I wanted my goals to be the first blog on my new website, hence the slight delay, but I hope you enjoy.
Reflection: What a year 2013 has been!
I feel like my business has really grown up in the last 12 months and I have learned some valuable lessons, had some real challenging customers but above all, I have worked with some totally awesome and inspiring people. My turnover more than double in 2013 from 2012, and I wish I could say the same for the profit figures, but hey ho, I was still pleased with the results.
As many of you may know, every year, in between Christmas and the New Year, I sit down with a good old fashioned pen and sketch out my goals for the following year. Once perfected, I then get busy with visualizing the goals and I use 3 different technology tools to do this. (Here is a blog article I wrote that goes into the details of these tools).
There are lots of goals on my list for 2014, however I thought I would share with you the 5 main goals that I want to achieve this year for the business, and also for my personal life.
Goal #1 – Introducing the Wheel of Excellence
As we enter year three of trading, our processes and procedures are established and we have defined our products and services, so its time to implement a way of measuring our success in a more structured and detailed way. The wheel is split into four categories:-
Vision: It’s now 1st April 2014 and the GU Wheel of Excellence is working brilliantly. I am really pleased with the way that my staff and customers have embraced the idea and as I see red and yellow sections turn to green I know that we are on the path to success. (To find out what the wheel looks like and how it works, please click here).
June 2014 update – The GU Wheel is working really well. I am not always getting the results that I want, but it is certainly keeping me on the straight and narrow. It's amazing how motivated you are to change “debt management” out of the red by making those extra calls to get the pennies in!
December 2014 – I love my GU wheel as it is so visual. I wish I had the time to update it as often as I should, however this is one area that I really need to focus on for 2015.
Goal #2 – I have published my very first proper book
This has been a dream of mine for many years, but I never really knew what to write about. Having been involved in the world of social media since 2008, and established a very easy to use step by step guide for my staff to adhere too as well as listing the very best tools and techniques to use online, then I finally have the perfect “Social Media Made Easy Workbook”. Another of my objectives in the business is to have a better residual income, therefore having a book that is on the shelf will provide an additional revenue stream for me.
Vision: I am so excited as it is now September 2014, and I am standing in WH Smiths looking at my very own book on the shelf. My mum was the first person to receive a signed copy and she was so proud of me. Wow! Pat myself on the back.
June 2014 – Wow! I am so nearly there! I was approached by a publisher in February 2014 and I have spent the last few months writing, including two full weeks off work completely to get it completed. It is now in the hands of the publisher and I am just waiting for the launch date. We are looking at launching in electronic format for the first 30 days, and then in hardback version afterwards. I am really excited about achieving this goal. It's been hard work and a real learning curve.
December 2014 – This month the book has finally gone on sale on Amazon for pre-order, however I was disappointed that I will not physically hold the book in my hands until 21st January. I am still very proud of myself for achieving this goal. It was much harder than I expected.
Goal #3 Introduction of a new service
Having made the brave decision to completely rebrand our company at the end of 2013, I also made the decision to go back to my roots and introduce a new service called “Let us Recruit for you”.
There are so many companies out there who are not keen on outsourcing their daily social media management, but they also have no idea what questions to ask a potential candidate as they are limited in their own social media knowledge. Enter, Green Umbrella’s recruitment service. With over 20+ years in recruitment and 6 years within the online marketing sector, I feel that we are qualified to offer this service, along with training, testing and ongoing coaching for the candidate to make sure that the client receives the best service.
Vision: December 2014 and time for reflection. The private Facebook Group that was set up for our “let us recruit for you” now has 36 members, and it is growing week by week. The coaching on a monthly basis is working really well and I get a real buzz from teaching organisations about the new and exciting things that are happening in this extraordinary industry.
June 2014 – This idea morphed into a Social Media Coaching Club as I found that many companies already had someone in place but they just wanted regular coaching and training. We currently have 18 members, but I am now pushing this service when out and about at networking events, so I am confident that I can reach my goal of 36 members by December.
December 2014 – The Social Media Coaching Club is now a key service that we offer and we have have exceeded our membership goal of 36 members by the end of the year by a substantial amount. We have tweaked the service and also introduced the bucket plan package which has also proved very popular. This service will continue in 2015 and I will set some targets for membership in between Christmas and new year.
Goal #4 – Taking my blog to the next level
The Green Umbrella blog has really grown up in the last 12 months. The content is more rich in value to the customer (I hope you agree). In 2013 we more than doubled our guest blogger slots from 10 authors to 24. In 2014 we hope to increase this even more.
