Running a business is a challenging, yet exciting journey. There are ups and downs, outside forces and inside challenges. How can you as a business owner move from a state of overwhelm and frustration quickly, overcome challenges and build on successes to maximize the momentum? How can you stop spinning the wheels and focus your energy on creating winning outcomes instead? How can you turn from failure to success faster?
The answer is more simple than you think – it boils down to planning. When you know where you are heading, what your priorities are and if you learn from past failures, chances are that your business will grow bigger and faster.
Let’s look at the key components of making this your most successful year ever – without a fail! I broke the process down into easy-to-follow steps even a child can follow.
1. Define your success
Each of us views success differently. Knowing what makes you happy and defining your expectations is the first step to achieving them. Write down your goals and end result that would make you happy. What does success look like for you? Are you looking to double your business profits, tripple the number of customers, streamline your business processes, improve employee satisfaction or have the right people in the right seats in your organization? Once you know what you want to do, it will be much easier to create a strategy to make it a reality.
2. Draft your strategy
Your strategy is a roadmap showing you the way to your goal. There are many ways how you can increase profits or grow your business. Which one do you want to pursue? Identify key personnel and resources you will need to achieve your desired results. Strategy will keep you focused on what matters and will protect you from bright shiny objects and distractions. Who is supposed to do what by when?
3. Schedule action items
To get stuff done, you must identify your priorities and allocate necessary time to each activity. Setting up marketing campaigns, creating training videos, supporting your clients and other necessary items don’t just happen. You need time, energy and resources to tackle them. I put all my tasks in the calendar. I follow the rock/gravel/sand/water principle, starting with top priorities, adding smaller and smaller items as time permits. When scheduling your priorities, always make sure you start with the most important tasks. Spend your best time and energy on top priorities, delegate tasks that are not in your strength zone to others who can do them better and faster.
4. Take action
Without action, strategy remains a wishlist and eventually turns into regrets. You need to take action necessary to see the desired results. Either you or your team must take action in order for results to appear. Stop the excuses, put in the work necessary and you will win.
The biggest problem business owners face in their endeavors is that they don’t take time to evaluate. Moving from one project to another without pausing, looking back and reviewing lessons learned means that you will always continue doing the same mistakes. Evaluation helps us continue what worked, improve what didn’t and stop doing what sucks energy, resources and threatens our business existence. You MUST evaluate to improve!
6. Don’t quit – improve!
I almost finished this article with 5 steps, but as I reviewed them, I realized how easy it is to do the evaluation and decide to shift gears and start something new. But what if instead of starting from the beginning every time you fail, you look at what DID work and build up on it? What if instead of starting from scratch, you take another step and move your efforts to the next level? What if instead of giving up you decide to press through and persevere? You see, when you do something for the first time, you are not good. But if you learn from the first trial and do it again, and again, and again, chances are that after doing it 100-times you become really good at it. Yes, your first blog post was weak, but article #100 was great. Yes, your first webinar was bad, but webinar #100 was super easy. My challenge for you this year is to choose your strategy and stick with it until you become good at it. Until it gets ingraved in your DNA. This is the only way how your business will grow and stand out. If you do less, but with greater excellence.
Need help planning your best year, setting up priorities, or improving your evaluation process?
We created aguide to help you do it well: Planning For Success
Map out and achieve your best year ever with Planning for Success!