Gini Dietrich

2015 Business Goals

By: Gini Dietrich | January 5, 2015 | 

2015 Business GoalsBy Gini Dietrich

I’m back! Did you miss me?

I missed you!

I have to say, I could have used just one more week.

Ann Handley posted on Facebook last night, “Sunday night, post-holidays. I know I’m supposed to be ready to go back…. I’m not. Who’s in for ONE MORE WEEK…. ?”

Considering the number of comments on that post, I would say she and I are not in the minority.

But new business meetings, speaking, and a trip to upstate New York beckon.

So here we are, 2015. Let’s do this!

2014 Business Goals and a Recap

My business goals for 2014 were: Focus, coach, and productivity.

Based on the numbers I set for myself, I did exceed the goals…with a big but.

Yes, I was hyper-focused. Way more than I expected to be because life threw me a curveball.

I didn’t get riled up when someone posted something I disagreed with on the social networks. I even calmed down a bit when organizations made big PR snafus. I said no to meetings that didn’t help us get to our goals and I even got really good at turning down business that doesn’t fit our niche. And everything I did—from the book launch and speaking engagements—had meaning.

I spent a lot of my time (15 hours a week) coaching and working with my team. And I definitely stopped working 16 hour days.


We missed our financial goals. By a lot.

In fact, 2014 was a great, big lesson in what not to do: From HR issues and client service challenges to blog growth and speaking engagement feedback.

I was very happy to see the door close on the year and am very ready to start with a clean slate.

That said, I did fairly well with my personal goals.

I wanted to average 20,000 steps per day (actual was 18,077). I wanted to read two books a month (averaged three). I wanted to ride 6,000 miles (I rode 7,172). And I wanted to cook five nights a week (average was four).

Unfortunately, though, those things don’t make payroll so this is the year of the business.

Preparing the 2015 Business Goals

The clean slate is here and I am definitely ready to work with my team to have an outstanding 2015.

I mentioned a few months ago that I read Traction, which helped me put a plan in place for scale.

It’s funny. I’ve been talking about how to scale Arment Dietrich for a few years now and hadn’t quite figured out the magic bullet.

I read this book and suddenly it was very clear. We now have a two page business plan that will help us scale and exceed our business goals.

On the first page is our 2015 plan, our quarterly rocks (the things we have to accomplish), and our list of issues that need to be addressed in every executive team meeting.

On the second page are our core values, our core focus, our 10-year target, our marketing strategy, and what the business looks like three years from now.

Of course, this will evolve and change as the business grows and as we add new team members, but this gives us focus.

2015 Business Goals

Our 2015 business goals are:

  1. Launch a new Arment Dietrich website by March 31;
  2. Hold our first Spin Sucks conference;
  3. Develop a process manual that teaches all employees the Arment Dietrich way of doing things; and
  4. Sell, sell, sell (we have a very specific financial goal).

It’s pretty simple and we have tactics to support each of the four goals. Every, single internal meeting we have will focus on where we are with these four goals.

It’s a make or break year so I’m focused solely on the business (of course with my normal exercise and fiction reading and creativity through cooking thrown in) and its growth this year.

While it would be super nice to have just one more week, it’s time to to go kick some 2015 butt!

Are you ready?

photo credit: Shutterstock

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Gert- your transparency is always awesomely inspiring…

  • Todd Lyden Thanks, Faybiz! 2014 was rough. I’m happy it’s over!

  • ginidietrich Todd Lyden GRRR… well you never let it show…  go kick 2015’s rear

  • Go get ’em, G!

  • Best of Luck Gini and Team!

  • ElissaFreeman

    This is a very inspiriting and most importantly, HONEST, post. It’s key when your audience can relate to your own ups and downs. In fact…I’m going to get that book right now…

  • Wow, by all outward appearances, it sure looked like a great year for you guys. Surely a lot of the years’s accomplishments — the book, speaking, etc. — must have some long-term payoff that’s not directly showing up right now.
    I definitely need another week! I pledged to do no work over the holiday and mostly stuck to it, but I’d like to spend a few days on the couch reading some good books …
    Happy New Year, everybody! (And, Gini, at least we’ve got snow, and more coming!)

  • I should say something analytical, supportive, and observant, but: SPIN SUCKS CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Todd Lyden xoxo

  • biggreenpen LOL!!! It’s going to be small and intimate this first year. So yay!

  • jasonkonopinski I’m still mad at you.

  • LSSocialEngage And to you in your new quest!

  • ginidietrich biggreenpen I’ll send some green pens; you’ll need them to do your best small, intimate, profound brainstorming. 🙂

  • biggreenpen You’d best be bringing those green pens in person.

