Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Business Strategic Planning for 2016

Hello First Word Friend-Os! We are on the "eve" of New Year's Eve. Can you believe another year has passed? I'm not sure if time is speeding up or slowing down. At the end of the year I always like to do a roundup of things that have happened that amuse me. This year though I think I'm going to end the year by helping you get prepared to conquer 2016 Friend-O style.
Here are some tips and tricks to get your new year off to an effective start. Since my newsletter readership is a mix of authors and business people, these tips apply to your business and your efforts to promote and help your book succeed in a competitive marketplace.
Strategic planning - time to do what most executives and managers do, which is plan for the New Year. Most managers though will do the strategic plan and start the year off with gusto and quickly abandon the document in favor of "wing-it" management. The idea of planning is to plan and execute not fall back to status-quo. I've noticed authors and managers initially are energized to conquer the market, but within a few weeks return to old, (and most importantly) "comfortable" habit. If you're going to enthusiastically create a strategic plan then execute it. Realize you'll need to stay the course on the changes for it to be effective. Don't let the strategic plan gather dust on a shelf two weeks after you write it. Keep it on your desk. Remind yourself of your goals. Speaking of goals ...
Time to set some goals - I don't like to use the term "resolutions" when it comes to business. I like to set goals and then set out to achieve them. In my world I try to establish daily, weekly and monthly goals. The daily goals are written on my desk calendar (and yes, I still use paper in this digital world). I begin each morning by writing down my goals for the day. As I accomplish each one, I check it off. Goals not achieved that day get moved to the next day and so on. Breaking down your goals into bite-sized pieces makes them doable, which is why I prefer "daily" goals. If you can see your progress happening it makes it feel like you're moving and progressing forward nicely. Setting gigantic goals and then not breaking them down into "doable" pieces sets the stage for failure. My motto is "Success is built brick by brick not skyscraper by skyscraper."
Stay the course. Listen Friend-Os (and this is especially true of books) prepare to launch your book and stick with it. The most successful authors I know don't give up after the gloss of a new book release has worn off. True marketing momentum and the goal of creating the "snowball effect" requires persistence and determination to never give up. If I've learned anything at all one day it can look bleak and the next day it can all change to the sunniest, sunniest! (Hey, is that a new catchphrase or a new name for orange juice? LOL). I recommend trying one thing and then trying the next. If the first one doesn't seem to produce results, try something else.
Value yourself ... it's hard to feel worthy or valuable when people don't seem to recognize that what you do isn't easy and not everyone can do it (contrary to some misguided beliefs). In the publishing marketplace, we've had to deal with a lot of low-end self-publishers who offer ridiculous "publishing deals" for pennies. Many new authors don't understand that Createspace is not a "publisher" but a tool. Our job as we sell our services is to distill the myths, educate and inform clients of our "value" and why working with 3L Publishing is worth the investment. Our books win awards. Look at this year alone. In the Footsteps of Greatness by Josh Mathe won several awards including the Royal Dragonfly award. Just a few weeks ago Norma Jennings was named one of the "50 Great Authors You Should be Reading" and she placed as a Finalist in the USA Best Book Awards.
Well Friend-Os ... Happy New Year! Make this year the best it can be!!!

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