Spring is officially here, at least on the calendar anyway. Are you ready? Have you been in a rut; have you thought about how you can project yourself and your business life forward this spring season? It’s easy to succumb to the winter blues and find yourself less motivated during the more drab weather months of the year. But, it’s just as easy to get yourself motivated and freshened up.
Here are nine business-boosting activities for spring time and beyond.
1. Spring Clean.
How does your home office space look? Cleaning it up and organizing can reinvigorate you and your energy. People tend to work better and more efficiently when they are doing so in a clean, organized space. Add some color, add some flowers and get your environment primed for success.
The same goes for your business and your to-do list. Evaluate what it is that you are hoping to accomplish in the next several months. Prioritize your list and remove the things that are weighing you down or holding you back. I find it easy to get distracted by the day-to-day details and lose sight of the bigger picture. Re-outlining your goals can help you refocus and get prepared for the busy season ahead.
2. Take a Class.
Learning is great for the soul, and when you’re working from home it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and tools. I encourage you to sign up for a workshop that will foster self-improvement. It can be a local, in-person class that will allow you to network with other professionals. Or, it might be an online, virtual workshop.
There are many options when it comes to continuing education. You might sign up with a coach for a six-week program, or you might listen in on a webcast that only lasts an hour. Topics can range from social media marketing to personal wellness and everywhere in between. Choose topics that interest you and time frames that you know that you can commit to.
3. Get Moving.
Exercise is important to your overall wellness. It can improve almost any aspect of your life. Start your morning with a short run, or maybe just a few minutes of stretching and yoga. Even a small change in this area can make a big impact. If you are feeling well physically, your work life will be more productive. It’s also a fantastic way to alleviate stress if and when you are feeling overwhelmed. It’s a great coping mechanism for those tough days.
Moving in relation to business can sometimes be good as well. Maybe it’s as simple as changing the location, or setup of your home office. Maybe it is changing direction a bit with your company and switching up what it is you offer. Or, maybe it’s an even more significant move and changing companies, positions or businesses altogether.
4. Plan Activities.
Liven up your schedule with a planned activity or road trip. Nothing brings on spring fever like a nice sunny drive to someplace different. You could join a networking group or a book club, or just plan a weekly outing with the kids. After spending a lot of time indoors this winter, planning some different activities can give you a new outlook and change up your scenery.
5. Social Media Strategy.
Is your social media posting random, disorganized, and sporadic? Use a free service, like Hootsuite and plan out your social media posts for the week. This way you can make sure you are getting adequate coverage. Scheduling your posts allows you to be more consistent and steady. You don’t have to remember to post about your new Wednesday promotion on Wednesday morning if you already have it scheduled. I like Hootsuite because it's free and you can see all of your accounts and scheduled posts on one platform.
6. Get an Editorial Calendar For Your Blog.
Do you blog? If not, you should. And, regardless if you do or don’t, it’s good to have an editorial calendar to help keep you focused and on task. If you do have a blog, this is where you’ll outline your posts and topics for the upcoming weeks and months. If you don’t have a blog, you can still use this type of format to plan promotions for your business, special products you’d like to feature, or even specific marketing tactics that you’d like to focus on for that month. An editorial calendar is just another way to keep you on task and organized so that your presentation is always clear.
7. Is Your Branding Cohesive?
Does your website match your business cards? Do your online ads compliment your printed flyers? Layout your marketing pieces so that you can see all of your elements at once. Do they look somewhat similar or completely different? If you’re seeing differences look at some things you can do easily and inexpensively to make them more concurrent. Can you change the font on your website? Can you update the colors on your flyers? Can you use the same product images on your ads, that you’re using on your homepage?
8. Are Your Finances in Order?
Do you have a business budget? Do you have a list of priorities of what you’d like to spend marketing dollars on this year? No matter how simplistic, it’s a good idea to put one down on paper. It’s good to see it visually. And, the biggest advantage is once you see your numbers you can stop making impulse advertising buys and focus on your overall goals and priorities. Advertising reps are always coming out with the next best sale. But, if it doesn’t fit within your budget or your marketing goals for the month, you can be more confident when you turn it down. Or, vice versa, if it’s a perfect fit for your plan you can prevent that buyer’s remorse when you jump on a good deal.
9. What's Your Marketing Plan?
If you don’t already have a marketing plan, start small. Start with an editorial calendar that’s not very detailed. Or, start with just planning out the next month. As you get more accustomed to planning, start filling in more specifics. I always say that a marketing plan is a fluid document and will most likely change often. It’s good to have goals, but don’t overextend yourself. Be realistic. After a few months of planning your confidence will rise and your expectations will be more realistic. Then, maybe you can plan for the entire year ahead.
When thinking about your business, a fresh promotion or fun giveaway can really jolt people’s interest. Try to plan an exciting, new feature to get your audience and yourself re-energized for spring.
What business-boosting activities do you have planned for springtime? I’d love to hear about it!
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Dawn Berryman is the founder of MarketMommy.com and Market Mommy:: The Blog, online marketing resources for mom entrepreneurs. Market Mommy shows moms how and where to market their businesses. She holds a B.A. from Indiana University and has worked in the marketing/communications field for more than 11 years. She resides in rural Ohio with her husband and three children. For more information, please see: Market Mommy.
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