For many business owners, the end of the financial year is an opportunity to review key metrics in relation to profit, loss and turnover. It is also a time to plan ahead for the forthcoming financial year, and beyond. However, rather than just being a period to review the numbers, it is also a good time to reflect on how well you are communicating with existing and potential customers, and to assess any external factors that may have an impact on your strategy going forward.
Carrying out a communications assessment of your business may sound like a complicated process, but by breaking down the assessment into simple questions, business owners can get a clear picture of just how well they are communicating with existing and potential clients. It will also highlight opportunities that are not currently being utilised.
- What are the aims and objectives of your business?
- What are the big issues facing your business in the forthcoming year?
- What are the big issues facing your industry in the forthcoming year?
- Who are the people that you are trying to connect with and influence (think of existing and potential audiences)?
- Do the people that you are trying to connect with fit with the overall aims and objectives of your business?
- Regarding the people that you are trying to connect with and influence, what is their attitude towards your business?
- Do you know where the people who you are trying to connect with and influence consume their news and information?
- If there are gaps in your knowledge regarding question six, how do you plan gain further insight?
- Who are your competitors, and how are you different from them?
- What communications activity have you undertaken in the past twelve months, and how has this helped your business?
- What are the top five key messages that you would like to convey about your business?
- Do you have a key spokesperson for your business and, if so, how effective have they been to date?
By the end of this process, you should have a solid foundation upon which to either start thinking about how to put together a public relations strategy, or review existing tactics to ensure that they are in tandem with the aims and objectives of your business. You may also find my post on personal branding for entrepreneurs useful.