  • ElissaFreeman It’s a really good book. I was shocked at how much it helped. I read it and then I used it as a workbook to plan for the next 10 years. Super, super helpful.

  • ginidietrich *headdesk*

  • RobBiesenbach We had better get that big snowstorm tonight they’re promising us. Without it, it’s just miserable.

  • ginidietrich biggreenpen Seeing those words made my heart jump, too!

  • VirtualOfficeRe

    Your honesty when it comes to achieving both personal and business goals is refreshing. It can be very tough to achieve both – as you point out. I look forward to hearing more about a Spin Sucks Conference! Happy New Year!

  • I’m way excited about my goals. Never worked anywhere where they’re so clearly outlined—and everyone should do it.

  • HAPPY 2015!
    Also, I love the bit about how everything you did last year had meaning. It’d be smart if we all too that cue this year. I’m all about alignment of action with goals, and that extends to every word we put out there for audiences to read. Is this a Type A thing?
    And I’ll say it now — even rest is important and has meaning!


  • Thank you 🙂

  • M_Koehler

    Let’s hope 2015 is a MUCH better year all around. Sadly I won’t know our business results until mid February. I think we did ok but what was needed to be done to hit those puts us behind already for 2015. Hopefully no more ingredient issues, factory explosions, & massive weather issues. And I just looked, dang you dusted me on miles. I hit 5,000, I was sure it was a heck of a lot more. That probably isn’t counting any time on a stationary due to weather and my accident. That alone cost me at least 1,000 miles. No accidents in 2015!!

  • TaraFriedlundGeissinger

    biggreenpen That was what stood out to me too!!!!!

  • TaraFriedlundGeissinger

    2014 was rough for us financially too. It’s hard — I almost feel like we’re starting over in a way, which of course we’re not. I’m going to grab a copy of that book right away. It sounds like something I might benefit from reading…..

  • Kudos on your honesty, miss. I know a lot of consultants and agencies that blow smokescreens when it comes to financials, so nice to see you not going down that road, and acknowledging where you need to grow (and more importantly HOW) in 2015.
    Here’s to your goals being met and more. 🙂

  • A-D is going ISO 9001!

    So a Spin Sucks Conference?…..Will it be like Davos meets TedX minus Mashable’s Conference where we hang out and ski and sip coffee and craft beer while talking about cool stuff. I am in! Maybe I can get a ski resort to host!

  • Danny Brown yeah what he said n stuff

  • Howie Goldfarb Define “stuff”.

  • DwayneAlicie I will get you to Chicago if it kills me!

  • TaraFriedlundGeissinger YAY!

  • VirtualOfficeRe It’ll be small and intimate this first year, but I hope you can join us!

  • Eleanor Pierce Yay! Wait until our staff meeting tomorrow when I help you start executing them. 🙂

  • KateNolan

    ginidietrich RobBiesenbach No.

  • DwayneAlicie Type A?! Nah. I don’t know what you’re talking about. We’re not Type A.

  • KateNolan

    ginidietrich Eleanor Pierce Run, Ellie! Run! 😉

  • KateNolan ginidietrich Eleanor Pierce Or at least waddle very quickly!!

  • M_Koehler If you don’t have an accident in 2015, you’re not doing it right and I will tell you to HTFU.

  • TaraFriedlundGeissinger I feel like we’re starting over, too. Like you, of course we’re not, but it’s super frustrating. I spent the first week of break feeling sorry for myself. I should have gone hiking with you guys.

  • Danny Brown Thank you, Danny Brown. Much love to you!

  • Howie Goldfarb That’s exactly what it’ll be like.

  • Eleanor Pierce KateNolan ginidietrich No way! It’s fun!

  • KateNolan ginidietrich RobBiesenbach YES!!

  • KateNolan

    ginidietrich KateNolan RobBiesenbach This weekend already broke my car. I can’t manage any more. Plus it meant no coffee unless I drink the crap office coffee.

    So, NO!

  • ginidietrich Howie Goldfarb That’s pretty much how I envision it

  • KateNolan

    Hmm… Maybe 2014 was the brush clearing year, ya know? Periodically you’ve got to burn off the stuff that isn’t helping growth and now that that’s gone you can go out in a blaze of glory. Wait… that analogy didn’t work the way I was thinking it would.

  • KateNolan Why did it mean no coffee?

  • KateNolan

    LauraPetrolino ginidietrich Howie Goldfarb Do’nt forget the hot toddies, Howie!

  • KateNolan LMAO!! I heart you. I actually think you’re right. We made a pretty big strategic change that brought some unexpected challenges. But I think it had to happen.

