Article by Mike Anderson (NSBC Founder & CEO)
Since you first launched your business your goals have likely changed. Now is the perfect time to update them. Outline your most important goals and priorities. What do you want to achieve? How will you get there? You need a plan and then you need to implement the plan as a team. Set aside a day away from the office with your staff, and set priorities and strategies.
Hold a post-mortem
Have you had a successful 2017 so far? Identify what hasn’t worked. Now either make changes or eliminate – just don’t repeat them. Where did your business shine? What’s holding it back? Has your systems and procedures kept up with the times? Are they efficient? Don’t let outmoded ways of doing business or poorly performing staff determine your business outlook in the road ahead. With a brutally honest assessment of your business you can now guide the implementation of any improvements that need to happen.
Find your niche and distinguish yourself from the competition. When you’re a specialist, customers will pay more since you meet their specific needs. Remember, just because it’s a niche, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily small.
Social media is here to stay
Embrace it and grow. Choose the right sites for you, set goals, create engaging content, and use time-saving social media tools.
Thank your best customers
Determine who your best customers are and reach out to them. You may find that it’s not the customers who spent the most but the ones that sent more business your way. Good customers want to feel valued by you and your business, and you want to ensure they come back. Now focus on these key customers because you have to keep them. Meet them, communicate with them often, learn all about them and understand them. Help them achieve their goals, and you’ll automatically achieve your own.
Want to grow your business?
Then it’s time to hire and/or delegate. You’re a “can do” person. But no one “can do” everything. So, get more help this year – help to serve more customers, create new products and services, and increase your sales. Stop doing everything yourself. If you want something done the reality is you probably shouldn’t be doing it yourself. Focus your “all” on what you are best at, then hire or delegate to the appropriate team member who is best at that task, or outsource the task. Now grow your business and make money. I see and hear this often; the most successful people in the world aren’t busy.
Learning how to fail can be a useful goal
Virtually all success depends on trying things that fail. Fail at trying new things, not old ones. Fail fast – don’t spend a lot of time obsessing about perfection. Learn from your failures then move on.
To take care of your business, you need to take care of yourself
So spend time focusing on your personal goals. For starters, eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. These are business necessities, not mere personal indulgences.
One word to add to your vocabulary is “Cloud”
Why? Cloud-based services enable you to concentrate on your business instead of technology, meaning higher productivity, cutting edge technology and the ability to scale up or down quickly.
Squeeze more out of what you have
Squeeze more out of the things you already do and have now: your products, services, customers and distribution.
Always be willing to take action
It’s one of the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur. Take a decision and make it happen. There are thousands of people with amazing potential that never move on their ideas or plans.
Don’t listen to the doom and gloom
Sure, the business climate may be rocky, but business owners should always be on the lookout for opportunities. With all the talk of economic uncertainty, entrepreneurs risk turning these negative sentiments into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Make your business a positive and “wow” experience for everyone. Strive to ensure that you love what you do. Be positive, happy and kind all the time and remember to just keep smiling. Focus on the important stuff, not the urgent stuff, be fast, do it today and always say thank you.