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Dec 31 2015

2015 is coming to an end already. And for many of us, this means it's time to turn over a new leaf at the start of 2016. Unfortunately only 8 percent of people who make New Year's resolutions actually achieve them according to a University of Scranton study.

When it comes to making New Year's resolutions --or rather setting next year's goals for your business-- It's easy to be intimidated.

With the right tools and business practices, these goals can be achieved. In this article, we've taken seven popular New Year's resolutions and applied them to attainable goals for the automotive industry with pointers on how to achieve them.

1. Retain your customers

One of the most popular New Year's resolutions, other than losing weight or getting fit, is improving relationships. This could mean spending more time with your loved ones or even cutting out the negative influences in your life.

For the auto industry, the first relationship that comes to mind is our relationships with our customers. It's essential that we keep our customers engaged with our company, even after they've purchased a product or service. Customers, both B2B and B2C, can drive the most revenue for your business as they return for more products and services, or refer other customers.

Make sure you utilize a CRM such as Salesforce, or one of the major dealer CRMs (Dominion Dealer Solutions, Dealer Socket, VIN Solutions) to keep up with all of your customers and stay in the front of them.

2. Keep your employees happy

Each year, many Americans make a New Year's resolution to find a new job that allows them to grow in their career. Your employees are an asset to your company, whom you've poured a lot of time and money into, so you can't afford to lose good employees. 

If you are in a management position, make sure to carve out more time for updating your employees on their progress and motivate them to grow. A yearly review does not cut it for most employees. You should be meeting with them at least quarterly to set goals, find out how you can better motivate them, and provide valuable feedback.

3. Save money

Who doesn't want to save money? For businesses, saving money might just mean that your marketing has a better return on investment (ROI) or your sales team spends their time on hot leads rather than chasing "tire kickers."

Here are a few ways your business can save money:

  1. Target your ideal audience using consumer data and historic customer data.
  2. Remarket with paid advertising to previously engaged site visitors
  3. Sell new products and services to existing customers
  4. Utilize customer trends to distinguish hot leads from cold leads 

4. Stop procrastinating

In a world with social media, saturated email inboxes, and viral YouTube videos, it's easy to get distracted from your work. For many people, myself included, surfing on social media and catching up on your emails is an easy getaway when you're feeling overwhelmed. And for others, they may procrastinate because the tasks at hand are just tedious.

Keep an ongoing list of action items in an application like Evernote and Todoist, or stick with the traditional pen and paper to stay on top of tasks. And if you really struggle to refrain from those go-to distractions, here are some tools from Mashable to help stay focused.

5. Get more organized

The automotive industry is a hard working industry. Whether it's selling vehicles, driving fixed ops business, managing a fleet of hundreds to thousands of vehicles, and so on, it's important to stay organized.

What better time than the New Year to make sure your goals are set and you've downloaded or purchased all the tools you need to make your job easier and more efficient.

Here are some resources and tools you might consider:

  1. HubSpot templates for building out your marketing goals
  2. Shareable calendar in your email footer for prospects to schedule a call.
  3. Desktop folder or web browser bookmark folders to save the most important content or sites
  4. Google Drive and Dropbox are both great tools for sharing notes internally, keeping track of your meeting notes, and budgeting from any device. 

6. Spend less time on social media (management)

We all know that social media can really eat up time. However, it is essential for many segments of the auto industry. One way to save time on social media while still remaining an active user is taking advantage of social publishing tools. If you aren't utilizing a social publishing tool at this point, here are a few to check out:

  1. Buffer - Social media management for marketers and agencies
  2. HootsuiteManage social networks, schedule messages, engage your audiences, 
    and measure ROI right from the dashboard.
  3. Prime Response - This is a dealer-specific social media management tool that not only offers social publishing in real-time and scheduling for a future time, but also provides a way for users to monitor social media engagement. 

7. Face your fears

Fear of failure is a big reason why many people give up their New Year's resolutions right away. This can be the same reason why your business does not stick to their goals. Make sure that the goals you set are realistic. Many companies use "SMART goals" to assure their goals are achievable. 


Let's use the dealership vertical as a SMART goal example:

Specific - Are you looking to sell more vehicles, book more fixed ops appointments, or sell more extended warranties? "Drive more revenue to the dealership" is much too broad of a goal. You need to be specific!

Measurable - If you plan on selling more vehicles. Define a number or percentage based on previous sales records.

Attainable - Is this a realistic number, or are you shooting for the moon? Make sure the goal you set is a challenge, but not so far out of reach that you're destined to fail.

Relevant - Make sure the goals you choose tie back to your high-level business goals. This could be to drive more revenue, build brand awareness, retain customers, etc.

Time-bound - You need to set deadlines, whether this is weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Yearly is not a good deadline since business fluctuates during different times of the year. It's hard to choose a plan of attack for a year-long goal.  

This year, stay focused on your New Year's Resolutions/goals and put some of these tips, tools and resources to the test. There's no doubt that your business can achieve these goals with proper planning and initiatives.


Photo credit: wikimedia.org

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