  • KateNolan LauraPetrolino ginidietrich Howie Goldfarb Kate, won’t you be mixing the drinks for us?

  • KateNolan

    ginidietrich KateNolan Because by the time I got in to my car, there wasn’t enough time to stop and get coffee before I had to be at work for a press ok. Though it turns out I missed the press ok and should have just gone back to bed.

  • Eleanor Pierce KateNolan ginidietrich Bahaha! Waddle very quickly!

  • KateNolan

    ginidietrich Eleanor Pierce KateNolan I actually think defined goals, especially when they’re defined by both employee/employer, are awesome. It’s just Gini’s, um, competitiveness, that scares me. 🙂

  • KateNolan

    ginidietrich KateNolan “pretty big strategic change” makes me think of Dance Dance Revolution “Reverse! Reverse!”.
    I told you I haven’t had coffee.

  • KateNolan

    ginidietrich KateNolan LauraPetrolino Howie Goldfarb For as long as I can stand.

  • KateNolan ginidietrich Nerd.

  • KateNolan

    jasonkonopinski KateNolan ginidietrich Oh, go double pigeon yourself.

  • KateNolan ginidietrich LOL.

  • DwayneAlicie ginidietrich biggreenpen Let’s make this happen.

  • KateNolan We should play DDR together.

  • KateNolan LOL!!

  • ginidietrich KateNolan Ohhhh…I want to play! Next time I’m in Chicago this needs to happen. I’m well known in several states for my DDR skills!

  • What Danny Brown said and wow, a Spin Sucks conference? More that just a bunch of crazies nattering at you to do it? Time to put some of my conference budget aside for that one. 

    As for your business, how do you measure publishing a new book and book tour into the equation? Seems like that would suck up a lot of billable work time that will pay off in the long run.

    Although last year was financially sound, due to restructuring I lost a long-term client at the end of last year. After a rough late 2012/early 2013, I made a point of preparing for client “transitions”. I’m comfortable with the current workload but now there are some people working for me part-time and they’re eager to be in growth mode. I’ve also learned never to be too comfortable and always think about growth because you never know when a client situation may change. Guess I should pick up a copy of Traction too. I haven’t done much formal planning but I can handle a two-page plan. Thanks!

  • Lara Wellman

    Oooh a Spin Sucks conference! Count me in 🙂

    I’m ready for 2015 too! I think starting off getting to see you on January 1 set the right tone for what I want this year 🙂

  • KateNolan

    LauraPetrolino ginidietrich KateNolan My DDR skills are a bit rusty and could probably use some refreshing! I think it’s been probably been 6-7 years since I’ve played DDR.

  • TaraFriedlundGeissinger

    ginidietrich TaraFriedlundGeissinger Yeah. I had a pity party too. We should have done it via Google hangout. It probably would have been a lot more fun and less pitiful that way! 😉 I texted my business partner the other day that there’s good and bad in this situation and it’s up to us to make it good. That’s how I’m attacking this first quarter. 

    We should have a small-ish marketing business owner’s support group.

  • ginidietrich, if you need a little extra selling inspiration, I highly recommend The Challenger Sale: — it’s the only “sales book” worth reading, IMHO.

  • jono.smith ginidietrich I’ve had several others recommend this as well. Adding it to my reading list! Thanks!

  • 2015 is going to be better than 2014 because 2014 set the bar so low. 🙂 

    A Spin Sucks conference sounds like it could be fun professionally and personally.

  • Howie Goldfarb oh joy #ISO

  • susancellura

    A Spin Sucks conference?! Woo-hoo!

  • If someone asked me what you sell, I’m not sure what I’d tell them.  Is it PR consulting?  Is it social media advice?  Is it SEO/web site guidance?

  • Gini, you continue to be an inspiration with all of your goals! I can’t wait to hear more about a Spin Sucks conference!

  • EdenSpodek I love the word “nattering”.

  • Well, I’d like to say 2015 is starting off better, but it’s not!! HAHAHA! And that’s all I’m going to say at this point (personal, not business – and KACHING!!!). Oh well, it can only go up, right!!

  • M_Koehler

    ginidietrich M_Koehler Just not as bad as that one. 3 weeks without my wheels was torture

  • LauraPetrolino jono.smith ginidietrich Yep, I’ve got this one too! And I second that it is definitely worth a read.

  • Hi Gini! Wow…. I can’t wait to meet the crazies at the Spinsucks Conference. Woot.

  • DickCarlson Yes to all of those.

  • KateNolan LauraPetrolino I haven’t played in a couple of years. crestodina and I played in the championship during NYE one year. It was quite the scene.

