Networking, marketing, strategic business planning, online presence, time management ('yes' I certainly put this near online presence), branding, bookkeeping, accounting … they should all be part of your business strategy for this year. Although it may seem you have a million balls in the air, start writing down all that you do and determine what eats away at your time. I'm sure there are a few things you can give up / barter / hire someone to look after so that you can concentrate on more important things for your business. I can personally say that many small businesses need to update their marketing plans and for those of you that are not networking, there is a world of opportunity at your doorstep.
When it comes your business success, no one can want it more than you do. Allow yourself to focus on what you do best and find others to help with the rest.
As an entrepreneur its easy to accidentally fall into, or sometimes more realistically, even purposefully hurl yourself down the route of the 'same old, same old', but I want to challenge each and every one of you. If the same old has gotten you where you are today, is where you are, right now, good enough? Because where you are today, without change, is exactly where you are going to be tomorrow. How does this thought make you feel? Are you grinning from ear to ear or is your stomach beginning to churn and you're feeling a bit sick?
I'm sure many of you know the movie 'Groundhog Day' starring Bill Murray where he wakes up and everyday is the exact same day. It drives him totally and completely crazy !! Are you waking up each morning and flipping over your calendar page knowing you are one step ahead from yesterday, or are you allowing yourself to remain exactly where you were before? If your business is not growing, it means it's stagnating or even worse dying. Even Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey and Warren Buffet to name a few, as successful as they are, continue to grow and develop their businesses.
Here are some marks you should have in place for the growth of your business.
Who are you networking with? Where are you meeting new people? What is your follow up strategy?
How fresh is your marketing? How crisp is your business plan?
Do you know how much you spend on your business? Do you know how much you earn on your business?
Can you say with confidence my business makes me 'X' amount of dollars every day? Is this enough?
What is your competition up to? Has their business grown faster than yours? If so, why?
What obstacles do you foresee coming your way and how are you pre-planning so you can conquer them?
What business books / audio tapes / YouTube videos are you investing your time on?
Who is your business mentor and why?
Is your business a true business or is it purely a hobby you're parading under a false pretence? If it's a hobby it's great you found a pastime, but be honest and say its just that. However, if it's a true business, then take a good hard look at what you're doing to not only set it up for success but also keep it that way. At the end of the day, no one can want your business to prosper any more than you.
Remember, 'entrepreneur' and 'volunteer' do not have to be two words that share one meaning so plan for change !! If insanity really is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then let me ask you, are you changing or are you insane?
They say that luck is when preparedness meets opportunity. This year spend time preparing your business strategy and rest assured this could very well be your luckiest year of all!