At what point during the year do you take a step back and plan for the next one? What’s your approach? Fire and then Aim –or- Aim and then Fire?
Goal setting is a lot like solving a mystery. I don’t think Sherlock Holmes ever aimed to be a marketing expert but his advice rings true to business. “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suite facts.”
In his case, data is his evidence to solve the crime. The person you think committed the crime is typically different in the beginning than who ends up being at fault in the end after the evidence is collected.
For a business, your evidence on giving you good direction for the year ahead comes from questions like:
– What worked well for your business this year?
– What underperformed?
– What market opportunities would you like to take advantage of this year?
– How is demand changing?
From this evidence, you build your strategy to move into the coming year.
One of the biggest mistakes we see businesses make in their development is choosing a tactic before developing a strategy. Once they’ve invested time and money into that tactic, they realize it’s a costly mistake. Sunken costs and wasted energy on unrelated tactics can be avoided by going back to your vision and strategy before pursuing the next bright shiny object that comes your way.
When it comes to your marketing strategy, don’t guess – or worse – choose a tactic in the hopes of getting the same result as someone else whose goal might be different than yours. Online marketing gives you a lot of information about what’s working and what’s not at your fingertips. You can then use this to gather your evidence and formulate the best theory to move your business forward.
If you need help gathering that evidence to take the right next step, give us a call. We love solving mysteries.