Posts

Budgeting for 2021- Do You Get December-itis

December starts a very interesting month for those in business. It’s usually the winding-down of a calendar year with holidays, celebrations, and a chance to breathe. This year, as we already know, is one like no other. With less opportunity to party or travel it allows for the time to look ahead, set new goals, budget for the coming year, and plan for new services, products, and opportunities. But where should you start?

Luckily BOOST is seasoned in transitioning to new opportunities and building business from the last notes of Auld Lang Syne all the way through the new year. Here’s what we recommend and a hint: the main theme is Plan for Your Growth.

Budgeting:

What are the things you’ve neglected this year that you wanted to add but didn’t because of “the budget” or more importantly because of 2020? Did you skimp on marketing, hiring, or company culture building activities? Add these into the 2021 budget (if you haven’t already) to help make sure they happen. Also, over-shoot the budget just a little. Give yourself wiggle-room for hiring that stellar BD person or to celebrate new milestones that you didn’t expect to hit just yet.

Hiring:

Growth is good. Growth also means you’ll need to work on delegating some of your, or your team’s tasks to new hires. Where do you find these new hires? Great question. We recommend working with a talent acquisition team that can be dedicated in finding and delivering the best potential fit for your team. Once you’ve welcomed your new hires on day one, don’t forget about the ongoing onboarding process. Solidifying your onboarding processes prior to hiring will help you and your new employees to have a stronger (and more loyal) relationship in the long run.

Partnering:

Let’s talk lawyers, not many people like them, but everyone in business needs them. (We’re exceptionally lucky that our lawyer is amazing and if we like you, we might even share them.) Beef up your legal teams, your outsourced accounting, CPAs, bankers, your IT service professionals, and beyond to pick up the slack in places that you don’t excel. Partnering with companies who can feed you referrals and vice versa will help you to sustain growth and mitigate time spent in researching these areas before it’s a three-alarm-fire for your business. If you need recommendations across the GovCon industry, BOOST can help, just ask. We’ll be happy to make an introduction.

Planning:

Even before the planning stage you’ll need to know where you stand with your current business. Are your books in order for tax season? Do you have an updated HR Manual? How are you reaching and signing most of your clients and customers? Do you have your newly awarded contract roles filled appropriately? Knowing where you currently stand in all areas of your business will help you to plan appropriately for the future in ways you can reach and exceed.

Educating:

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t know, what we don’t know. Take time to survey the landscape of what your industry is discussing and read up on the pieces that matter, but don’t quite make sense. Do you need ISO or CMMC certifications? Are you adequately maintaining a secure cyber space? Do you need a new accounting system? Join in on conversations, digital events, and information regarding the topics that matter to your business now and the future you’re looking to build.

 

Take some time this month to reassess where you are, where you’re going, and where you’d like to be. BOOST can assist with introductions, assessments, and planning for your growth to help you kick off this next year in the best way possible. Goodbye 2020 (finally), and hello future.

Marketing Your Business, Consistency is Key 

Do us a favor and imagine our best James Earl Jones impression “…and if you’ll look to your inbox, everyone is writing about COVID.”
We know, we know
While we may be exhausted by the constant deluge of COVID this, and social distancing that, the fact remains that the way we do business now has changed. Forever.  

In the case of marketing there seem to be two camps for business. Those who doubled down on marketing and content, and those who cut marketing. Can you guess which ones are currently succeeding? If you said “double down” you’re right! Those who continued to push forward with valuable, insightful, and above all else, helpful information are seeing the payoff in website traffic, social discoverability, and new leads. Luckily for those who pulled back on the marketing reigns a bit, the good news is that there’s still an opportunity here. You can create a goal-oriented, measurable strategy for your ongoing marketing efforts and have it pay off.  

There’s simply one thing to remember: Be Consistent.  

Much like a new routine takes 30 days to become a habit, it takes several opportunities, or “touches” as we call them in marketing, to become recognizable to your ideal customer or client. That means you’ll need to have 3 to 5 times as much content as you expect people to see and read. While content creation may seem like a full-time job itself (and it is) there are ways of making the load a bit easier to bear.  

  1. Do NOT hire a random person off the street to create your content. 
    It is important that the content you share, whether it be on your website, social media, or in print, be of a consistent voice and tone. You want all of your messaging to come from a single source, the voice of the company. If you, the leadership, are writing content and the part-time virtual assistant from a local college is also writing content on the same platform, chances are it’s not going to sound cohesive. A lack of cohesive branding will encourage confusion and mistrust, two things that are very difficult to combat in the world of marketing.  
  1. Fuel that baby up and get rolling!
    Once you jump on the content train, do not stop. Post, share, comment, and interact often. The more active you are on your chosen platforms the better opportunity you have to connect with like-minded individuals and those seeking your services. If you post consistently for a week and then not again for three weeks people will find you forgettable. If you’re concerned about keeping things consistent once you get started, choose 2-3 days per week and share regularly those days instead of forcing content out 5-7 days per week.  
  1. Utilize your partnerships. 
    We all have business friends and frenemies. Choose one day per week or a couple of days each month to highlight content that is shared by other businesses. To do this you’ll need to share it directly from their platforms or website and tag them in your social postings. This will get you the kudos for being a team player and showcase the depth of your bench when it comes to trustworthy sources for referrals and experience.  

Once you’re bit by the marketing bug it’ll feel like things are moving rapidly toward your new opportunities. This is a fastmoving track and you’ll need your wits about you to make timely, poignant decisions regarding the current landscape of content and social responsibility.  Take time to check in on your initiatives, pivot when things aren’t working (after you’ve given them a fair chance), and always be sure to follow up.  

While we know that you’ve always meant to get your marketing chops wet, maybe you haven’t made it a priority. Now is the time. Reach out to the marketing experts at BOOST to discuss the opportunity for a strategy session and a roadmap for continued growth and success. 

Dancing with Disaster

I recently heard of the closing of a friend’s gastro brewpub, and it stirred more in me than I’d like to admit.  As an entrepreneur, business owner, and someone with insight into various client’s businesses- this cuts deep.  The idea that even with a great idea, great product, and great clientele that you can still go out of business strikes at the core.  We often look at businesses that fail as having a fundamental issue – whether in delivery, pricing, staffing, or technical capabilities.  We look for a reason as that makes it easier to process.  We tell ourselves that we won’t fail because we don’t have that specific problem (or we’ll fix it if we do).  We rationalize how others may fail but that we, as business owners, won’t.

Yet, good companies close.  Good companies with great people who worked their asses off will still fail.  This harsh reality is hard for us to process, as we must admit that it could happen to us.  We could do all the right things and still fail.  That’s the nature of business.  It’s risky as hell, and sometimes timing and luck are the most important determining factors of success or failure.  That feels out of our control.  That feels arbitrary.  Those are feelings that can keep us up at night.

Give an entrepreneur a problem, and they will solve it.  Give them the luck of the draw odds, and it can feel daunting.  But yet…they persist.  Starry-eyed new business owners launch new endeavors every day, no matter the economy, no matter the conditions.  Never underestimate the power of the good idea and the drive of an entrepreneur.  One thing you can do is give them your faith, give them your support, and give them the benefit of the doubt.  They are fighting against the current, and while some will absolutely rocket to their success, some will inevitably sink.  Yet they at least dared to take the leap of faith and try.

In the spirit of support and faith, tag your favorite, hard-working, business buds below. We could all use a little extra oomph on our journeys to the top.