What are your goals for the year ahead? Maybe you want to develop a new product and grow your business? Or perhaps you want to improve efficiency and save money? Whatever your business resolutions for 2018 are, it’s vital that you have the right mindset and remain focused on achieving your goals.
But sometimes, staying focused can be easier said than done. With so many distractions and things that make us procrastinate, like ticking about on Facebook or YouTube, the focus is very hard to come by.
So here are a few tips that many successful businesses use to get the focus and drive their businesses into a brand new year.
1) Lead by example
If you look at any successful business, they’ll all have one thing in common: strong leadership. So do you have what it takes to be a strong leader?
The best business owners and managers are the ones who know how to be a good leader. The ability to step back from the day to day detail to look at the bigger picture and consider whether they are taking their team in the right direction. Are they allowing the culture and values of the organisation to trickle through to their team? And from a strategic perspective, do they have the right people in the right roles, and does everyone have the skills and knowledge they need to be effective? These are the things a leader is thinking about and trying to influence.
They are constantly trying to improve and be the best. How can you expect a business to grow if the person leading it, doesn’t spend time, money and effort in growing themselves?
2) Know when to take a step back
As a small business owner, it’s easy to fall into the habit of trying to do everything yourself. As your business starts to grow, however, it’s important to know when to take a step back. For any business owner, taking the time to stand back and review your business, not only from a delegation perspective but also taking the time to review your finances, processes, procedures and your employees to make sure they are working as hard as you are is essential. Even if it’s for a day, an afternoon or even an hour.
Business owners who try to maintain control of the day to day running of their business as it grows, and struggle to take a step back will struggle. Fact. Unless they begin to delegate certain responsibilities and spend their time focussing on the long-term strategic thinking that is needed, their turnover will plateau and their business will cease to grow. It’s surprising how one person’s preference for control can half an entire business’ growth, but it does.
Finally, it’s worth remembering that all businesses face challenges at one time or another. Businesses will inevitably struggle with managing and influencing the people that they work with at some stage in their life cycle.
This where coaching, whether its regular or in a Mastermind or in a workshop can make the difference. What they do is help people understand themselves, their colleagues and their organisation better so they’re able to focus in and work on the areas that are currently blocking them from being the best version of themselves. And in turn, help them achieve the best version of their business.
3) Be clear and realistic when planning your goals
Firstly, you need to be clear on exactly what your goal is. Have a ‘Clear Mental Image’ (CMI), for where your business is going. You’ll only remain focused on a goal if you’ve invested the time to think it through and identify how you’ll achieve it. As usual, it’s all in the planning. When setting a goal for yourself, don’t make it too broad, be clear on exactly what it is that you want to achieve.
Making realistic, achievable goals is also key. Break the goal into smaller steps - one of the main reasons why we don’t achieve the goals we set out for ourselves is because they seem so far from where we are now that we don’t feel that they are achievable. If you can break down your goal into smaller mini-goals then it won’t seem so overwhelming. Also, as you achieve each smaller goal you’ll get a sense of accomplishment that gives you the positive reinforcement you need to move on and work towards the next step.
4) Create an environment that encourages teamwork and collaboration
Having a team that can work well together is vital in any organisation, especially one looking to grow.
My clients come to me because they want to get the most out of their business and are surprised by how much they can use the people who work with them or for them, in their journey.
As a business owner or manager you should encourage collaboration because you know certain projects will benefit from having different brains with different strategies, approaches, and ideas in a room – you’ll hope that all the diversity will get all the best options out on the table and then that group will be both supportive and challenging to one another in achieving the best outcome. It’s one of the reasons I started a mastermind group and have already seen individuals come together and begin to grow quicker, than if they had worked on their own.
However, getting a team to collaborate can sometimes be easier said than done and it’s vital to remember that each team member must be aware of their individual strengths and working styles, as well as being willing to adapt.
In a group who are very self-aware of their differences, but who use that understanding to adapt their style to whoever they’re working with, they’re much more likely to be successful. However, if a group is less self-aware, or struggle with communicating their message clearly, or don’t know how to make use of each other’s strengths, they’ll struggle to achieve what they have set out to do.
So there were 4 quick tips for a successful 2018. Let’s go nail it!