It’s No Time to Rest Entrepreneurs. It’s Time to Plan for 2020!

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Entrepreneurs are, by nature, an optimistic lot. It is a required trait if endless obstructions and road blocks are to be overcome and success is to be achieved. No matter how comprehensive the planning, change lies just around the corner. The entrepreneur’s journey is always an exhausting one; it’s just the way of the game. And just as you think things are leveling out enough to take a break from the processes of the past and coast on a period of vision achieved…. well, it’s that time again. For those who say they are ready to get out in front and get started on planning for next year, the news is not so good. If you haven’t already begun the planning process, you are no longer out in front.

2019 is coming to a close and it has shaped up to be a very typical year for businesses of all sizes. Typical in that it was full of dynamic challenges, some significant and some not so. The soothsayers who predicted that the 2019 economy was due for a significant downward correction in consumer activity and confidence appear to have been misinformed. Of course, not experiencing a negative initially planned for is one of those changes to initial assumptions that is easier to experience.

The last quarter of the year is a great time to take stock of months past and measure progress against the original plan, updates and all. Don’t procrastinate because time is running out and your competition is waiting just around the calendar corner preparing their plan to take it all away from you. The new year will present some new challenges and the continuation of even more from the past. 2020 is an election year and while many analysts don’t believe that should affect planning efforts, they’re likely to be wrong, just like those economic soothsayers from last year.

The national election process always generates controversy, and controversy begets uncertainty. Consumers, like financial markets, tend to dislike periods of uncertainty no matter whose political horse is on the pole. The solution to avoid the negatives of uncertainty is to plan for it. Focus on your market, no matter the drama running non-stop in the background. Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely objectives for your marketing plan and prepare to adjust original assumptions whenever necessary. Nothing is forever, especially your website. So when was the last time you surfed your Company’s website?

A company’s website is its face to the world of consumers. Any time is a good time to make sure the company’s website is engaging and compelling to potential customers. It should reflect your brand’s value and reputation and be consistent with all marketing efforts across all collateral. Blogging must be a part of every company’s website. A recent study revealed that “having a blog as part of your company’s website increases your chances of ranking higher in search engine results by 434 percent and there’s a direct correlation between the number of blog posts on a website and its traffic; companies that published 21-54 articles saw an increase in traffic of 30 percent.”

Email is alive and will be doing quite nicely in the coming year. With an average 3,800 percent return on investment no serious marketer can afford to look the other way.  Hubspot reveals that 91 percent of shoppers want to hear from companies they do business with via email. Content presented in all social media platforms must be personal, high-quality and sharply focused on each market segment.  Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are now offering ecommerce players the ability to create shoppable posts.  If this opportunity applies to your business, make it happen, because the competition most likely will. Whatever the media or content make sure it is mobile. Customers are, more than ever, moving targets.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will continue to be popular with social media mavens in the coming year. Although audio mediums are beginning to surge (according to Edison Research podcasting is on the rise, growing by 300% since 2006 with nearly 73 million Americans tuned into podcasts each month) customers will continue to respond well to video in 2020.

At times when we are exhausted it is natural to want it all to just stop. Don’t tune out and take a break.  Contact our experienced team of strategists at Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) who are uniquely qualified to help you create a strategic plan for 2020 Success. To learn more give us a call today at 678-686-1125.

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