So, I’m reckoning many of you are utterly fed-up of posts concerned with New Year, New You (I am one of the many culprits behind those types of blogs, I know!) or similar themes? Thought so.
With this in mind, I thought I’d take a different ‘spin’ on why the beginning of the year is a good time to dust down your business and give its strategy a good, honest workout. Like our physical selves, post-Christmas indulgence, this time of the year provides a great opportunity to banish bad habits and get ourselves fitter… the same rationale applies to business, and strategy.
To assist you in your bid to limber up in 2013, here are a few key steps:
# 1. Start as you mean to go on
The “R” word (not recession, the other one!) exists because, yes, a new year provides a good time to set goals and reset the negatives. Had a few lousy months or a project that didn’t fly? Now’s the time to get a few new ideas going, learn from mistakes and move on. Don’t dwell on what hasn’t worked… it’s a pointless exercise. Set one rule for yourself, and that is simply to ensure you start as you mean to go on – and work to remove the issues holding you back. Be fair to your business strategy: don’t allow experiential blocks to impede progress… accept what can’t be changed and adapt how you deal with similar issues.
# 2. Target practice
One of the things I am fascinated by, is a sense that having goals is enough, in and of itself, to actualise these same goals. Nope! You need to work on identifying the route-map for achieving them. This can involve a little ‘target’ practice (e.g. research, analysis, or using the grey matter and sketching out new ideas, products or services).
# 3. Understand what success looks like
When I worked in corporate-land, many years ago, we used a statement which really helped to actualise projects and bring about results – and that was an understanding of what ‘good looked like’. So, in your business, what does ‘success’ look like? We’re all different, and aspire to different personal and professional goals. Know what your business’s look like and build your business strategy to reflect ‘success’. Remember – target practice! Having goals is not enough, you need the roadmap.
# 4. Appoint a non-executive ass-kicker
Also known as an advisor, mentor or accountability partner. Hugely important in the regular health-checking of business strategy and ensuring that key objectives are being met (and if not, why not?).
# 5. Bulletins
Keep your eye on progress and set regular “bulletins” – communication is one of the key tenets of successful businesses… so keep your people informed about progress. If you’re a sole operator, then ensure you keep yourself informed by interacting with colleagues, stakeholders and relevant organisations on trends, changes and opportunities.
Remember: this is a time to think of opportunity, action and results, so get moving and work-out your strategy! What’s yours?