Back in October 1995, my youngest brother was about to turn five and at the same time, caught Indian fever. Cleveland Indians fever, that is. Our hometown baseball team had made the World Series for the first time in more than 40 years and my brother, along with the whole city, was rooting and hoping for a championship trophy to make its way to Cleveland.
Unfortunately, the Tribe lost in six games, and we went back to our usual way of thinking in Northeast Ohio – “there’s always next year.” A phenomenal group of players led us back to the Fall Classic in 1997, but heartbreak again filled the city of Cleveland after a Game 7 loss in extra innings.
The Indians haven’t made it to the World Series since then, but with every new season, there is promise. Each team’s record starts at 0-0, marking a fresh start for everyone and acknowledging that it doesn’t matter who did well last year; all that matters is the season ahead.
While baseball executives, coaches and players are experiencing their own new beginning, your business can experience a fresh start, too. With most businesses now closing out the first quarter of the year, it’s the perfect time to evaluate what you’ve done so far this year, what’s worked and what you want to do moving forward to better market your business and capabilities.
To ‘spring’ forward your business this time of year, ask yourself the following questions to get started:
• What is one tactic I have used recently that really helped build interest in my business?
• Why was it so successful? And, how can I use it more to my advantage?
• Which tactics are those I could improve upon, or possibly eliminate if they aren’t helping my business grow?
• How am I using technology to get the word out about my business?
• What other ways can I use technology (social media, website, emails, videos, etc.) to aid in my growth strategy?
• Should I incorporate different Spring and Summer celebrations (Earth Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Civic Day) into my marketing campaigns? If so, how can I do this successfully?
• What goals do I have for myself during the second quarter? Thinking further ahead, what goals do I have for myself for the rest of 2013?
• With these goals in mind, how am I going to achieve them and, who/what is going to help me make them a reality?
Whether you use all of these questions or just some of them to get going is up to you. But that’s the beauty of a fresh start: you are beginning from scratch and can go in whatever direction you want to head. Of course, just like the baseball teams celebrating Opening Day this week, you want to be headed in the right direction. Stay focused, create your plan and… play ball!