It's always a bit melancholy to say goodbye to the holidays - helping put away the decorations while thinking about all the family, friends and smiles that make this time of year so special to us. This past year my family received more cards than ever from our loved ones - cards about triumphs, about struggles in work and health, but all laced with hope, strength and love.
Many of us have been faced with challenges from the economic downturn for a few years now. In our family, like so many others, health struggles surprised us and added to the stress. For me, connecting with family, friends and associates during the holiday, and finding the time to reflect on the things we thought we wouldn't have been able to handle, yet did, provides a great source of personal growth and strength. The year past always seems to have many more bright spots than we saw at the time. Perhaps this is why December always seems like such a wonderful month - the holidays let us reflect and anticipate.
As a lifetime entrepreneur I always find reflecting on these close connections, along with the holiday cheer and food to be a great springboard for new ideas, innovation and transformation. This is the time of year I look back at our business and the businesses we support in the Connected Market and say - "what can we. should we. will we do better, differently, more effectively in the coming year?" It's resolution time.
This year I've decided to create the first annual Business Fitness Month - after all, fitness resolutions shouldn't just be about eating too many Christmas cookies! Get Ready for Business Boot Camp with the Connected Market Coach!
Here the seven exercises we'll work through together over the next few weeks as we drive the "resolution challenge" to get your business and our Connected Market Solutions to you. 2011 is the year we get on track, in business and in our personal lives (I'll be running, stand up paddling and working out every week to get myself into great shape along with our businesses.)
Let's get started - here's our work-out schedule, the 2011 seven step Connected Market Ladder!
Step 1: Trim Down your Technology Tangle
Businesses across the board have a glut of unneeded technology tools clogging up their system and reducing efficiency. Like high cholesterol, we're going to show you how to get the good stuff into your system, and connect the "mind" of your business with the "body" of your team. The goal of this step is to stop wasting time and duplicating work.
Step 2: Organize your Business Brain
Your customer data is like the internal organs of your business. The problem with internal organs is that if you ignore them, eventually they'll wear out. Data that is poorly handled, cluttered, hidden or disorganized won't just hold you back - in today's Connected Market it could kill your business.
"When data is sitting in pockets, and not transparent to the whole organization, decisions are not understood that well. If everybody has the same data, they'll generally come to the same decision." Jack Welch, former CEO GE
The goal of this step is to help you understand why your Data Depot is the most critical part of your unique position in the market.
Step 3: Cut out the "Junk" and Focus on the Good Stuff
Just like cutting out junk food, tabloid magazines and junk mail, we're going to get your communications in order, streamlining everything from social media to websites to newsletters. The best way to succeed is to get your message heard. The goal of this step is to gather your Unique Content and put in a place where your market will get your message.
Step 4: Get your Business Body (your team) Fully Engaged and Connected with your Core Value Proposition (your customers)
Buddhist philosophy calls this being mindful: Two Feet, One Mind. How your "mind" of technology works either for or against your business will ultimately determine the effectiveness of your connections to your market and your success. The goal of the he Connection Analyzer step is about changing your business "perception of reality", i.e. getting focused on building and driving success.
Step 5: Get Away From Bad Habits and Create Great Habits
What are your business habits? Like everyone, you've probably developed a set of both good and bad habits - some of them are your best processes, and some are outdated, repetitive and bloated; simply put, they're overweight. The goal of this step is take a step back, trim, streamline and focus how you work, and develop healthy new automated, connected processes to replace the old broken ones.
Step 6: Embrace Communications and Find your Friends
Where do you stand in the constantly evolving Social Hub of communication as a business? Can you manage all your connections and your presence, or do you find it cumbersome and difficult to understand? The goal of this step is to work with you to clear all messy communications with solutions and structure that flows perfectly toward your business and lets you get your message heard.
Step 7: Constant Improvement for a True Transformation
Becoming number 1 in your market. even becoming number 2 or number 10 won't just happen easily. Nobody gets six pack abs or have more energy after going to the gym once. Getting your business fit - getting more customers through your door and more productive, profitable operations - is about constantly working at it, and finding ways to improve. The goal of this step will be to set up a constant feedback process - to help you continue to improve your business fitness and master your market.
So, welcome to the Connected Market Coach 2011 Tim's Boot Camp. We'll be here every week if you really want to focus and get going call The Connected Market Coach and start shaping up your business.
Happy New Year,
Tim, The Connected Market Coach Team, PedBot and 1to1Real.