This time of year, I tend to feel torn between feelings of slowness, feelings of festiveness, and feelings of excitement for the upcoming year. The slow feelings creep in side by side with the feelings of festivity - all the tempting cups of hot chocolate in front of the fireplace, trimmed tree in the background, I'm not the only one right?
However, this year, more than ever before, my excitement for setting goals and determination to make 2018 the best year yet is at the forefront of my mind. Assuming most of you are business owners as well, I KNOW I'm not the only one!
So, before taking a little well-deserved break to indulge in those fireplace moments and making memories with loved ones, take some of that motivation and turn it toward your brand. Just like the New Year is a good time to evaluate your life and your goals, the same is true for your business! Reign in the New Year by checking in on the details of your brand.
The thing about this time of year is that it is easy to overbook yourself and find yourself starting the year already feeling behind. I am a checklist kind of person, so for all my to-do list people out there, this is for you! This checklist is meant to set you up for success in your business and streamline your process to achieve your branding goals, but it's also meant to be a part of the bigger picture.
When you look at your branding and business goals, do you include your personal goals? If not, now is a great time to start. By creating this streamlined system, the idea is that you'll know how to tackle these items, so that you feel prepared and organized in your business. This will, in turn, help to give you the space you need to plan time for you! If you streamlined your processes and had a clear plan of attack for your business checklist, what could look different for you?
- Could you feel more confident answering inquires?
- Would you have a better idea of what to outsource, saving you time and frustration?
- Would you be able to book more clients by having professional, branded collateral to answer potential client's questions every step of the way - from business cards to pricing guides?
- Would you be able to schedule more time for yourself?
The point of this exercise is to figure out what's working for you and what isn't, so that you can answer all of the questions above with an enthusiastic yes! This step by step checklist will walk you through three steps to determine all of the above! Set aside a quiet 30 minutes to an hour and grab yourself a cup of coffee (or wine!) and dig in.
1 | Foundation
Without a strong foundation, the rest of these elements - no matter how beautiful they are - can fall flat. We all go over these items when we first get started as a company, when excitement levels are at an all time high and before calendars are filled with client meetings and deadlines. But once the daily grind sets in, it is easy to overlook the the things that create a strong foundation, not to mention that things change over time. If it's been a year or more since you last analyzed these items within your own company, it's probably time for a refresher.
In this section you will create an ideal client profile and review what makes up your company culture. Think about where you are now, where you would like your company to be in the future and how you want your clients to understand your business. These answers are the way you shape your business! It's can be hard, but this is the exciting stuff - you get to make your business whatever you want it to be! The answers to these questions and the culture developed in these answers will be valuable to the rest of the exercise.
2 | Evaluation
Once you've covered the foundation, you will turn to your brand experience. Here you willl go over all the details of your brand from logo to collateral to voice.
As you go through this checklist you're going to keep it simple. You'll check the box that applies to classify each item. Some areas will be exceptional - way to go! Some need a little love - that’s ok! Identifying the areas that aren’t hitting the mark is the point of this exercise. In the notes section, you'll write down what you don’t love and why so you know how to fix them. There is also a column for a wishlist. This is for the items you don’t have yet, but want to add to your marketing bank of goodies.
Take time to evaluate these items on their own as well as how they'll work in tandem. Ideally you want each element of your brand to be strong as a stand alone item, but also be cohesive with your brand as a whole.
And don't forget to feel excited! Remember the questions you asked yourself about your client process? How these items can make your life easier? Keep those questions in mind while you go through this second section and how the outcome will benefit you!
3 | Action
The goal here is to feel like you’re on your way to having a well defined plan, not an exhausting to do list. Now that you have identified the items that need a little love and where you need to fill in the gaps, this will help you create a plan to tackle those items in manageable and actionable steps.
Ready to get started? Yeah you are! Download your workbook below!
I would love to hear from you! How did this workbook help you? What did you learn about your brand?
Cheers to you in the new year - your best one yet!