Monday, November 8, 2010

The Sounds of the Season

I was surfing through the music channels on our cable TV and came across a channel – “Sounds of the Season”. Wondering what one considered to be the season we are in, I selected the channel - 24hour/7 days a week - Christmas and Season Holiday music. No this blog is not about starting the season so early. What came to mind was – it is that time of year again. Part of the season, besides our various religious celebrations, is the welcoming in of a new year.

Except for retailers trying to maximize “Christmas Shopping” sales, this a great “season” to prepare for the next year. For many small companies, January 1st is also the beginning of a new fiscal year.

Take the next weeks and make your own “sounds of the season”.
• Great time for an annual off-site planning meeting
• Take the time to develop a meaningful operating plan for next year. Remember if you cannot measure something, you cannot manage it.
• Budgets are tight but spend this time celebrating your successes over the past year with your staff, employees, and clients. It may be as simple as celebrating that you survived one more year.
• Make sure that you are ready to enter the new year with the proper marketing and advertising plan in place. Even with tight budgets, some “gurus” say that you should be budgeting at a minimum 10% for marketing and advertising.
• This is an excellent time to review and audit all your collateral. Does it tell the correct story about your company.
• Are you ready to properly launch that new product and/or service? Use this time to finalize all your marketing, advertising, and sales material.
• Review your website! Does it need to be updated, refreshed, and does it properly tell your story?
• Finally it is a good time to catch your breath and recreate (re-create), re-energize to face the upcoming year.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

You know what is better than customers or clients?

Advocates! Without going into much detail, this past weekend, after 2.5 years of formation, I was ordained a sub-deacon in the Maronite Catholic Church. Looking out into the congregation, there were many faces of friends and family. During the reception afterward, I realized that several of those in attendance were advocates of the Studio. These are past and present people that hire the studio to do creative work for them. No, they are not customers nor clients! They go beyond that. Advocates are clients who not only engage you for your services, but actively encourage and support your organization. If they are an advocate, it means that you also actively encourage and support their organization.

Advocates are your best sales people. They trust you and know you will always do good by them. It is a relationship that where going the extra mile is a given. For the studio we continually “plus” whatever we do.

We at the studio are fortunate to have a large percentage of our long term clients being advocates. We thank them for their support and trust in the studio. We continue our brand promise to always go the extra mile.