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Are You Achieving Your Goals?




(July 2019) I bet you do a great job of filling orders and dazzling clients with your expertise, creativity, and customer service. But how much of your time is dedicated to building your business? It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day orders and forget about the big picture: the health and future of your business. Satisfying customers matters, but you also need a strategy to take your business where it needs to be and keep it there.

If you’re experiencing a lull, after busy season or as customers take vacations, it’s time to start thinking “big picture” and to create a plan to enable you to work on your business all year round. Here are some actions to consider:

  • If you experienced busy season, how did it go? If not, how has your year been? Are you positioned to finish out the year profitably? If not, plan to turn things around. If you’re well-positioned, consider raising your expectations.
  • Have you had trouble finding things you need? Purge and organize now, from inventory to digital files. Then, make a plan to keep it organized even when you’re busy.
  • When was the last time you evaluated your pricing? Are you keeping pace with costs and the economy?
  • Have customers asked you for services or products you don’t offer? Evaluate these requests to determine whether these are complimentary offerings that your business could provide. Consider finding an Awards and Personalization Association member who will accept outsourced jobs from you to help you gauge demand.
  • Was busy season too much this year? If you had more work than you could handle or had to turn down jobs, consider hiring a new employee now. This timing will have your new staffer up to speed before the next busy season. Having another worker will help you create time to work on your business, not just production.
  • Equipment maintenance isn’t exciting, but make time for it, preferably when business is relatively slow and you can get help from the manufacturer if need be.
  • Review your plans for capital expenditures and your ability to finance them. Is it time to invest in new equipment, to make over your showroom, add or upgrade a delivery vehicle, or another big-ticket item?
  • Get someone you know to navigate your website with fresh eyes. Is it up to date and mobile friendly? Does it show your business in the best possible light? Is ordering easy? Even local customers may prefer to order online.
  • Reach out to new customers to thank them, let them know about any new products or services they might like, and offer your assistance if they have questions. If a repeat customer was a no-show, contact them with products they might like or to ask if there is anything you can do for them.
  • Look at your marketing plan. Is it working? Do some research on marketing options, keeping in mind where you can find your target audience
  • Seek opportunities that let you put in a little effort now to save time when you’re busy. Our association’s autorenew option is an example; sign up at
  • Pull out your mission, vision, and business plan. Are they still applicable? Do they still tell you where you want to go and how you’re getting there? These aren’t set in stone; update them to help you achieve your business goals.

That’s a pretty big list, huh? But your goals are probably pretty big, too, and this helps you bring them even closer. Keep in mind that the Awards and Personalization Association can help each step of the way. No matter which item you’re addressing, you can learn how to proceed from other industry professionals through our resources.

If there’s a must-tackle item on your business’s to-do list that you can’t find information on, contact association staff or board members to let us know. We’re at your service!

Awards and Personalization Association

The Awards and Personalization Association is the organization for retailers and suppliers of personalized and customized items. By providing education, meetings, and access to a vibrant network of professionals, the Awards and Personalization Association is the one place to ensure the growth of your talent, your business, and your professional community.

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Awards and Personalization Association
8735 W. Higgins Road, Suite 300

Chicago, IL 60631
(Fax) 847.375.6480

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