1. Understand what your customers REALLY want in 2013
When planning for how you will evolve your products and services in 2013 start by sitting down with your best customers and asking them these two questions:
- “What are the key challenges (good and bad) you will face in 2013?”
- “If you had a magic want and no limitatons, what could we do differently to improve our service to you in 2013?”
The key to discovering the REAL opportunities for your business is to hear their challenges / ideas and translate that into how you can help. What can you add to your service offering that can help them? Sounds simple and it is! Why not grab a lunch or coffee with your top 5 customers prior to years end and ask each of them the above questions, you have nothing to lose.
2. Boost your accountability levels
A critical element to strategy implementation is accountability. Great strategies are developed during a planning weekend (or day), and include one page plans for implementation. However when there is no accountability loop, even after all that great work, you tent to find after 1-2 months things have ground to a halt as day-to-day issues get in the way. Building in as a ‘habit’ a two week accountability loop with key team members for key strategies will ensure it happens as barriers can be discussed and addressed quickly. Making these accountability meetings short and sharp (maximum 30 minutes) every 2 weeks will ensure only strategic issues are discussed and addressed. If you operate by yourself find a coach or a peer you trust and use them for your accountability loop, you will notice the difference quickly.
3. Reduce the time it takes to blog
The other month we posted a great blog article by Paul Hassing from the feisty empire called: “How to blog with minimal effort using content you already have?”. The topic said it all! Paul’s blog article raised the issue of business people wasting a great deal of time searching for valuable ‘content’ to distribute to their target markets via their BLOG’s or on other forms social media. Paul made the fantastic suggestion that great material is essentialy right under the nose of most organizations in the form of the emails / communications they have with target market customers regarding new opportunities or issues. These existing communications could be slightly re-written and instantly you have a blog article about a hot topic facing most customers. So next time you go searching for great material, search back over the emails you have written to your best customers and we are sure you will find some good examples.