Planning for 2016

December 11th Show Audio

Please find some links and notes from the 2 Regular Guys Podcast. On this week’s show, we’ll be talking about preparing for the New Year in your business. Tips, tricks, ideas for making 2016 the best it can be! We have 3 of our regular guest scheduled to join us to share their tips for planning for 2106. We will welcome Kristine Shreve, Andrea Bommarito, and Erich Campbell to the show and we also look forward to hearing from you in the chat room.

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Planning for 2016

Kristine Shreve

Examine 2015 – What did you accomplish? What worked, and what didn’t? Decide what you’ll take forward into the new year and what you’ll discard.

Goals for 2016 – what do you want to accomplish with your marketing and social media campaigns in 2016. Setting goals is often the part of marketing planning that people forget. If you don’t know where you want to go, how will you know when you’ve gotten there?

Set a schedule – Once you know what you want to accomplish, create a master schedule for your Marketing and social media plans. Doesn’t have to be fancy, could be a simple spreadsheet, but just put something into plan form somewhere.

Andrea Bommarito

Lost Opportunities – Look at the lost business that may have happened over the year. What attributed to that? Pricing? Technique? Products? Don’t offer the decoration? Current Technology?

Not only is it a great time to reflect and analyze your business, but it’s a good time to see what didn’t pan out and why. Maybe it’s time to learn a new skill, invest in new products or even diversify your business.

Erich Campbell

One thing that companies often do is to focus a little too wholeheartedly on the new and forget to maintain or improve on what’s already working. While I always want to foster growth and experimentation both technically and in the marketing/sales/niche sense, it’s always good to take stock of what worked over the previous year and ask, “How can I improve and expand on my business’ strengths? How can I do more of what works, or apply what worked in one arena to others in which I’m not doing so well?”

It’s critical to take accurate stock of the past year and really be a little brutal with whether or not you are putting your labor into the things that sustain you and help you grow- it’s easy to stay ‘busy’, but it’s hard to make real forward momentum happen; a goodly portion of this is frank accounting of what activities are actually on task.

A great idea is the ‘BIG 3’ – Put three goals/tasks that are the most important on your schedule for each day. Until those three are handled, anything superfluous should wait if at all possible. If you are conscientious about these tasks you’ll either find out that you are not devoting time to the right things or that the things you think are your ‘Big 3’ really shouldn’t be. This strategy is easy to abstract to your yearly prep; think about three areas in which you want to improve or expand, and make sure you are taking a concrete step toward them in every day; only give yourself a check on days that you move forward on your Big 3 and you’ll find out how well you are budgeting your time for success.

