Dear Father Christmas

4th January, 2013

I am not a huge fan of social media, as everyone that knows me will tell you, but I do quite like Linked-in, and there are a few blogs that I follow, my favourite being by one of the UK’s biggest entrepreneurs who, every month, writes a short business-focused blog that is, to my mind, full of words of wisdom.

To kick off this year, he has suggested that all of us think back to when we were kids and pretend that we can now write our own ‘note to Father Christmas’ – i.e. if we could ask Father Christmas for, say, five ‘presents for our businesses’ what would we ask for? I have already prepared my list, most of which I wont go into here, but one of them is, I suspect, a present that most of us would include in our list for this particular year, and that is ‘an increase in the number of clients/customers that we have’, and/or ‘an increase in profits’.

Having written such a list, the idea is that we then spend some time considering how we might make that wish list come true. For sure, when I look at my own list, one or two of my wishes really do need Father Christmas to intervene, although I will continue to ponder them. But the ‘increase in business’ is, to me, an easy one, as I think there is only one answer; to increase our marketing!!!

I know I keep banging on about this, but when I hear from clients, or just people that I talk to, that they are cutting back on their marketing because they don’t have the budget – business being so bad – I wonder how, exactly, they plan to improve things if they are NOT doing some form of marketing – and don’t forget, marketing includes attending events, networking, social media, etc (by the way, if you are reading this and you can suggest some other ways of making more sales without marketing, then please let me know!).

Now is the time to prepare your marketing plan along the lines discussed previously, and to get started. If you can’t figure out what you are able to spend, then think about a figure that you wont be completely devastated to lose if nothing works (and of course it will work if you do it properly!!). Split that figure into months (but please don’t think that you will get fantastic results in just a few weeks – you need to work at it consistently – the ‘drip, drip, drip’ effect) and then start thinking about what is possible for whatever figure you end up with. You might be surprised at just how much, for not a lot of money, you can achieve.

Happy New Year!