  • TaraFriedlundGeissinger We really should! I’m totally down for that.

  • M_Koehler You need to find a place that will give you a loaner while yours is in the shop. I’ve never been without a bike.

  • hackmanj You had better come to it!

  • A Spin Sucks Conference would be the best conference ever! One thing I can say for 2014 is that it showed me possibilities that I’d blinded myself to – it’s just a matter now of pushing through the fear. So even though the year itself sucked, learning that was priceless.
    I hope 2015 rocks yours, and Arment Dietrich’s, socks off! 🙂

  • tnfletch

    I would definitely be interested in a Spin Sucks conference, I’d love to meet you and the other crazies in person. Also, I just finished your book yesterday, nice job! I got lots of great ideas and tips from it. Good luck toward your 2015 goals.

  • Hi. Nice plan. Go Gini. Bye.

  • What’s that? A Spin Sucks conference in Albuquerque? Yes!

  • Dovya LOL!! Silly, Dovya. It’ll be in Chicago.

  • I sort of felt that 2014 was a year where i let myself down.

    All my book metrics were up, way up, from 2013. I doubled my net revenue. I published two more novels, bringing my total to seven, and got a bunch done on five WIPS.

    Still, I goofed around a bunch.

    2015 is going to rock. I realized in ’14 that a big part of the reason I was less productive than I wanted to be was that I didn’t have a clear plan of what to work on.

    In the final days of December I built that plan. I have 27 concrete goals that have allowed me to stay productive and keep to my writing schedule. I plan on penning 500,000 words this year, which should be eight novels.

    Last year I had my first book in the Henry Wood series translated into Spanish and an English Audio version made. I’ve already signed a contract for the Italian version of my thriller and am reviewing auditions for the Underwood, Scotch, and Wry audio book.  If I can get half a dozen foreign language books out and another six audio versions, that will go a long ways towards improving my revenue base.

    The key is I have it all written down in an App (Aspire Goals) and I track my writing progress through another called (Goal Streak).

    It’s amazing how much of a difference that makes.

    Yesterday, feeling sick with the flu and completely uninterested in anything, I still managed to write 2,123 words. The accountability of those apps makes me try harder and when your a one man shop, that is huge.

    Good Luck with your goals.

    I’d love to read a post each quarter that gives an update on how you’re doing.

  • ginidietrich Dovya Foiled again! You are wise to my silly ways…

  • JohnMTrader

    Remember what they say Gini – it’s always better to be a little ahead than a big behind. Thanks for sharing your goals.

  • KevinVandever

    Happy New Year! I’m ready! Wait, what am I doing again? I was so fired up by your post that I just ran out my office screaming “LET’S KICK SOME BUTT!” Two people called HR and another hid under her desk. I guess folks aren’t used to my acting in such a manner.
    Here’s to hitting your personal and business goals in 2015!

  • ginidietrich Of course! Give me dates ASAP so I can lock it down. 🙂

  • Hi Gini, Hi Everyone!
    I’m afraid I’m not so skilled at goal-setting (should I read Traction, hmmm….) but I have 3 goals for 2015 just the same. One is personal, one is recreational and one is a business goal. That should keep me busy. And balanced.
    I’m raring to get into the new year but the holidays just don’t seem to want to stop 😮 I LOVE this time of year, the organizing, the purging (clutter-clearing: what fun1) , the clean slate just lying there waiting for us to fill it up!

  • EdenSpodek If the book proves to be anything like the first one, we’ll see that pay off this year. Fingers crossed, but I also can’t depend on it so we have some pretty aggressive tactics (some that take me out of my comfort zone) that Traction helped me think through. So buy it and read it!

  • Lara Wellman I like the way you think. Which means January 1 set the right tone for me, too!

  • jono.smith Alright – I”m buying it now.

  • Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes The bar was pretty low last year.

  • susancellura Yep! It’ll be small, but we’re going to do it.

  • Jen Novotny We’re thinking May, but may push to fall because of the other big initiatives we have this quarter.

  • belllindsay Sigh.

  • hackmanj I will!

  • LisaMarieMary Yeah, yeah. I’m sure the lessons will become clear after the shock wears off. 🙂

  • tnfletch I hope you liked it!

  • ryancox Bye.

  • Dovya LOL! I miss you!

  • ExtremelyAvg TWENTY SEVEN GOALS!?!?

  • JohnMTrader Is that what they say? Hmmmmm. Happy New Year, Trader!

  • KevinVandever And go kick some butt!

  • Lori I love it, too! And you have a big goal for this year that I can’t wait to see!

  • ginidietrich – you always inspire me!  Love all the positive comments about the upcoming Spin Sucks conference!!  WOOHOO!

