New Year, a time for a fresh look at what we do..

New Year, reflection time

Time for a fresh look at what you do. It’s no secret that the challenges facing businesses today are bigger than ever. New Year is the best time for reflection of the past and contemplation of the future. There have never been so many opportunities and we’ve never had so many tools at our disposal to tackle both the challenges and the opportunities.

Even though figuring out where to start with the impact of globalisation and technology can be frustrating. Such things as cloud computing, social media, mobile, big data, robotics, 3D printing and analytics are still overwhelming many. Why are you doing what you do?  http://goo.gl/E96Kmp. Take time to revisit your ‘why’, it will be critical in helping you discover the path to your dream. 

Don’t beat yourself up about making or not making any New Year resolutions. It is well known that people who make a New Year’s resolution are ten times more likely to make a change than those who don’t. So whether you’re on track with your goal or you fail to take structured action, you are still away ahead of those who do nothing.

The success of your business may well depend on how you look at the future from this New Year on

  • Create your future in the here and now, with a forward-focused mindset.
  • Start this New Year by designing a better tomorrow for your stakeholders.
  • Think like a beginner, there are many possibilities.
  • Pave the way for continuous learning and development. So by next New Year, you have your business humming.
  • Resist going only for quick wins, invest time in your customers. Help them grow and you will grow with them.
  • See yourself as the leader you could become, driving the lifestyle business you want.

Old ways of making money are becoming obsolete, and the quality of personal lifestyles is getting higher on everyone’s agenda. Digital disruption and entrepreneurs are changing the way business is done and how communities work. Most people need help; “it’s too hard doing it by yourself”.

Why most New Year resolutions never come to anything

The statistics aren’t great but it’s clear that New Year’s resolutions, in most cases, don’t work. Here’s why.

  • Because of the holiday mode, January is the worst time of year to make a change.
  • New Year’s resolutions are more a wish than a goal or objective to be acted upon.
  • You don’t have a support system to properly implement the goals you have.
  • Something is stopping you going ahead; finance, family, know-how and so on.
  • Fear of the unknown is one of the biggest inhibitors of progress.

New Year a time to think, reflect and plan

When you have a dream, an opportunity, have to choose between suppliers, or solve a problem, you need to evaluate possible alternatives and this requires you to take the time to think and reflect on what is really going on.

Even the best businesses have the occasional slumps. However, they are usually able to minimise the impact by introducing better and more timely strategies. When bad days turn into bad weeks, bad months and bad years, your struggle will intensify. Real problems need to be addressed urgently with new strategies. Worrying is unproductive and won’t fix anything. Be sure the bigger businesses are not going away, and slumps can’t always be avoided, http://goo.gl/viFa57.

Often people lack the insight they need to avoid constantly dealing with the same old problems. They keep trying to implement their old New Year’s resolutions without success. By thinking right up front, it lowers costs and reduces risk. Change should be forcing you to stop looking in the rear view mirror and to look further ahead.

Critical thinking means getting it right and it takes the mystery (and fear) out of decision making. What you don’t want is to be following the wrong strategies leading to the wrong actions, which will lead to the wrong outcomes. Personally, I hate surprises. Especially the surprises that cost me more money than I had planned. I like to think things through from the start, even though I might not be able to get all the necessary information.

As people acquire knowledge, they become more open-minded, less sceptical. More open-hearted, less judgmental. More abundant, less fearful. This is what you should be aiming for as you relax, think, reflect and plan the coming year. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Stick to your strengths and what you like doing

Doing everything yourself might seem like the only option when you’re running your own business. However, trying to be a manager, a marketer, a social media expert, product designer and bookkeeper, all at once can quickly lead to problems. Recognise what you are good at, and stick with it. At the same time, build a team of good people who will complement each other’s skills and learn about outsourcing.

Some areas of operating a business, such as legal, tax accounting and real estate are best left to specific professionals. Examine the cost/benefit of making use of facilitators, coaches and mentors to help you develop your strengths. Amongst other things, they will provide you with objectivity and perspective, critical in today’s business environment.

Business isn’t as unpredictable as you think. There’s a clear path all business owners go down. Some go further than others, some get stuck, some give up just moments too soon and some hold on beyond good judgement. When you understand your journey and the roadmap you become better equipped to make better choices for your business.

Use the new year to free up your time

I predict the number one problem many of you still have is simply being overwhelmed by useless information, marketing hype and people who simply waste your time. This does not help you live the life you want and have the time to enjoy it.

The biggest issue I hear is that “I have no time and no money”. Well, why not make this year the year you change all that, by first gaining control of your number one asset, your time. You can do this by focusing more of your time on good health; exercise, diet, sleep and relaxation. Build up your energy and you will find your will get more done in less time. Having more energy beats most time management techniques hands down.

Usually when people say, “I feel overwhelmed by how many ideas I could try”, they rarely have a clearly defined purpose or vision to follow. When you have a clear vision with clear objectives, strategies, with step by step actions, you don’t have to guess what to focus on. This saves you a lot of time and wasted resources. Look at the basic action steps associated with your strategies. Consider simplifying them and start improving them making things more efficient and effective.

We all have to cope with exponential change

In the last few years, we have seen the explosive growth of social media, online shopping, massive breakthroughs in technology and a massive shift towards business ownership over employment. We have seen the economy change, the environment change, developing nations stride forward and the collective mindset of the world has radically shifted too. All in just a few short years. The global economy seems like it is here to stay.

