How to Ramp Up Your Business Success
Now is one of the best times to start ramping up your business success! Why now? you may ask… The simple answer is that you’ve got enough months of business data now from the current financial year to look back on, which can help you work out what did and didn’t work. You can see trends and identify business areas that are performing poorly and require more attention. This is extremely valuable information that can help you create a plan for the next year.
Every small business owner has a different understanding of what success means to them. It very much depends on the reasons why you went into business in the first place that will shape your own definition of success.
Some business owners are out to create financial freedom, and nothing short of that would be regarded as success. Others might have idealistic goals of making a difference in other people’s lives through their business. High business profits may not be the greatest measure of success for them. Then again, for some, business success could be measured by always being able to pay their bills and enjoy life along the way.
Defining what success means to you will also shape your vision and how you plan to achieve your vision in the next year. Sit down and think about this first before you go on making plans. It is one of the most important steps in creating a plan, if you really want to stick to it.
Create a vision board
Now that you’re really clear about what success means to you, you are ready to create your vision for the next year, what you want to go for and what you want to achieve. One of the best ways to bring your vision to life is by creating a vision board. Use images or expressions that illustrate and really encapsulate your vision. Be as detailed as you want to be, and if you want that new metallic blue Holden ute, put a picture of it on your vision board. Yes, it’s that simple. For maximum effect, print the vision board out in full colour, and look at it every day. It will keep you motivated when you need it.
Create your plan
Making a plan is the next step in bringing your vision to fruition. Look at your vision and work out the steps that you need to take to achieve it. There is often more than one goal you need to reach before you’ll have achieved your vision. Think about the WHAT, WHEN and HOW you will be measuring your achievements. Put as much detail into the plan as possible.
Get some advice
Finally, it pays to have someone have a look at your plan and give you a reality check. Setting goals that are not achievable in a given set of circumstances are only going to frustrate you along the way. Someone who is looking at your plan with a fresh perspective can help you spot any weaknesses in the plan.
If you have a business coach or mentor, talk to them and ask them for their feedback. They know your strengths and weaknesses and are in an excellent position to help you in the planning phase as well. You could also talk to a business colleague in your trusted circle instead. Your accountant or bookkeeper could give you current business figures and help you create a budget that will help underpin your plan.
Talk to your employees
Your employees will be helping you to achieve your vision. Why not ask them for ideas on how to make your vision a reality and invite them to contribute to your plan. Employees often have insights into current areas of business operations which need to be improved that you couldn’t easily see from your perspective. Let them help you see your blind spots and shed some light on it. Your plan will be so much better for it.
Talk to your customers
Finally, you can plan all you want, but if the plan isn’t meeting your customers’ needs and wants, your business will run off the rails eventually. The easiest way to get into your customers’ heads is to ask them relevant questions. For example, you could create a survey, or have a permanent “Suggestions” box at the counter.
The important thing is to get feedback from your customers about the services or products you deliver to them, or indeed, if you are still giving them the services or products they want. All customer feedback will give you a unique insight into your market and can help you create a plan that will be relevant and achieve your vision.
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