    PS – You’re heading to Upstate NY? Interesting!

  • decillis1

    The idea of a Spin Sucks conference gets me so excited. Promise me jasonkonopinski will be there.

  • My goal is to leave a comment here. Every. Single. Day. My goals post is actually on Four Hens and it’s a doozy. Like, what was I drinking that night, doozy. 

    And yes, I totes missed you.

  • KateNolan ginidietrich LauraPetrolino Howie Goldfarb In Mexico Kate went 47 hours straight shaking and baking almost beating the Rosarito record set by Enrique Jose Elmer Montana De Esteban in 1893. Missed by only 2 hrs.

  • How about dog training?  Foot care advice? Bike seat fitting?

  • jasonkonopinski Me too jasonkonopinski but I don’t have a chance to use it enough. 😉

  • ginidietrich Aren’t experience with failure (not that not meeting your financial goal means you’ve failed) and stepping outside of your comfort zone supposed to be two ingredients for success? Yes, another book to add to my list. The one thing I’d hoped to accomplish over the holidays but didn’t was more reading. Time to step that up for 2015!

  • EdenSpodek If you say so!

  • DickCarlson No. None of those.

  • KristenDaukas Every day!?? I LOVE THAT GOAL!!

  • decillis1 jasonkonopinski No. He’s not invited.

  • lizreusswig Methinks the gig will be canceled. Between snow here and there…

  • jono.smith Alright. I bought it. It’ll be here on Wednesday. Leave me alone! Jeez.

  • ginidietrich ExtremelyAvg They are spread throughout the year. Some of the only take a few days to complete some of them will take 30 days.

    If I get all my goals accomplished, I’ll be in fine shape for 2016.

  • ginidietrich I say so!

  • decillis1

    ginidietrich I really don’t blame you.

  • Can I get a chant? One more week, one more week, one more….what? no? FINNNNE then. Get on with your bad self.

  • ginidietrich You might look at my goals and call them tasks.

    When you’re a one man shop they are sort of the same.

    Still, the point is that I’ve got them all down in one place and I’m attacking them like an angry badger.

  • ginidietrich Why not Tuesday?!?

  • cmcphillips

    Love this, Gini! Best of luck to the A-D team and keep up the great spirit. It’s inspiring and fun – and what’s all this worth if it’s not both of those things? Hope to see you in CLE in 2015…or maybe I’ll jump on I-90 and head your way!

  • ReneShimadaSiegel

    Thanks for the transparency, Gini!  I’m reading Get a Grip and Traction, too. Are you in Vistage maybe?

  • ginidietrich SNOW!  🙂

  • Thanks for being so open with your goals. When you set your mind to something, you’ll get it done. I have no doubt! Gino Wickman is our agency partner’s business mentor/coach. I know they’ve learned a ton from him, so glad to see you read his book!

  • From my perch, you have alway been a page-turner. While saddened for you in the heartache of a disappointing end of your business financials of 2014, I’m confident that this is only a transitory chapter, not a tome of legacy. 

    I am not deterred but heartened by this page one of reboot and look forward to reading, listening and perhaps seeing (Spin Sucks conference) the next 365 pages of 2015. No matter the strength of the bricks laid, mortar will always require repointing to ensure solid footing. Good riddance to the past, goodwill and Godspeed to the future.

  • ginidietrich I truly am jinxed. I must have been a horrible person in a past life.

  • decillis1 ginidietrich I CAN HEAR YOU.

  • KateNolan

    Howie Goldfarb KateNolan ginidietrich LauraPetrolino If only I’d had that extra 5 Hour Energy, victory would’ve been mine!!!

  • KristenDaukas now that is commitment. I guess I will see you at the Spinsucks conference. 🙂

  • chelpixie Oh I’ll chant with you!

  • cmcphillips Or both!

  • ReneShimadaSiegel Ha! I am!

  • Nikki Little Oh my gosh. I would love to work with him. I LOVED that book. In fact, if there is any way you could connect me, I’d love to invite him to do the author Q&A with us. That’d be off the charts!

  • annelizhannan I heart you!

  • ginidietrich Always so accommodating.

  • ginidietrich Sending you a FB message. 🙂

  • A Spin Sucks conference does sound cool. I’m guessing Chicago, though Toronto does have some really wonderful venues and great summer weather.  Sounds like a Spin-tacular 2015!

  • KateNolan

    ginidietrich Nikki Little Control yourself, Gini.

  • Digital_DRK Yes, we’ll be in Chicago. Because I’m selfish.

  • ginidietrich M_Koehler She’s such a good friend like that.

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