It’s that time of year when people are making huge, life changing resolutions which, invariably are not kept to after the first week (sorry to be negative but it’s true!) Whether it’s losing weight, stopping smoking, drinking less or developing some sort of new life skill (I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve stated I’m going to learn french at the start of each year but it’s more than neuf at least!, maybe as many as vignt ) many of us use this period to identify and make improvements in our own lives. Personally I’m near perfect so I’m not making any resolutions this year other than to be more perfect!
It’s also a great time of year to state your business intentions. Whether you run a business or are employed it’s a perfect opportunity to reflect over the past 12 months, take stock of all the things you’ve done brilliantly and the inevitable mistakes you’ve made so, in the spirit of sharing, here’s my new years (business) resolutions for Inspired Business Development
- Gain double the amount of clients we had in 2013. As with any business, customers are our lifeblood. Without them I literally have no business – they’re the entire reason we exist. We had the most successful year so far in 2013, partly because we do a brilliant job (if I do say so myself) but partly because I’ve been putting more focus on business development. In the first 12-18 months it was pretty much hand to mouth, not knowing what work we had coming in from one week to the next. As it was just me at the time, pretty much all of my time was spent delivering the work we had – this is a common situation for many small business owners in the early days, you feel inclined to do as much as you possibly can yourself and, admittedly I kind of resented paying Telemarketers do to the work which, essentially I could do for free myself. The main danger with that being that, regardless of how good a job you do, the nature of outsourced sales and marketing is that it’s very sporadic. One month there could be so much work I could hardly cope, the next month it’d be a barren landscape. Without putting time aside for business development this cycle will continue so I aim to put even more time into developing my business and winning new customer
- Keep all of the customers we win. This is often more challenging than just “doing a good job” and is a process that starts as early as the first conversation I have with the client. It’s also a matter of realistically setting expectations, being honest, open and upfront with the client. Even turning down business that I don’t feel we’ll be able to deliver. Again, in the early days I was inclined to take on every bit of business that I could potentially win, now, 3 years down the line, if I don’t feel we’ll definitely be able to achieve what the client wants, I’d rather turn the business down than take it just for the sake of getting more revenue in the coffers. In addition to setting realistic expectations, it’s about keeping regular dialogue with the client, being transparent about your processes, letting the client know the bad as well as the good. As an outsourced sales partner it’s hugely important we build an air of trust – after all the client can’t see what we’re doing, they can only see the result of it so, in 2014 I intend to continually ensure we’re not only getting our clients the results they want but also that we let them in on our processes to continue to build trust and value at all stages of the campaign
- Expand our service offering. Even before I started a Telemarketing business I knew that, at some stage I wanted to start delivering training. I have a strong background in performing (youth theatre, amateur dramatics as a child and stand up/sketch comedy as an adult) and have delivered many successful sales presentations during my working life. Couple that with over 20 years of sales and marketing knowledge and, in essence you’ve the perfect recipe for delivering successful Telemarketing training courses. We’ve already partnered with a local company that offer web/seo/social media so I’ll be pushing that more actively during 2013
- Plan more. I’ve always been more of a “doer” than a planner which is brilliant in some ways but I am often guilty of trying to do too much too often so will be putting more time aside to sit down and plan things – be it work, social media, web development, my own business development, recruitment etc etc. I’ll be keeping more detailed plans and ensuring I keep a close eye on those throughout the year
- Have fun. Running a business (or working for one) can sometimes be incredibly stressful but it’s important that I remind myself that I’m in this position entirely as a result of my own decisions (as is anyone, employed or otherwise). If I can’t enjoy myself doing this, what’s the point in doing it? yes, there’s the financial benefits but I want to ensure I enjoy being at work. Life’s too short to take too seriously! happiness breeds productivity and I love working in this industry so there’s no reason I can’t have (almost) as much fun at work as out of it.
I’d be keen to hear what your resolutions are for this new year so, do get in touch or add a comment to the blog and, as ever, do share this if you feel it’d be of interest to any of your contacts!
Happy new year!
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
T:01384 566 078