Any decisions you made about your career, were all based on the world that no longer exist. The location you lived, the technology you used, the people you associated with and the thought leaders you followed. Your best thinking from five years ago could well be your baggage today.

boat-for-the-next-year

Will the boat you propose to use next year help to achieve your aspirations?

 

Most people crave direction. They may have great ideas, but unless these ideas are restructured into one direction, there will be total chaos and disengagement. Alignment is important, so is the way to achieving it. If you want to get an alignment, enthusiastically work towards greater participation and engagement with the new ways of doing business.

In the same way that the Industrial Revolution caused a change from cottage industry to factory labour. The entrepreneur revolution will provide the chance for billions of people to turn their passion into their own small business. With focus, dedication, tenacity and by taking action, not just having an idea, you can now achieve anything you fully commit to, without ‘selling the farm’. It’s easier to start a business today than ever before.

Opportunity follows struggle if you take action

Academics and governments tend to discuss how global forces shape the choices we need to make about our communities, rather than the needs of the real people who live there. It’s great to think in terms of ‘regional development’ and ‘community strategies’, but it is the individual choices and actions that are the primary drivers.

Without large capital expenditure, growth and business prosperity can only come about through increasing entrepreneurial participation and this requires a catalyst, providing you and your community with endless opportunities.

Understand your customers enough to eliminate any guesswork. Follow your time of struggle with a step-by-step approach to conducting the research you need this New Year along with:

  • Becoming more customer-centric in your thinking.
  • Enhancing customer success and retention with improved services delivery.
  • Improving your customer experience.
  • Improving customer acquisition effectiveness.
  • Focus on decision-makers and key influencers in your target market segments.
  • Understanding the customer’s buying process.
  • Building a sales pipeline that is better targeted with effective use of content.
  • Executing your research to make the buying process much simpler and more enjoyable for your customers.

Always be looking forward, be careful looking back

What is your recipe for building a lifestyle and a business that works? It’s easy to see the people who understand how things work and  have strategies to create the results they want. They have a positive outlook on everything they do. You will end up a loser if you keep stumbling along wishing, hoping and constantly complaining that you never get a break and you have no time and money. Change  the way you want to live and work by changing the culture you operate in and bring some balance into your life,

Change  the way you want to live and work by changing the culture you operate in and bring some balance into your life, http://goo.gl/1PWce5. When you’re spending time dwelling in the past. you miss out on looking to the future. Get rid of the rear view mirror, people who live in the past tend to stay in the past.

There are several important questions surrounding the articulating of a successful strategy and action approaches that work:

  • What does success really mean to you and why are you doing what you do because understanding this will give you motivation?
  • What are your beliefs and insights relevant to the success you want following this New Year so you know the signposts?
  • Discussing a strategy without agreeing on your values, beliefs and insights lead to confusion.
  • What are your guiding values and policies to achieving success which is especially relevant?
  • What are the coordinated and enforcing systems, processes and activities you need to perform so you will realise the success you want?
  • In any strategy it is very important people believe whatever you are putting forward, so ensure your strategies make perfect sense to them?

Keep on keeping on beyond the New Year

We are all a ‘work in progress’ and will be until our last day on earth. But each day you can improve and the days around New Year are no exception. It might be just a small baby step compared to yesterday, or a giant leap compared to a year ago, but you can and should improve every day. Keep in mind that everything you ever wanted is just outside your comfort zone.

The process of conducting market research is only one-half of the equation. The second half is actually doing something with the information. After all, if you do nothing, then you are simply allowing a potentially valuable asset to go to waste.

The key is to start creating a plan this New Year, for communicating the potential impact and to give you a process for effective implementation. This will allow you to set and manage expectations, justify future investment in research and establish good systems and processes.It is critical to be crystal clear on what research means for your business. How can help it improve going forward and ultimately strengthen the value you are able to offer your customers and grow your business. It is absolutely critical that you assess your preparedness to execute any research before you dive head-first into anything.

If you feel like you’re not ready or that you lack the resources to invest in research, do not rush in, as it wastes yours time, seek help. Never ever give up, just do more research. Holidays can be used effectively for this purpose.

Some questions you might ask yourself

At the core of a business is a good Business Model,  Business Plan and Budget. Business Planning is all about achieving your aspirations. It’s about the ambition you have and the time you’re prepared to invest in growing your business.

  • How determined am I to see my business succeed – Am I prepared to work the hours, allocate the resources and do what it takes to make my business succeed? Time and money should never be used as excuses for non-performance.
  • Am I willing to invest my own money in the New Year – This comes back to the determination? You will need to invest your own time, money and lifestyle in making your business deliver on your expectations. Why should others invest if your won’t?
  • How comfortable am I working with others – Could I work with partnerships or investors, or do I want to remain a solo operator. Who can help me to achieve my ambitions and how will I excite them to help me?
  • What’s going to happen to me if this business doesn’t work out – We never have time to design our future or develop our plans, but we always have time to look for something new, something that will lead us to the promised land, again…and again. Seek help if you are worried, New Year is a time to set the parameters.

 

“If you must make a wish at New Year, wish you could become even more action orientated”. Peter Sergeant

“Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress”. Charles Kettering

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