Gear Up for 2020… before Winding Down for 2019

by Sonja van den Bosch

Gear Up for 2020… before Winding Down for 2019

I don’t know about you, but 2019 seems to be speeding by for me and our business. As we head into October and towards the end of the year many business owners are looking forward to some down time over the festive season. However, there’s one very important activity to complete first in order to hit the ground running in the New Year – developing your marketing planning for 2020.

I’ve recently completed another 2020 marketing strategy & planning session with one of my clients and this always creates so much clarity, focus and even renewed energy. I really enjoy facilitating these planning sessions, ensuring that marketing stays pro-active and keeps creating the future of the business.

I use the same principles, when planning my holidays. I always make sure I have the next one or two holidays already booked in. If you don’t plan them, you don’t get them. It got me thinking that planning for holidays bears some parallels to planning for your business.

Great business outcomes don’t happen by chance

Just like memorable holidays, great business outcomes don’t happen by chance nor wishful thinking. They are the result of sound planning, effective strategies, diligent execution and consistent monitoring. And it all starts with creating the time and space to think. Why? Because just as with any journey, you need to identify what your destination is – where do you want to go? Where do you want your business to be and what should it have achieved by the end of next year? And just as importantly – how will it feel when you get there?

Act NOW to position for success in 2020

A pro-active approach will ensure you’re ready to commence implementation at the start of the year. It also means you won’t be playing catch-up as people return from holidays. (We know it can take a week – or two! – to get back into the swing of things after the summer break). It will also create time and space for good critical thinking, so that you won’t feel pressured to rush or implement activities reactively. And it means you can involve as many people as possible in the process, opening up creativity and collaboration.

Give yourself the gift of peace of mind

Probably the most valuable benefit to you is that it provides peace of mind for you over the break. Solid plans are already in place, so you can truly relax and enjoy the time off.

It’s the same theory as why spending time on a Friday to plan for the following week is so effective, instead of waiting until Monday. You can clear your mind, relax and then start the next week with a bang.

As John C Maxwell says, “If you are proactive you focus on preparing. If you are reactive, you end up focusing on repairing.”

Prior preparation prevents poor performance

An old but very true adage. We understand that many businesses can view strategic business and marketing planning as something of a chore. That’s why we invite you to re-frame your thinking and try and inject into it a similar level of inspiration and excitement as that you would feel when planning a holiday. It is an adventure after all!

To assist you getting started, we’ve summarised the major planning points here with some parallels to holiday planning.

What did we love about our past holidays? What do we want more or less off?

Firstly, review this year – by now you should be close to knowing if you will achieve your goals. Make sure you understand which activities delivered and which didn’t – and, most importantly, why or why not?

What’s happening in the world? What’s changing? What new travel opportunities are emerging?

Second, take a look at the market conditions, customers and competitors, and make some educated assumptions about what will happen next year. Are any changes likely, what is the predicted impact and how should we plan around all this?

What do we want out of this holiday? Adventure, relaxation, or unique experiences? What is priority?

Now comes the important part – setting goals. Exploring this is in depth is time well spent, as it will truly allow you to define what you want to achieve.

What will be our route and what will we be doing? What modes of transport accommodation etc will we be using?

Next ascertain the most effective mix of activities that are aligned with your goals. Schedule them aiming for synergies wherever possible.

What is our total travel budget, how is it allocated?

A financial summary with costs attached to activities will then form part of the overall financial and budgeting process.

Do we need a travel guide for part or all of the trip?

Lastly, identify where you need support. Would your business benefit from expert assistance to lead and guide you on your journey?

Planning powers potential

“Your future depends on what you do today”.   Mahatma Gandhi

Just like planning a holiday, curating a sound plan for your business will take some focus and time but is well worth the effort. Even the process itself can often prompt different ideas or alternative solutions. It allows you to develop a new mindset that is geared toward seeking opportunities and focused on outcomes (ie performance) versus activities.

For instance, have you noticed how when you choose a holiday destination, you start hearing or seeing it everywhere? This is because of your Reticular Activating System (RAS) – the brain’s way of organising information. In the same way, if you’re focused on marketing planning and outcomes, you’ll be opening up to all sorts of potential, possibilities, creativity and even partnerships.

Start the conversation about your planning for 2020 now

If you would like any support with guiding you through the process, please get in touch. We’d love to help setting you and your business up for success in 2020.

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