As the new year begins, business owners worldwide should be focusing on goals they are aiming to achieve. Whether it’s growing sales by 20%, adding a new product range or even finding a way to take more time off, business owners will need to chart out road maps that will ultimately get the company to the desired destination. Being successful doesn’t necessarily require completely radical and untested action. In many cases, applying existing models in an innovative way is enough to make that business dream a reality.
With over 15 years of knowledge in business and management, as well as an MBA degree and an international certification as a business coach, Bevlen Sudhu has some unique insights into growing a business. Sudhu, ActionCOACH Evolve franchise owner and business coach, has shared his 5 tips to get businesses started this New Year.
1. Review the past year
Successful business owners do not become successful overnight, they constantly think ahead. Having a clear Vision, Mission and Value system is most important for any business owner or entrepreneur, but it’s also necessary to maintain and manage them consistently.
For this reason, it is important to reflect on critical data that can provide information for comparison before setting new budgets and goals. Where did you exceed your goals? Where did you fall short? How do the employees feel? How did your competitors perform? These may point to areas of weakness that are limiting growth, as well as uncover specific success drivers. Based on an analysis of the previous year, it’s time to determine a strategic approach and priorities for the New Year.
2. Have a Business Strategy
When asked “What is a business strategy?”, business owners should know it is a plan, decision, choice, or even a guide used to benefit the company. This benefit is commonly measured in terms of success, profits, popularity, and/or growth. However, business strategies are tricky to formulate and execute well. In order for strategies to be implemented in a way that produces positive results, they must be thorough and well-defined.
It’s important to have a clear idea of what the results should be, and there should be no doubt as to what should be accomplished. A business strategy can be anything, but it’s vital to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to formulating one. Strategies should continue to change and evolve with the business while reflecting the core mission and goals that must be achieved.
3. Set SMART Goals
Goal setting is as important in personal life as it is in business.
The benefits of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-orientated, Time-framed (S.M.A.R.T) goals have been written about in self-help books for years. It is about ‘eating the elephant, one bite at a time’ and turning vision into achievable, actionable things.
So, how do we set and achieve goals? The first step is not to confuse a goal with an objective. The goal is to run a marathon, but the objective is to train 4 days per week. The goal is the desired outcome and objectives are the measurables. It’s necessary to know WHAT your goals are, WHY have you set them and HOW are you going to achieve them. Having more than 3 to 5 goals at any given time will lower any chance of execution because of a lack of focus.
4. Keep Your Team Engaged
To be a company that consistently grows and maintains a competitive advantage, move away from telling employees what to do, and get employees to love what they do. When someone loves what they do, they will want to do more of it, thereby increasing self-worth and productivity. A great company cannot exist without great employees, and there are steps that can be taken to mould employees into business assets.
Include them in important decisions: People feel committed when they are part of a conversation so it’s worth including the team in the business strategies and goals. They need to know where the company is going and what role they should play to help get it there.
Be a team, not a dictatorship: Every ship needs a strong captain and – while employees look to business owners for guidance – they also want to know the leadership is in tune with everything that is going on. If a directive is given, it’s important for leaders to pitch in to achieve the goal. This shows employees that they are all part of a team, and you sink or swim together.
Acknowledge and grow: Giving praise and recognition keeps employees motivated and gives them a sense of purpose in the business. Engaged employees always want to grow themselves and, by allowing them to take on challenging tasks, you keep them driven and allow the business to be more innovative.
5. Constantly educate yourself
You do not know what you do not know. Through ongoing education, you gain the knowledge to figure out the unknown. Renowned author, Jim Rohn, said: “Never wish your life were easier, wish you were better,” so work harder on yourself than you do on your job.