awhile…and it’s looking dated, especially re: resources I have links to as well as my products/services sheet which doesn’t represent my most favorite new service I’m providing!).  Check out the topic of the S. Bay WIC Luncheon on March 9: 10 Tricks for Updating Your Website.

Keep my eye out for news/trends that would be helpful for my customers to know about–and tell them (I did this over the weekend and got a big thank you from my customer for keeping them in mind–talk about immediate gratification!).  Check out www.marketresearch.com for inexpensive research reports or www.findarticles.com to find current news items for an industry, your client’s competitors, etc.

Do some prospecting–I have been reliant upon the steady stream of referrals that I’ve gotten over the past 10 years to feed my business, but in times like these, doing some intentional, deliberate prospecting makes a lot of sense–it will expand my pool of prospects beyond my personal network which increases the odds of finding someone who needs my services incrementally.

Partner up with others–I’m a broken record on this one (see my first blog entry!), but working closely with some of my trusted colleagues to brainstorm, share successes, keep one another focused on what we all need to be doing, looking for opportunities to refer one another, and looking for ways to help one another overcome barriers are all the benefits of partnering with other consultants.  There is never a BAD time for collaboration, but a tough economy is a GREAT time for collaboration.

Let’s hear from you about what you are planning to do differently this year–either to overcome the impact of the shaky economy or to get you to your next goals for your business…we have so much to learn from one another!

Jen

About Jen Berkley Jackson

Jen Berkley Jackson, founder and owner of The Insight Advantage, has extensive experience in using various methods (surveys, focus groups, one-on-one interviews) to integrate the voice of the customer into all functions, helping organizations increase market share, revamp product lines/services, and ultimately increase customer loyalty and retention.

Comments

  1. I too am planning to shake things up a bit. I’m planning on having things look up in 2009. Many of my clients and students appreciate a change of pace. Distributing new outlines with fresh goals and a shift on how to improve those we’re already working on helps give a sense of motivation while staying focused on long term objectives. Looking back on what was achieved and where we’re now headed also helps them get back on track and ready to face what’s coming. Basically, I know that when I come up with new ideas and am motivated, it just becomes extremely contagious to my clients-it’sgreat energy.

    I love your post, it’s very interesting.
    Lucy

    http://www.esl-ealandmore.blogspot.com

  2. My key word for 2009 is FOCUS. Like many of my clients, I’m a typical entrepreneur…I want to do that! No that! Oh, look at that pretty thing over there!

    I’ve made my goal list deliberately short. I’m finalizing updates to my business and marketing plans and working on a new Internet Marketing Plan. Also on the short list is determining the feasibility of a workshop in Dubai. There has to be a bright shiny object there somewhere!

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