I am not really into New Year’s Resolutions – they have never really worked for me. So on New Year’s Day whilst nursing a hangover, I got asked the ‘what are your resolutions this year’ question by my nephew. After hearing that they were not for me, he asked an interesting question which went something like this:
"Ok, but there must be some things you will do differently in your business?"
This got me thinking. Forget getting fit and losing a few kilos. What business owners need to do is detox their businesses to make it leaner and fitter. So what should you be doing this year?
1. What Does Your Personal Branding Say?
Try this. Google yourself and see what comes up. I do this regularly on myself because it actually tells the world what my brand is.
In today’s world of immediate publicly available information, it will influence how people perceive you. This means, it's not only the business and professional part of you that is available but also your private life too. A picture on Facebook can potentially say a thousand words and you might not have even put it up. The best way to manage or even shift your personal branding is the use of social media and your websites. Make sure the internet only shows what you want everyone to see.
2. Organise a Personal Bucket List
Your business exists to support your lifestyle. You do not live so that you can work. Yet for many businesses, the opposite is true. How do get around the problem? Most business owners are so consumed by their business that they forget the reason wjy they started the business in the first place. Make a list of things you want to do this year. Look at it daily and somehow you will find that at the end of the year you have done more than you expected. Your brain is an amazing machine. It will work out a way.
3. Get Involved Outside Business
Review all your networking functions and review what is working and what is not. Stop attending the ones that do not work and use the time for something else. I find I obtain new business when I am not attending work functions. Attending P&C meetings at your children’s school. Be involved in a charity. You will find you meet more interesting and diverse people as well as potential customers and contacts.
4. Just Talk
I always try to talk to everyone I meet. Not only is it good manners, but I find I meet different and fascinating people. If you are about meet a potential customer, then you will find that talking to the receptionist will give you a bit of an edge. I have met the most fascinating people on a personal and professional level by practising this rule. Networking is not just something you do when you go to a work event. It is something you should integrate into daily life.
5. Stop Ignoring the Numbers!
I have never met a consistently successful business which ignores their figures. I look at mine weekly, but you should really look at your figures monthly. If you do nothing else please do this. It will make a massive difference to your income as your brain will start working out how to make more money. Some business people just do not get figures. So if you happen to dislike figures what should you look at? Look at your profit and loss and always your cash flow.
Remember a business can survive making losses over a period of time. But run out of cashflow and it is over very soon. Look at it this way. Losses are like cancer - it takes a while to spread before it becomes a real problem. Running out of cash is like having a major heart attack.
6. Back yourself
Always back yourself. It does not matter if you are starting a new business or are an established business, you need to have self-belief. If you are not prepared to back yourself why should anyone else? Never mistake this for arrogance. If you are skilled at something, you shouldn’t be afraid to admit it.
It doesn't matter if you're starting a new business or you're an established business, you need to have self-belief - Share this!