The effort you put in at the end of the year can have a significant impact on how you start the next. This is a good time for settling accounts, getting your books in order, and reflecting on the last several months. This is especially important in a year that ushered in a “new normal.”
The pandemic has seen most of your business and marketing activities move into a virtual environment. This is unlikely to change in 2021. How well did you adapt to the changing landscape? In what areas could you improve? What other factors will impact your business in the coming months? These are all important questions to ask as we move into 2021.
Work on your plans for the new year now. Otherwise, you will spend January scrambling to catch up with the competition. Focus on the following areas:
The ever-evolving digital/virtual landscape can prove difficult to navigate. You need to do your homework. Understanding the ins and outs of digital marketing and virtual business activities will help you adapt to changes in trends and technology.
If you aren’t already keeping a close eye on Washington D.C., you should be. Battles over health care, pandemic relief, and Social Security will all have an impact on your clients’ retirement funds. While one could speculate on what will happen, predictions are nearly impossible at this point. Consider all possible outcomes of pending legislation to be better prepared to respond to your clients’ needs.
Set Your Goals
Break down your various production goals into monthly or quarterly increments. This is an efficient way to track your progress and determine whether you need to make any adjustments to your plan. Set up a document outlining your monthly/quarterly production goals and split those goals into specific categories. As the year progresses, compare those goals to your results. This will give you an organized and detailed overview of your growth. Aside from production and revenue, consider the other goals you want to achieve over the next year. Do you want to target new markets? Or bring on new employees? Outlining any operational, administrative, or non-specific goals is an important part of staying focused on the big picture.
Establish a Marketing Budget
Make a list of the different marketing activities you use or would like to explore in the new year, such as web development, seminar marketing, webinars, lead gen, etc. Now, assign a dollar amount you feel comfortable spending on each. This will not be a concrete budget. Changing trends and results will likely call for periodic adjustments. But it will give you a foundation on which to build your overall plan of attack. Plus, you can start the year off with a better idea of the returns you would like to see from each investment.
Personal & Professional Development
Your plan for a bigger and better 2021 should include quantifiable metrics such as goals-versus-results and revenues-versus-expenses. Think about steps you can take to grow as both a person and a professional. What can you do to better serve your clients? How can you build credibility? What are your strengths and weaknesses? You might be a financial guru who could fill a book with retirement advice but need to brush up your writing skills. Or maybe you want to tap into video marketing but tend to freeze up in front of the camera.
We all have those areas in which we could use some improvement, and they certainly do not take away from tangible job skills or financial expertise. However, pinpointing certain weaknesses and working to overcome them can be beneficial to your business. Think of personal/professional development as a list of new year’s resolutions you will not forget about by the end of January. For example:
- “Sharpen my writing skills and improve the quality of my original blog content.”
- “Learn more about generational marketing so I can more effectively target Millennials.”
- “Keep up with emerging trends in social media marketing.”
- “Practice my on-camera presence and delivery for video marketing campaigns.”
The examples above may not be what you think of when drafting a marketing plan but can have a significant impact on how well you execute that plan. There will be several more things to consider throughout the year, but you must start somewhere. And you should get started now.
To help you finish the year strong and reach new heights in 2021, IAMS has prepared a complimentary Year-End Planning Sales Package.
The Year-End Planning Sales Package Includes:
- New Year Revitalization GuideLearn how to properly evaluate your year, how to create an effective marketing plan, why production isn’t the only indicator for success and more.
- CARES Act and Retirement Accounts Guide
- Learn relevant and time-sensitive provisions of the CARES Act that impact retirement accounts and could open you to new opportunities.
- Consumer-Facing Year-End Financial Planning Checklist
- Capture a wealth of revealing details from your prospects and clients to identify their planning needs.
Click below to request your Year-End Planning Sales Package.