Happy New Year! Welcome back. Hopefully, you’ve returned to the office refreshed and ready to get stuck in to building the business of your dreams.
But what do you do if your body’s returned to the office and your head still feels like it’s on holidays? Here are 5 tips.
1. Go Back to Your Beginnings
Think about why you started the business. Revisit your original mission and vision (and if you’ve never done that, start there). Remember what you wanted to achieve and why. See if you can’t rediscover the excitement of your start-up days.
2. Set Real (And Exciting) Goals
If you’ve got a business plan, but it’s leaving you a bit cold think about what you really want to achieve this year? Yes, really – go on – if you had no limitations what would your business do? Close your eyes if you need to get a clearer picture.
Now that you’re in possibility thinking, write some of those things down. See if you can write down 10 things. Then pick your top three to break down with actual numbers, deadlines and brainstorm your first actions to getting them done. Then schedule those actions in your diary (and write them into your business plan). Hint: if you don’t have a business plan, use this as the starting point, but don’t forget to set KPIs.
3. Revisit Your Key Customer Groups
This time of year is great for spending a day or two without the usual interuptions to get a couple of plans in place for your marketing. Think about your favourite customers (not just any customer) from 2012 – you know, the ones that loved what you did, paid what you asked and didn’t make your life a misery in the process. Think about how they came to be customers. What did you do?
And then think about how you’re going to get more of those customers through your doors in 2013. Think of ways you can better use LinkedIn to your advantage, or maybe create a direct mail piece or a website that will open doors (no, neither are meant to do all the selling for you – unless you’re Danoz direct or an online retailer, but if they’re good and correctly targeted, they’ll open doors).
Whilst you’re quiet, put some consistent processes in place and lock off regular time in the diary to look after your business’ marketing.
4. Get Your Numbers Right
So many small business owners bumble along ‘hopefully’ making enough money to cover their expenses and then a bit extra for themselves. That’s a sure fire way to not only get yourself in financial trouble, it’s also a way to waste time if you’re trying to build a saleable asset as opposed to buying yourself a job.
If that’s been how you’ve worked until now – stop, get yourself a great book keeper or accountant (hint: ask for referrals from business owning friends with growing businesses) who can help get you out of the financial quick-sand and set you up so you can take charge of your business in 2013.
5. Think About Your Working Environment
If you’re working from home and you’ve got children, it’s really no wonder you’re finding it difficult to find your focus with the clan on holidays. You might consider a short term office rental or shared office space – somewhere where it’s quiet so you can hear yourself think. And has air conditioning – so your brain isn’t totally fried before you have a chance to think (as I write this it’s around 40 degrees outside – God bless airconditioning!).
Another plus for using office space even if it’s a day or several days a week or just when you need it for meetings, is just being around other business people. You never know what you’ll overhear in the kitchen or café queue, that might spark your next perfect business idea. And you’ll be more likely to get out and about
Or, if you really love being at home with the family, but are looking for that extra bit of polish this year, you might consider hiring someone to answer your phone – so you can return the calls when all’s quiet.
Good luck with getting back into it. Of course, if we can help with answering phones, handling your dreaded admin so you can focus on what it is your business does best, we’d be delighted to talk to you on +61 2 9994 8000 or join us on LinkedIn.
Best wishes for a smashing 2013.