Give Your Business A Boost For The New Year
The holiday period and the dawning of a new year is a time of reflection for many of us. Whether it’s enjoying downtime with family or working on keeping your new year’s resolutions, the start of a new year is a great opportunity to examine what’s working for you and what isn’t. It’s also the perfect time to do the same for your business.
When you’re knee-deep in running a business, it’s easy to get stuck in the daily grind. Before you know it, you look up and five years have passed, and not much has changed. You’re still going in every day and doing the work, but profits aren’t increasing. Perhaps you’re even losing money.
Each stage of business comes with its unique challenges. Even when your business grows, costs can increase along with revenue, making little real headway. Along with that, things can change in a heartbeat. You might not be having problems paying the bills right now, but you never know when your market may drastically change.
When looking to increase revenue, the first thing many business owners jump to is ‘work harder’ or ‘spend even more on marketing’. It’s a common reaction, but if that’s all you do, then you’re missing out on huge potential.
In fact, there are several key changes that can make or break your business success. By investing a little time to work on your business, rather than in it, you can achieve impressive results.
So why doesn’t everyone do this? The problem is that humans, by our very nature, resist change; business owners who are set in their ways perhaps do so even more. Darren Shaw, a co-founder of coaching firm Shirlaws Group, says that “Every time you change the type of business you are challenging the owners to make a change themselves. Very often they have to let go of more control.” As they say, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. For 2016, why not try changing the way you think as well as the way things are done?
A key first step is to clarify your mission. What are you trying to achieve? When everyone in your business, from the CEO down to the receptionist, knows the vision for the business (and their place in it) you create an alignment where everyone is working towards that common goal. As for your role, make the shift from the doer to a leader. Trust the people you have in place and let go of some of that control, freeing up time to do what you do best; grow the business.
Once you’ve got time away from micro-managing the daily tasks, examine your market. Instead of just selling more of the same to the same group, is there another product or service they’d also love? Maybe there’s another business out there that you can either cross-promote or share customers with. Cross promotion and selling can open up whole new markets.
Throughout it all, don’t rely on blind luck. Keep an eye on what’s working and what isn’t, so that you can give yourself the best possible platform when growth opportunities come along. That way, when the market shifts (and it will) or a new opportunity presents itself, you’ll be in the best possible position to take advantage. When you know what works, then you’ll be set to fly.