With a little downtime on your side this festive season, why not take a while to assess how the year has played out and what you’re going to do differently in 2017.
All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions
Do not wait until January to start thinking strategically about your business. It is good practice to review the current year and to plan for the year ahead before 31 December. That way, you can start being effective from day one of the new year.
As you look back on 2015, answer these key questions:
1. What did your business look like in 2016?
Get a detailed understanding of the following:
- Who your best clients were in terms of revenue generated, profit margins, quality of relationships?
- Which were your most profitable business streams?
- Whether there were any fluctuations in cash-flow, sales etc. If there were, what caused them?
- What stresses you experienced and why?
- Any disruptions that occurred in your industry e.g. innovations, changes in legislation, political factors?
Related: A 3-year plan for implementing growth strategies
2. How did you respond to each of the review points above?
- Were your responses timely or did you miss opportunities that may have resulted from any of these?
- Were your responses appropriate and effective or do you need to learn from your experiences and do things differently in future?
3. When did you feel most alive? Most inspired? Most productive? Most fulfilled?
As you think ahead to 2017
1. Do not settle for setting S.M.A.R.T goals
Brendon Burchard, number 1 New York Times best-selling author, delivers an interesting take on goal setting. He passionately encourages us to forget S.M.A.R.T goals; specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound.
He posits that these goals are not inspiring or sexy. Instead, they are deficit-driven; they often motivate us to move towards something that we want to lose (weight, an inability to run around the block, clients that frustrate us) rather than drawing us towards something we want to gain (vitality, attractiveness, inspiration).
He challenges us to set D.U.M.B goals. These goals are dream-based, uplifting, method-based and behaviour-triggered. His thinking is definitely worth applying in 2016! View his video here.
Related: 6 Strategies to bounce back from financial setbacks
2. Contribute to making the world a better place
The universe is kind to us when we operate from a place of service. Talk to your customers about what their struggles and frustrations are. Chances are, you can offer them something that will alleviate at least one of their stresses. By approaching your clients with service in mind, your value proposition will become clear to both them and you.
They will see you as someone who can help make their business lives better, not just as someone who is trying to sell them something.
3. What you are truly passionate about and who shares those passions
If you can combine your passion with your work and you can connect with people who share those passions, then your opportunities will become limitless. Your horizons will broaden, you will make changes to your approach and business practices and you will enjoy your work infinitely more.
Start thinking about 2017 now. Make it great.