Stop me if you've heard this before, but setting goals is like going on a road trip to a brand new location. You need a map or a reasonable set of directions to where you're going before you head out the door.
Otherwise, how will you know when you get there? Likewise, if you don't know what success looks like, how will you know when you're successful? Goals provide a general idea of where you're headed, and they act as benchmarks to show how far you've gotten and when you've arrived.
Prior to writing this column, I put out a request on my Facebook fan page and through my Video Business Advisor forum asking business owners to respond to the same question I asked at the beginning of this column. I mentioned that if I used someone's particular response, it would be some good publicity for that business owner. (That's called an ethical bribe; I'm all for such things.)
As you read the following resolutions for 2010 from your fellow event video producers and small business owners, take a minute to see which ones might be applicable to your own plans for business growth.
EventDV columnist Ed Wardyga of Keepsake Video/KVI Media is set "to completely revamp my website, streamline my workflow, and cut some overhead." Part of his strategy is to focus on the difference between features and benefits. Ed says, "Many moons ago I did the ‘three-chip, state-of-the-art NLE system' babble to anyone who came in for an appointment. Now I let my work do the talking and will answer technical questions only when asked. I'll let the ‘behind the scenes' improvements remain transparent and only boast about the ‘new look' and ‘easier to use' aspects of the site. Maybe I'll even throw in a ‘quicker turn-around,' but other than that, I'll just [let] the ‘easier navigation' and ‘better access to information' be the waving flag."
Even in the slow economy, video producers Ed Tworek and Duane Weed have been quite busy this year. (And Duane's business is located in Michigan-a challenge all by itself these days.) Regardless, neither is resting on his laurels. Ed, the owner of Corporate Video Creations, says, "I am going to really focus my attention to new customer acquisition. I have plans to ramp up my marketing, redesign my website, and network until my business card file is overflowing. I am finding that even with the economy as slow as it is, I am busier than ever. I thought, ‘What would my business be like if more people knew that I am here to serve them?'" The longtime owner of DW Video & Multimedia, Duane is setting goals to increase his business contacts and services as well. He intends "to increase the number of chamber affiliates and keep increasing the number of Buy-Local Video Profiles we produce, continue to go after more corporate work, increase our transfer services portion of the business, and explore opportunities to sell more online."
Richard Fromm, the owner of FRVP, exemplifies what I've heard from many of you regarding the growing social media trend. Richard is using the "if you can't beat them, join them" philosophy. "First, I'll work to integrate [social media tools] in my business," he says. "And next, I'll work to exploit them for my business." I'd say that's a pretty clear-cut goal, Richard-and it's something a lot of you are talking about right now.
Karrie Hidderley of Electra Films checks in from the U.K. She's already seen a benefit to using blogs and YouTube and wants to learn to use Twitter more effectively. Specifically, she is determined to "make a conscious effort to ‘give' more rather than to ‘tell' on social media sites" in 2010. That's an excellent goal, Karrie.
Last but not least, EventDV columnist Anthony Burokas brings up something I'm sure we've all encountered regarding blogging, emailing, and social media in general when he says, "It's easy to get sucked in and try and follow all the interesting tidbits I see, but managing social media for business requires focus and discipline." (I assume he's going for "focus and discipline" as goals here.)
Anthony adds another goal about sharing information with readers-"that a balance of news and light general interest is published so it remains of interest to followers. They look forward to the next tidbit from me because they know it will either be useful or interesting." Now that's a resolution I might just steal for myself! Thanks, Anthony.
Thanks to all of you for your comments and feedback. I wish you a wonder-filled holiday season and New Year's resolutions that lead to success.
Steve Yankee (syankee at opinmarketing.com) has more than 35 years of video production and marketing experience and is the founder of The Video Business Advisor in East Lansing, Mich.