Resources  >> Strategic Planning for 2016

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  December 29, 2015

Strategic Planning for 2016

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend. Many of us are now hunkered down in “retreat” mode plotting strategy for next year. As you sift through all your options, here are three common (and sometimes fatal) easy-to-make mistakes I see in market strategy.

1–Putting the cart before the horse. Many thought leaders make goals such as “increase speaking” or “launch a ton of online courses”. That’s great, unless your platform is off-market. Before we get all caught up in getting our message out there, let’s step back and ¬†ask ourselves: what has changed in my marketplace? Do I have new competitors? What do buyers have to have now? This ensures that your platform will make you stand out from your buyer’s other options. Otherwise, your implementation efforts won’t have the ROI you expect.

2–Assessing needs based on wrong criteria. Smart thought leaders know they can’t do everything. So a big question for next year is, “What do I need to make my vision a reality?” Too many folks (especially those in trouble) look at what they are comfortable with instead of what they need. Result: playing too small to get over to the next level. At best, revenues are flat. At worst, you burn through too much cash to recover.

 

Related: what to do when your market changes

 

3–Waiting too long to change. Sometimes we know we need to change our marketing approach. We just don’t do it because we’re too busy doing something else that is either: 1) easier, or 2) safer. It’s very tempting to tell ourselves: “Well, I’m busy with clients so I don’t need to expand my marketing” or “I’m gonna invest in branding when I make a lot of money.” Result: we play around the edges so long that when trouble strikes we can’t recover. What happens next? We invest in small solutions that yield small results. And those results buy time (if you’re in trouble) or complacency (if you’re doing well). Which then sets you up for treading water or being disrupted. The best time to change is when you have momentum.

The good news: these mistakes are of our own creation. Which means we have the power to change. It’s amazing what happens when we get out of our own way.

 

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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.