How to get the most out of your brand in the fourth-quarter
Fall is upon us, people. In fact, today is the beginning of the fourth-quarter of the year. It’s time to put a plan together so you are purposeful with your time, your brand and your money in the final months of the year.
This time of year is jam-packed for most people, but when you add running a business to that list it can seem overwhelming. Step back for a second and let’s adjust your perspective for a moment. Look at it this way: the end of the year brings huge opportunities for your business and your personal brand that will lay the groundwork for success in the coming year. Anything can seem overwhelming without a plan.
Here are six branding activities you should be doing in the coming months for your business.
- Put your contact list to good use. This might seem like a no-brainer, but maybe it’s time to look at this as a branding opportunity rather than something you do because everyone is doing it. Consider a mailed card, video or e-blast. First, comb through your list. Make sure all of your prospective clients, new contacts, past clients and anyone you want to strengthen a relationship within the next year is on the list. Second, maybe it’s time to switch it up. Instead of sending a Christmas or holiday card, consider sending a card right before Thanksgiving. Not only will you have less competition for your recipient’s time, it may be more memorable. What makes sense for your brand?
- Choose wisely when it comes to attending events. Not only is the fourth-quarter full of holiday and end of year activities, it tends to be the busiest time of year for non-profit fundraising events. Before the invitations come streaming in, make a list of the events you expect to be invited to; also make a list of events you want to attend. Review the list and thoughtfully consider the benefits of attending each event. Some events may have a greater impact on your brand than others. And, some, though you feel obligated to attend may not do more for you then add another to-do to your list. Consider who is likely to attend and the purpose of each event. Then, think how each of these events coincides with your brand values. Prioritize the list and consider if someone else can go to any of these events on your behalf. If your business is new and you are not expecting to get invited to anything formal, consider attending at least one event that could positively impact the future of your business. This is an investment in your business, both financially and with your time.
- Pick three goals for next year now. Don’t wait until Dec. 31. This will give you the opportunity to identify opportunities that will make accomplishing those goals easier. It’s amazing what happens when you have a goal in mind, things begin falling into place because you are laser-focused on what you want to accomplish. Be specific and give each goal a timeline and a quantifiable measurement. Be sure that these goals align with your brand. Also, be sure to identify how you will celebrate when these goals are met.
- Review what you’ve accomplished this year. It’s easy to finish a project or achieve a goal and not take a step back to truly realize what you have completed. Even with positive achievements, there are lessons to be learned that will help you grow and become a better leader and business owner.
- Foster better relationships. Though you might be in the business of selling a product, the reality is great businesses are built on relationships. Identify three people who you can spend some time growing or re-establishing a relationship with. There are a variety of ways to do this, but there really is very little that replaces face-to-face interaction.
- Thoughtfully consider whether throwing your own holiday party is necessary. Just like you, the people you interact with feel stretched thin by the end of the year. If you have always hosted a party during the holidays, think about the reason you started doing it – does it still serve the same purpose? If you have employees, is this something they look forward to or is there a better way you could show them your appreciation? If it’s for your customers, does your party strengthen those relationships? Time is a valuable asset, for you and everyone else. If having an event doesn’t truly serve your brand well and help you achieve your goals, it might be time to go a different direction. If you have never hosted a party, but it truly aligns with your goals, do it.
- Trade services with a complimentary business. Teamwork is always a no-brainer. Have a friend who’s business values align with yours but she does something different? Possibly a service that would be beneficial to you? Find a way to trade services to help give you a bigger bang for your buck in the fourth quarter.
Don’t let this time of year just be an over-filled calendar. It will exhaust you. Putting a plan in place will allow you to hit the ground running in the New Year and ultimately feel refreshed and excited about the future.