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New years resolution fail

Why your new year’s resolutions fail and what to do about it

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It’s nearly February. How’s your new year, new business going? If your marketing resolutions have already fallen flat, you find yourself among the vast majority – with 80% failing by this date in the year.

Urgh. Talk about disheartening.

But don’t give up hope just yet. There’s probably a very good reason why you’ve failed, and once you uncover what it is, you have the remaining 11 months to make it happen. But first, a painfully-overused inspirational quote…

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.

Henry Ford

Cliché? Absolutely. True? You bet your bottom line on it – and changing your routine (at least a little) is going to be key to sticking to your resolution from here on. So now let’s first identify WHY you’ve failed, to find the fix.

1. You went it all alone

The life of a small business owner isn’t easy, and you need all the help and support you can muster, especially when it comes to sticking with your goals. From Facebook business groups to networking, onto local business groups, these places are a rich source of people who know exactly what life is like for you.

The fix: Find yourself an accountability partner who’ll keep touching base with you for (for FREE from a business group or among your network) or invest in yourself with a reputable mentor (learn more about my owner mentorship service here).

2. You’re STILL underfunding your marketing

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, so the old adage goes. And this may be no truer than when applied to the world of marketing. Even if you were determined to handle your fresh marketing approach yourself, you’re overlooking two considerable costs…

  1. Opportunity cost – while spending time on your marketing, you’re not able to handle other things – such as delighting your customers
  2. Amateur cost – no matter how many blogs you read, books you buy and influencers you follow, there will always be a cost between using an expert marketer and going full DIY.

The fix: Talk to an expert, even if only to rule out paying for a marketing consultant moving forwards.

“I’ve had the best week; it started today! Following my fab meeting with you today, I’m focused and totally fired up for next week. Thanks, Minal, your advice is priceless”.

Yasmin Faria, The Hairdressers

3. You didn’t set time aside (or enough time)

As a small business owner, you face an endless ‘to do’ list every, single, day. Before you know it, you’re caught up with a customer, doing battle with the invoices or attempting (and failing) to clear your inbox.

You also wear many hats each day of the week – bookkeeper, administrator, receptionist, customer service representative, sales person – add to that list ‘marketer’ and it can be all too easy to focus on the other roles that feel more pressing.

The fix: Block out time from your everyday that you can genuinely manage – even if it’s only 20 minutes a day.

4. You’re procrastinating

Oh-uh. Procrastination is the curse of the small business owner. With no boss lurking over your shoulder, getting distracted can quickly become commonplace and all in all, procrastination is THE most expensive invisible cost to a business there is. Over in the US, one study found that procrastination costs $10,396 per year – PER EMPLOYEE. Ouch.

The fix: Get some tech to help you finally bust out of your procrastination habits. I recommend Procraster (which is perfect for those who don’t know WHY they’re putting off their tasks) and Freedom (for those who end up browsing sites and apps when they should be working).

5. You had NO marketing plan at all

As you counted down to the new year, you were motivated to transform your marketing over the coming 12 months. You have the odd lightbulb moment, you may even have a scribbled list of marketing platforms that you’ll use. But as for a concrete plan? It’s not quite come into fruition yet.

The fix: Put a plan together, today – that means day-by-day tasks, short, medium and long-term goals, and metrics (the things that will show you whether or not you’re on track to hit your goals). Here are some examples:

  • Sales of a particular product
  • Social engagement
  • Returning website visitor metric, total visits, average time on page
  • Sales
  • Customer attrition
  • Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Marketing response rate
  • Click Through Rate (CTR)
  • Content downloads

For a proven structure for your strategy, download my FREE marketing success plan.

6. You DID have a marketing plan but it now 
feels unsurmountable

Perhaps you did put together a marketing plan – but it could be summarised as – “do these 100 things, every week”. Now you feel overwhelmed, and it’s easier to push it all aside for another day rather than tackle it.

The fix: Get focused and assess your goals as to their achievability. This is about small steps – one every day.

You had plain bad marketing advice

Here are some of the golden nuggets that I’ve heard over my time in marketing…

“Focus on social media – and social media ALONE”

“Create a lead magnet – don’t ask why or what comes before or after – just ‘action’ it”

“Blog. Just blog”.

There is more than a fair share of bad marketing advice out there, and it can be tough to decipher what’s worth listening to, and what should be ignored.

The fix: Seek out a reputable marketing expert with a PROVEN track record. Read past client reviews to get a feel for whether the person in front of you is worth listening to, and what they may be able to help you with (you can read my own reviews here).

7. You simply HATE marketing

Social media leave you feeling stone cold? Content marketing mean nothing more than staring at Word for an hour? If you honestly hate marketing, your New Year’s resolution was doomed to fail before Big Ben struck 12.

The fix: Leave it to an expert – those who delegate through outsourcing generally, can actually achieve savings of an impressive 60%.

8. You don’t track your progress (nor celebrate every win)

If you DID get started on your marketing strategy but have no idea as to the results you secured (if any), you may have wasted your time (or given up too soon on something that WAS working).

The fix: Simple – keep a marketing journal of what you’ve done each day (and celebrate the small steps that you’re taking toward growing your business). As the months pass by, track your results in a way that you can link back conclusively to your marketing tasks. That way you’ll know what to do more of, and what to file under ‘lessons learned’.

By understanding why you’ve failed at this early stage in the new year, you now have plenty of time to turn it all around. Tell me all about your big (and little) marketing wins in the comments below.

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