Thursday, 18 December 2014

All I want for Christmas...... my top 12

If you have heard me speak before, then apology for the repetition, but you will know that I make a huge reference to the strong link between our business goals and our personal goals.

So in reality as a business owner I truly believe you have to be totally focused on the fact that whatever you want for Christmas will only be delivered from the performance of your business, especially if this is your sole source of income. You may not be able to buy that personal gift or have the treats of the family Christmas you desire, if the business is not generating the turnover, profits and importantly the cash that you need to deliver what you want or need from a personal perspective.

From my work with entrepreneurs, this links with what I believe every entrepreneur wants at this time of year. A successful, growing business, with good prospects for the New Year and that therefore delivers all those personal goals and objectives.

Firstly I would like to look at the phrase 'successful business'. I truly believe that success is importantly always as defined by you and not what you hear, read or see in others. Those that strive to be something or someone else rarely achieve this. So what do you truly want that will then define success to you once it has been achieved?

I also believe that we should be continually looking to grow our business, as in reality we never stagnate and we are either moving forwards or backwards.

So what about good prospects? 
Well here are my top twelve suggestions for your list this year, that I believe will help take your business forward in the New Year.

  1. Have a clear vision about your business and know your reason 'Why'. As I wrote about in my previous article, knowing the strong reason 'Why' is a true motivation. Without a vision, it is likely you will set some incorrect objectives and potentially implement a strategy that takes you in a different direction.
  2. Know your goals and plan the high pay off activities that you need to deliver to achieve those goals. Have goals for the next year, the next month and what you want to achieve in the week ahead. Ensure you plan your goals effectively and consider the obstacles and solutions before you plan any action steps.
  3. Ensure that you have a proposition that your prospects clearly understand and which is considered relevant from their prospective.
  4. Stand back from the business and implement strategic planning. Then allocate regular time to review and consider your plans and to execute the small steps as much as you strive towards the big vision.
  5. Focus on your marketing. Have an effective lead generating, inbound marketing plan and build this into your business as a systemised approach to the way you work.
  6. Utilise the expertise available from outside your business. This could be an existing trusted adviser like your accountant or consider hiring a coach or mentor. This can be invaluable resource to help you consider your strategies and tactics. Running your own business can often be lonely when it comes to planning and big decisions.
  7. Only work with your 'ideal' clients and generate multiple streams of income from those clients. Too often I see people taking on anyone and only offering one product or service. There are obvious synergies you can find with any product or service and surely you are the best person to offer those that your customers are buying.
  8. Hire good people (whether employed or external). Hire "the right people" and the resources you need to fit your business requirements and keep them.
  9. Understand the personalities in your business. Most critically your own, but also those of your customers and suppliers and importantly the personalities in your team. Do they compliment each other? Can they work together? Do you understand the personalities and how to get the best from them? Which personalities suit which role in your business?Do you know who are the dominant leaders who can think big, who are the influential people suited to sales, the compliant followers, the reliable resources or the grafters who like to get stuck in and deliver more than many expect? Do you know who needs written information to perform at their best or those that need praise in public to be motivated?
  10. Know what a work / life balance truly means to you. If you do and can define what you will do with time, then you are more likely to achieve it. We all know that with rest or another focus you will become more effective at other times.
  11. Be productive by knowing what you do best and also at what time of the day you deliver certain activities at a premium standard. For example, are you creative and best thinking about new innovative ideas in the morning or do you like to understand the numbers in your business and the end of the day is an ideal for this activity.
  12. Be proactive. Don't wait for it to happen, make it happen or it may never happen.

I hope you found this article thought provoking and I wish you every success in the future with your own business.

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