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What Will 2014 Bring You?

The New Year is always heralded as a perfect (opportune) time to assess, review and reboot things – both professionally and personally. A new year is a time of renewal, opportunity and reflection – it’s also a time of waistline regret following the excess of Christmas – and undoubtedly it sees gyms and other health related businesses doing very well!

So, speaking of business – have you thought about what 2014 will bring you? Opportunity is sought out, and it only ‘knocks’ if you’re ready and waiting – so what opportunities do you see as critical to your business this year?

What Will 2014 Bring You?

Look to the past

Knowledge and awareness of your past successes, over the last year or several years, and understanding the role they have played in your business’s trajectory, is critical. Without this information, it’s hard to plot the course forward – how do you know where you’re going if you have no idea where the destination is? I’ve often referenced the importance of having a road-map (strategy or plan) in the context of business success – and a new year is the perfect time to assess how relevant, focused and realistic – yours is.

If it’s broke – fix it.

There’s a well-known quote (some would say well-worn!) of Henry Ford’s “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. Bearing this in mind, what’s working or not working in your business, its strategy, resources, markets and so-on? Remember my point about the destination: don’t be a rudderless ship.

Look to the future

Appraise the future state with conviction and courage: don’t be half-hearted or limp in your approach, your results in the long-term will be just the same otherwise. To make change and create opportunity, you need to be honest with yourself… evading facts or reality isn’t an option.

Communication is key

Always remember this. When it comes to change, opportunity or growth – bringing your people with you is one of the steadfast rules in successful delivery. Oftentimes, sadly, it’s left to the last moment or is simply forgotten altogether and becomes an afterthought. Without leadership in communication, and how information is disseminated, plans are badly actioned, staff and stakeholders become disengaged or disenfranchised, and results are, at best – passable.

Don’t leave yourself open to failure, examine your communications processes and understand how to best utilise them to inform all the relevant parties. Engage and ask for feedback, meaningfully, not as a useless exercise. Bringing people with you means making them part of the change, which also makes them feel valued and engaged in decision-making.

Finally: learn something new.

As often as possible. People who consider business ownership or management as an existence which doesn’t require learning, are very much mistaken – the less open you are to new ideas, approaches or technology – the less open you are to opportunity.

So, what will 2014 bring you?

Images: ”White tags with 2014 on blue background /


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Olwen is the owner of Irish Business Intelligence, she works with SMEs as a business partner, supporting their growth through practical consulting advice - specific focuses include messaging, strategy and business development. Olwen also works as a project manager and advisor for enterprise and development organisations, as well as mentoring start-ups and early-stage entrepeneurs.

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  • Hi Olwen, There is a renewed sense of optimism within the Irish business community right now. So I think your tips could apply to the whole country as much as to the individual business person. Happy New Year & wishing you continued success and happiness in 2014. Regards, Niall

  • Olwen Dawe

    Thanks Niall! In fact, that was pretty much what prompted me to write this. I was quoted pre and post Christmas in some of our media outlets on the importance of a positive outlook – for many different business reasons. In the Irish context, it’s really key that we accentuate the good news, and avoid dwelling on the macro forecasts. Appreciate the feedback and best wishes to you for 2014 also!

  • I will enter three new ventures during this year and I will learn more about the food and clothing industry. I will also learn more about the self-publishing industry as I will write and publish my first book.

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