Chat Log

ErichCampbellGood morning!
KristineShreveGood morning Erich! Happy Friday!
2 Regular Guys Morning!
KristineShreveBut worthwhile bonus time!
ErichCampbellI surely hope. 😉 Kristine has tons to share that I need to listen in on. 🙂
KristineShreveI think all 3 of us will have good information to share, Erich. Lots for everyone to learn.
ErichCampbellCan’t wait – you guys are my favorite guests, too. 😉
ErichCampbellHope we have some embroidery geekery from Andrea, too!
KristineShreveEmbroidery geekery is always good!
ErichCampbellYay, Kristine! 🙂
ErichCampbellThanks, Kristine!
ErichCampbellAnalysis is very important. Measurable, completely thought out goals, too. Kristine is right on.
KristineShreveThank you, Erich!
ErichCampbellYou’ve got it- without a concrete goal, there’s no reason to start on any of these things.
ErichCampbellI need to get on that marketing/publication schedule.
ErichCampbellPeople don’t notice one-time bursts- people notice CONSISTENCY.
AndreaBommaritoBeing adaptable to change is huge especially in the technology changes
AndreaBommaritoAlways something new coming out
ErichCampbellYou need to know where your audience is- it’s true.
ErichCampbellAnd actively serve them real value
ErichCampbellThe plan is the bones of your marketing, but you flesh it out as you go- you embellish as you can, but consistency is the spine that holds it up.
KristineShreveThanks for your great comments Andrea and Erich.
KristineShreveWow, Aaron and Terry are making me sound really smart!
ErichCampbellLike you’re not. 😉
KristineShreveAww, you’ll make me blush!
KristineShreveYay, Andrea!
ErichCampbellThat’s so awesome.
KristineShreveLove that – I need a Nerds license plate too!
ErichCampbellI feel that job discussion.
ErichCampbellmy description is likewise ponderous. 😉
KristineShreveMine also would go to several business cards. Summarized as basically whatever needs to be done.
2 Regular GuysI think we all are where we are at because we are willing to wear many hats!
KristineShreveI’d say that’s true.
ErichCampbellSaying yes gets you in all sorts of trouble. It’s my default setting, though. 😉
ErichCampbellIt’s a great thing to analyze- what was lost, and maybe which jobs really were OK to lose
KristineShreveGood point about looking at the business and seeing if it’s worth changing your prices. I think that’s something people often forget. Not every sale lost is worth changing your pricing structure.
ErichCampbellNope. I’ve learned (at long last) that some things are just not part of our core competency and it’s OK to let other folks do them.
KristineShreveThe lowest price thing is so pervasive! So much pressure on decorators to keep prices low and some disregard what they need to charge to make money.
ErichCampbellThe race to the bottom only has losers at the finish line. 😉
KristineShreveVery true, but I see so many new decorators giving in to the pressure. Either they don’t know what they need to make to be profitable, or they’re too hungry for business.
ErichCampbellSo hard to remember to break out of the standardization and comfort zone rut
ErichCampbellNeed to have standards to maintain quality, but innovation is still important.
KristineShreveGood point about getting rid of products. Sometimes you’re wasting time on something that doesn’t sell. Get rid of it and move on to something that will bring in revenue.
KristineShreveTerry and Aaron – you are such guys right now!
ErichCampbellMight just  steal that scarf for 😉
Which is I suppose appropriate.
ErichCampbellRevamping our product lines for the new year, too. 😉
ErichCampbellUh oh, I knew what it was, off the bat. (Then again, my wife knitted 2 of them for family gifts over the last 2 months. 😉 )
KristineShreveWe won’t revoke your guy card, Erich. (lol)
2 Regular GuysTerry and I are just living under a rock.
ErichCampbellHa- I already shop all the fabric stores with my local grannies- the card was never that important to me. 🙂
ErichCampbellThe 6’4″ guy at the Joanne’s checking the hand of some material is probably me. 😉
KristineShreveNever bought the whole concept of what men are supposed to do and what women are supposed to do anyway.
ErichCampbellIf you see a military cap floating over the aisle, just say Hi. 😉
ErichCampbellMe too- my wife and I are huge on that- no particular divisions of labor. You do what you are able to do.
ErichCampbellThough I have had many customers go with ‘Erica’ until I come out of the office since they have an embroidery bias.
ErichCampbellIt’s why Mr X of the eponymous embroidery blog has a section about ‘manbroiderers’ – then again, he cross-stitches on the train in the UK and he looks like me +100% more punk rock
KristineShreveGood point about technology.   Taking a look will also allow you to plan to allocate funds for new purchases.   Have to plan for those.
ErichCampbellAbsolutely- this is the last gasp of equipment purchase time. Time to make that happen.
KristineShreveWait,  we’re doing this for free? 😀
ErichCampbellOh, there goes my XMAS budget.
2 Regular GuysNot free, you get our thanks and admiration.
KristineShreveThat is pretty sweet.
ErichCampbellI’ll take that.
KristineShreveThank you, Andrea!  You’re very kind.
ErichCampbellIt’s all those smarts. 😉
ErichCampbellWe need to get a scarf for Terry. It’s time.
KristineShreveTerry,  I live in Northern Michigan and it was almost 60 degrees here yesterday and we have no snow.
ErichCampbellTotally. Finished that jacket back.
KristineShreveImproving on strengths,  so important and so often forgotten.   Most people tend to think about bringing in new things and not expanding on what already works.
KristineShreveI like that idea.   The big three would be helpful.  Cuts down the clutter and helps you see what needs to be done and what could be done.
KristineShreveLearn to say no.   The lure of saying yes is huge,  but no one can do everything.   It’s tough,  but I’m working to learn how to say no more often.
AndreaBommaritoIt’s hard to focus – but we have to do it. If we don’t, it’s hard to cut yourself off from the busy stuff, but it’s necessary to…
KristineShreveFocusing on one task has been so helpful for me.  When I focus on everything I have to do it tends to get overwhelming.  Focusing on the task in front of me keeps the stress level lower.
ErichCampbellAdding purpose to that was genius
ErichCampbellSo glad that we are all sharing more now. 🙂 Back in the day, self -directed learning was much more difficult.
ErichCampbellSo many great authors in the trade mags to thank from my early career- luckily I know them now. 🙂
KristineShreveYou can be a social media and marketing geek too Aaron.   I don’t hold the trademark.
ErichCampbellCan’t wait to see one of those vacuum presses.
KristineShreveThe vacuum presses are cool!
ErichCampbellIt’s a long ten minutes, sir. 😉
KristineShreveThank you all. It was fun!
AndreaBommaritoYou guys rock! Thanks!


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