While everyone else goes back to work in January and realises they’re behind the eight ball, you could swing into 2019 knowing you’re already ahead.
Every business owner should definitely schedule in some downtime over Christmas, but while you’re enjoying a champagne or three, why not just make sure your strategy for growth gets nailed down. Even if its on a festive napkin – you need to know where you’re aiming your energy for the next 12 months. Here’s our top must-do’s….
- Work Out What You Want!
Do you want to enter a new segment of the market? Is there a trend you want to ride on the wave with? Is one of your competitors killing it in an area that you KNOW you could be too? We believe every goal can be hit as long as you get laser focused on it. So write it down; write everything down that you want to achieve, however big or small. Once you’ve seen it in black and white it becomes real – and then all you have to do is go hard and hunt it…
Now you’ve got your three page long wish list, first, pour a champagne – and then be brutal. Decide between the must haves and the nice-to-haves and get rid of everything that isn’t vital. Yes, it would be nice to have new signs for the staff car park, but honestly, it isn’t going to propel you into the next year with much force. To be laser focused there has to be sacrifice. So pick exactly what you are going to chase, highlight it, and then delete the rest.
- Get Strategic
A few good sessions of night time Googling will get you the basics of what should be in your strategy (or of course you could call us but that would make this post sound like a sales pitch… :-)) and then you can start to look at how you will achieve your laser-focused goals. You need to think about things like budget, available resources (time and staff) and of course, making sure you know exactly who and where your customers really are.
- Take A Long Hard Look In The Customer Service Mirror
Your business wouldn’t survive if you weren’t doing a lot of things right, but there is always room to improve. As business owners we usually focus on our product and forget about the delivery. Your ‘worst nightmare clients’ or most challenging projects are always the place to start looking for the lessons you need to learn. Maybe it’s time for another champagne…
- And Take A Look At Your Website Too
We’ve said it before but we will definitely say it again – you wouldn’t leave your reception desk or shopfront completely untouched for years on end and expect people to continue to find it relevant and enticing, would you? So why would you do it with your website? These days the first thing everyone does when looking for almost anything is to Google it. If someone searches for your website, what horrors are they going to find? Imagine all the customers that could have been turned off without you realising it, just because your website is outdated and crappy, or your competitor’s website is better. Ouch!
- Embrace Technology – Properly
If you’re still saying ‘we don’t need social media’ and have never even considered video for your business let alone drone footage (and you’re still using Excel for your accounts) – you may as well close the doors! There’s so much out there now in the way of affordable, epic content-building kit, or cloud-based accounting and project management software that you are really doing it the hard way if you’re not embracing it. It’s definitely time to get with the times, and save yourself time and money.
- Network Like Your Life Depends On It
Our last tip for making sure your year starts off on the front foot is to get out your diary and lock in as many opportunities for networking as possible. Not just the breakfasts – although these are a good start… think about what your circle looks like and where the holes are. Who would it be good to know? Who do you admire? Who could you collaborate with in the coming months? Having a solid network is not just for leads. It will be your magic ticket to be able to reach out to those in the know for good recruitment, good advice and for a building a platform to leverage off for a great year ahead.