So, it’s the beginning of another year. The start of a new 12 month cycle is the ideal opportunity for us to assess where our businesses are, where we want them to be and make plans for how we’re going to take them there.
And by and large, that’s what we all do. We arrive at our offices in the first week of January, and we start making plans. Exciting plans. New plans.
Now, just to be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s a definite possibility that doing something new and different in the next 12 months will have a massive and positive impact on your business. And if you’ve taken the right advice, you’ve researched it thoroughly and you’ve got a plan to implement it effectively, then you should definitely press ahead with the new things you’ve got planned.
There is a ‘but’ though. A big one. And it’s this:
Press ahead with your new plans by all means, BUT don’t forget about the stuff that you’re already doing, or have done in the past that WORKS.
If you’ve got a sales funnel that delivers you customers for the right amount of money, or you always send out quarterly direct mail that gets you results, it’d be foolish to stop doing those things just because you’re doing new things.
In fact, there’s a good argument for doing MORE of the things that you know are already working. That reminds me of a question one of our clients asked round the table at a recent Private Client meeting.
He wanted to know how to get more customers. Thing is, he knew how to get more customers.
He was already doing it.
The marketing funnel he’d built was converting at a solid 20%. Of every 100 people who went through his funnel, 20 of them bought from him – all things considered, a darn good conversion rate.
When you start to factor in the fact that he’s in a business where his customers will pay him regularly on an ongoing basis, as opposed to a one-off transaction, the conversion rate of 20% looks even more appealing – it’s not like he’s spending money on marketing to people who’ll only ever buy from him once.
For him, something new could well be useful. And no doubt as the months and years roll on, he’ll want to add additional marketing pillars and campaigns to his arsenal.
But the very worst thing he could do is get so distracted in “the new” that he stops doing what is already working.
He’s already got something that works and brings in customers, so looking outside of the box for something shiny and new whilst abandoning what’s already bringing him results would not be a smart thing to do.
And with a solid 20% conversion on that funnel, you could argue that a large part of his focus should remain on it. It’s simple maths:
If he gets 20 customers from 100 prospects, then he’ll get 200 customers from 1000 prospects. 2000 from 10000. And so on and so forth. He can build a business on that funnel alone.
Whether it’s an advanced Facebook strategy that wipes the floor with the competition or a gloriously complicated JV scheme, or Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest ads, the lure of the new can be extremely compelling, and we can often start believing that the answer to customer attraction lies in these new medias.
Which it might well do. But as we hurtle headfirst into a new year, let’s not forget about the things that work. Because whatever your goals are over the next 12 months, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to leverage what’s already working for you to reach them.