Managing the guest bloggers has been a challenge in itself. We had to introduce “guest blogger rules” and allocate deadline dates and then this whole process also needs managing if we were going to stick with this heavy agenda. But the effort has been worth it and my statistics for the site are fantastic. But I always want more!
So how could I take my blogging presence to the next level? I have been toying with an idea for a while now about introducing audio into each blog and this is what I have decided to do. As you may know, we all absorb information in different ways. Some are visual and like to read articles, but not all people like to read. I thought it would be a fabulous idea to ask my guest bloggers to record themselves reading their blog. GU video and production team will add a little quirkiness to the audio, and this will be added as a mini audio player to each article. I will also feed all the audios to my podcast that can be found on itunes or stitcher radio, so people can subscribe to the audio feed and listen to the blogs when they in the car, or at the gym, or walking the dogs.
Vision: It is now June 2014 and I am surprised how many guest bloggers are keen on recording their own audio blogs for the GU site. Some are more successful than others, but in general, the audios are working really well, with an average of 100+ downloads per episode.
June 2014 – I have knocked this one out of the park!! I am really, really pleased with the results. We have now produced an audio version of every blog for the last 3 months, which considering we produce two blogs a week is hard work but so rewarding. I have had new sweepers created which sound great and the guest bloggers are just awesome! I am so thankful that they have bitten the bullet and put their voice to their blog. At the time of writing this article, there have been 52 podcasts with 8642 views (an average of 166 downloads per episode). More recently the episodes are producing 350 – 550 downloads each. My most successful download was a LinkedIn podcast which attracted 2009 downloads! I can honestly say that this method is a huge success!
December 2014 – Wow! This was one of the best moves I have made. I am so chuffed with the results. We are averaging around 700 downloads per episode now and I am always surprised to see how many guest bloggers are happy to record their articles. We have now introduced the “tool of the day” which is proving popular. I have just started the schedule for 2015 and we now have over 50 guest bloggers, who all have excellent marketing knowledge, or they are a business coach, or have something to offer for the small business owner. My blog is the part of the business that I enjoy the most.
Goal #5 – Take time out to sharpen the saw
I have set a goal of reading a minimum of two books a month. These could be business related, self development or just inspirational biographies. I want to spend some quality time on my health. Health of body, mind, spirit, friends and family. So in 2014 I will be determined to develop a habit of making time for all aspects of my life, with “health” being the top of my list.
Vision: It’s now October 2014 and I have been enjoying life. I spend quality time with my family whilst still enjoying a busy work life. Yes, I still work 10 hour days on occasion, but I counterbalance this with extra days off. I have not worked a weekend in months and I am home by 7pm each evening. I have a massage booked every couple of months, I am walking 10k steps each day, the dog is getting fitter and I have not had an alcoholic drink during the week at all this year. It’s been a fantastic year and life is amazing. I feel settled, motivated and confident.
June 2014 update: I have certainly stopped going to work at the weekend, although I have still not yet mastered being about to get stuff out of my head! I managed 3 months without a single drop of alcohol, and now I only have a glass of wine at the weekends or special occasions. It is rare if I am home after 7pm which is excellent. (I actually feel really guilty now if I get home later!). I have not yet worked on regular massages, but it is only 6 months into the year.
December 2014 update: Um… this goal has not gone as well. I am pleased to say that I easily achieved my goal of reading two books a month, however the 10k steps went out the window as soon as the clocks went backwards, and so did the alcohol. I am constantly home before 7pm, but I am often found in the evenings behind a computer. So, not quite there, but it is certainly better than last year!
What are you goals for 2014?
As you can see, I am very transparent and I will update this blog on my progress throughout the year. I find putting some of my key goals in the public domain makes me feel more accountable and it makes me want to over achieve, so I hope this trait stays with me through 2014. I will keep you posted!
Wish me luck!
I would love to hear your goals and ambitions for 2014, so if you are feeling in the “sharing” mood, then please comment below. Go on, I dare you!
- 4 Tips and Tools to keep you Focused on your 2014 Goals (green-umbrella.biz)
- Goals of Social Media Marketing (tailwindapp.com)
- Your Website is your online shop window, so make it Christmassy! (green-umbrella.biz)
- The Red Velvet Rope Policy, Dump Those Unwanted Clients (green-umbrella.biz)