Friday, December 17, 2004

Christmas Holidays: 5 Ways To Make This Holiday Your Best Ever

5 WAYS TO MAKE THIS YEAR END HOLIDAY YOUR MOST
RELAXING AND STRESS FREE BREAK OF THE YEAR.

By Thomas Murrell, MBA CSP International Business Speaker
(549 words)

For many people the end of a year is a time of increased stress.

Instead of relaxing and unwinding from a busy year, the pressures of buying
gifts, travelling or spending time with long lost relatives makes it a
difficult time.

In our household last year for example, my 4 year-old daughter's excitement levels have been taken to new highs by performing in front of 800 people as a 'teddy bear' in her first ever ballet concert.

Loaded on top of this was her Kindergarten show, this time performing the
role of an 'angel' in a Nativity Play, and counting down the days to our
four-week trip to Tasmania.

Before the trip, she woke at 5.15 am and started packing her bags to go. I
smiled when she told me she had packed 8 videos for the trip!

Now I was really looking forward to our holiday and spending time at Freycinet
Lodge on the Island's east-coast, feeling the crunch of pristine white sand
under my feet at Wineglass Bay, watching the sun set over the pink granite
outcrops of 'The Hazards' and tasting the fresh salty tang of
locally grown pacific oysters.

But it wasn't easy getting ready, packing and then travelling for 12 hours
with full luggage and 2 children under 5 years old.

Add to this the fact we're staying with relatives. So what is the solution?

Here are my Top 5 Ways to make End of Year Holidays a relaxing and stress
free time.

1. CLARIFY AND SHARE EXPECTATIONS.

Be aware of the extra pressure on families at this time of the year. Clarify
with family members what each individual wants from the break. For me, it
may be reading all those business books I didn't get time for during the
year. I know for my wife, it is getting extra help looking after the
children and spending time together as a family. How can both these needs be
met? Use these three questions to clarify the needs and wants of others at
this busy time. What do you want? What do you dread? What will put a smile
on your face?

2. PLAN, MONITOR AND BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR BUDGET.

Money issues can be a big source of conflict at the end of the year. It is
meant to be a time for gift giving and sharing but it can get out of hand.
Set a budget for gifts, entertainment and food. Stick to the budget and
monitor it regularly so you don't overspend.

3. DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITY AND SHARE TASKS.

You can't do everything all of the time. Many people strive for perfection
at the end of the year because of the many positive and festive images
portrayed by the media. Be realistic and work out what you can and can't
achieve. Ask for and get help. Be prepared to give up some control to share
the load.

4. COMMUNICATE YOUR FEELINGS.

The end of the year, and in Western cultures Christmas, is an emotional
time. Share your feelings of joy with others. If you're feeling stressed,
let others know how you feel and ask for support.

5. KEEP UP YOUR REGULAR ROUTINE.

Keep doing the things you have enjoyed doing during the year, like exercise
and eating well. Take time out for yourself and your family.

* Thomas Murrell, MBA is an international business speaker, marketing consultant and award-winning broadcaster. To receive your free online media, marketing and management newsletter Media Motivators sign up at www.8mmedia.com. Thomas can be contacted directly at (08) 9388 6888.

© 2004 8M Media & Communications Thomas Murrell. All rights reserved worldwide.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

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By John Cordin, Commerce student at University of Notre Dame

Eight easy steps to help create a professional looking marketing plan!

• Marketing Plan- a written statement of a marketing strategy and the time-related details for carrying out the strategy. A marketing plan is created in order to promote the company in advertising a particular product. For a marketing plan to be catchy it must include the four elements of a marketing mix. The four elements are otherwise known as the 4 P’s- which stands for product, place, price and promotion.


• In order to be successful the following eight steps should be followed to develop a marketing plan.


1. Executive Summary
2. Introduction and Situation Analysis
3. Target market and Segments
4. Objectives and Goals
5. Strategic Options and Selected Strategy
6. Tactics
7. Budget
8. Audit and Control Procedures



Step 1- Executive Summary
- A complete 1-2 page summary of the marketing plan
- An overview of the major goals and elements of the plan
- Key underlying assumptions, e.g. Relevant corporate objectives and external environmental factors

Step 2- Introduction and Situation Analysis
- Background about the company
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- Environment scanning for relevant trends, e.g. Demographic, economic, social, SWOT analysis

Step 3- Target Market and Segments
- Main benefit delivered by the product must be identified
- Segment of the population most likely to value this benefit should be discussed
- Market research, e.g. estimate the market size.

Step 4- Objectives and Goals
- Outline the company mission
- Identify all company objectives or goals
- Managers should ensure their objectives are SMART. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.

Step 5- Strategic Options and Selected Strategy
- identify and analyse possible strategic choices
- Select particular target markets and develop major marketing mix components
- Test ‘fit’ the company’s SWOT analysis
- Specify competition
- Prepare a positioning statement and image description

Step 6- Tactics
- Product name, brand
- Price
- Place of distribution
- Advertising, sales promotion
- Timing, budgeted costs

Step 7- Budget
- Monthly
- Quarterly
- Sales quantities and revenues
- Costs, e.g. production and advertising

Step 8- Audit and Control Procedures
- Monitoring of performances
- Which activities are being achieved
- Monitor relevant internal/external environmental factors
- Relate to objectives


Source: http://www.mplans.com/spv/3382/index.cfm?affiliate=mplans
www.nd.edu.au
www.8mmedia.blogspot.com

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