Why is it that the New Year makes us look at life differently? Why is it that we only seem to be determined to change our lives once a year?
It’s here again. It’s the time of the guilt-ridden resolution. Good intentions to give the liver a few weeks off, or see if that long-idle notch on the belt can finally be pressed into service again. It’s the time when gym membership soars (only to fall again in March) and pub profits momentarily dip (only to rise again in February).
But what about your business? What resolutions are you going to make in 2020? What are you going to stop doing… or, as I prefer, because it is more positive… what are you going to start doing?
Here are a few suggestions that have worked during the year for both us and many of our clients. You might like to try one or two of them.
Write down your goals
Goals are no good unless you put them down on paper. This simple but effective act forces you to think about them in a more tangible and precise manner than when they are rattling around in your head. It also makes them much easier to communicate to others.
If something is important to you, measure it. There is an old saying, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Even if there is no obvious way, dig deeper and find something tangible to latch onto. Only when you measure something will you be able to gauge how much you can improve it.
Become your own customer
The truly huge ideas come from paradigm shifts (anyone who has read Stephen Covey, or thought about Roger Bannister will understand) or, to put it simply, seeing something from someone else’s point of view.
When Apple introduced its first computers they were unlike anything that had come before. Why? ….. because they were designed to be used by non computer literate people. This entire approach was fundamentally different from the market dominating IBM. This simple ‘user first’ approach is still at the heart of Apple’s business and is why they continue to create ground-breaking products.
Simplistic though it sounds, really getting inside the head of who is going to use your product or service is the key to effective marketing and selling.
Don’t assume you know your customers (remember, assumption is the mother of all cock-ups). So, take the time and become one of your customers, if nothing else, it could confirm how good you are.
Every now and then, try something new
There was an ad running on TV a while back that urged you to ‘every day, do something that scares you’. I’m not sure I would go that far but I would suggest every now and then, do something different. Try something new, but make sure you measure it (see the previous point). Not only will it force you to rethink some long held ‘dogma’s’, but it is also exciting and challenging, and that’s good for the soul!
If you need help, ask for it
Don’t be frightened to seek support – we all operate better with the right support around us… and that goes form the CEO of a multi-national to the humblest sole trader. Being in business can be a lonely place.