BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES, AND GET AHEAD

Ever wondered why each year always feels a month or two shorter by the time we get to December? Exactly, both
January and December are odd months where very little gets achieved. December is generally about celebration,
while January can be a difficult month as all resources would have been spent in December. These distant, yet so close neighbours are what makes or breaks businesses. As you read this, you could be among many who are still feeling the sting of Christmas financially and are patiently waiting for the next pay cheque. You are not alone; your employer also feels the same way. Business is slowly creeping back to normal and yet, despite enjoying a few weeks’ break over Christmas, many of us are still lacking the energy required to tackle the New Year’s resolutions several of us will have no doubt made. What we sometimes fail to remember once all the New Year celebrations have
died down, however, is that January is actually a pretty great month to get your targets together and start working on your 2019 goals. Let us focus on improving the things that matter to you and what habits can make your 2019 even more successful.

Look after your health and well-being
We all have busy lives, that’s pretty much a given now in a world where people are constantly switched on. But always being on your smartphone or ‘work-ready’ can have a detrimental effect on your mental health, with evidence showing that in extreme cases such activity can lead to depression. Prioritise your well-being in 2019 by taking time out to exercise, even if that just means spending time on the weekend going for a long walk with loved ones. Also, if you are feeling particularly stressed or in need of time to reflect, consider introducing mindfulness into your daily routine.

Get organised
Nothing hinders progress more than being un-organised. Not only can it impact on your overall development, it can also have a negative impact on stress levels and can lead to a lack of energy or enthusiasm, none of which create a positive working environment. Keep a diary to ensure your day is completely structured. Not only does this give you a breakdown of how your week will be spent, but it also gives you the opportunity to set goals for yourself. Scheduling time for a weekly team meeting, spreading out tasks evenly and writing down your goals for the week allows ample time in which to achieve them.

Get your social media in order
Whatever business you are in, getting to grips with social media works wonders when it comes to communicating with your audience and encouraging consumers to engage with your business. There are over 2 billion active social media users in the world, meaning that your audience is already in the social space, ready to be targeted. Not taking advantage of such a platform could be considered naïve. It’s a known fact that when a consumer engages with a brand on social media, they are more likely to feel positive about the brand. For example, 77% of Twitter users feel more positive about a company when their Tweet has been replied to. Social media is also considered a crucial content marketing tactic, only placing behind blogging in terms of success rate, so it’s clearly a platform that is not to be ignored.

Stop comparing yourself
A common problem in both our personal and business lives is that, largely due to social media and an influx of news content streaming in from a variety of sources, it’s easy to fall into a trap of constantly comparing ourselves to the ‘competition’. It’s easy to end up feeling as though, if we don’t achieve the same or better, we’re falling behind. Focus on what you and your business needs to achieve in 2019, and don’t waste too much time monitoring competitor activity. As Theodore Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Focus on your marketing strategy
Marketing is a crucial way of flagging up your business with potential customers by utilising the right platforms and promoting your strengths to help to differentiate your company from its competitors. However, a marketing strategy is not simply a one-size fits all concept. In order for your approach to be successful, you need to establish your goals, your key messages and your target demographics. A marketing agency or an internal team or similar structure then needs to be introduced in order to ensure that a marketing plan is put into place and delivered effectively.

Set clear goals and objectives
Setting yourself achievable goals at the beginning of the year can help you to reach your highest potential in 2019. January is not just the time to experience a slump – it’s also the perfect time to make adjustments and plan for success. Although many of these tips may seem simple, they are fundamentals which so many of us are still guilty of overlooking as we get on with the hum drum of everyday life. And yet, they are the building blocks of business and personal improvements. The Ontime Business Network team wishes you a happy and prosperous 2019.

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