WHILE having a strategy to grow your business is a good starting place, there are several key ingredients that go into making it a success or otherwise. Vision, enthusiasm and clarity are among them, but so is the ability to be flexible in the face of a changing market dynamic.
Here are some key ingredients that can help your business achieve, and then surpass your goals for 2013.
1. Assess your current situation and identify where you’re really at.
Don’t cover up what’s wrong and ignore the real problems. If your team is dysfunctional, deal with it. If your sales aren’t meeting your targets, fix it. If your costs are sinking your business, cut them. Whatever you do don’t bury or hide the things that are wrong or pretend they are not there. Eventually they will become toxic and poison your business.
2. Identify exactly how you want your business to be and set up for success.
Be clear on what you want. What you want is one thing, but being crystal clear on why you want it is what really pushes you to achieving it.
Get really clear on why it’s important, why it’s a must-do and there is every chance it will happen. So take a while to write down why you are going into business and what it is that you want to achieve.
It will most certainly revolve around one of two things: Freedom - the desire to do what you want or have enough money to do what you want with whom you want when you want; and Fulfilment - the desire to do something worthwhile, to contribute, to be successful. When you have clearly mapped your reasons for being in business, put it in a frame and keep it close by so that it serves as a reminder of why you are still working at 11pm at night or why you haven’t had a holiday in two years.
3. Select one change that you want to focus on.
One of the big problems in business is that we focus on too many things and don’t really do any of them well. So choose just one thing to help make your business what you want it to be and be amazing at it. Dedicate 90 days to making this change happen. Ninety days is long enough to get traction and see results, yet not too long that the goal gets lost in the daily grind. In a business world where trends, technologies, markets and customer needs are changing at an ever-increasing pace, five-year plans just don’t cut it. In fact two year and even one-year plans can be useless.
Ninety days gives you enough time to get some momentum going but not lose touch by sticking it on the backburner to get swallowed up by everything else.
Ask yourself what you want to focus on achieving in the next 90 days. In fact, what would be the next best thing for your business? Then get cracking on that, making sure it gets done.
That’s how you get ahead and make progress.
4. Create a defined plan with one key action or milestone every month.
What are the key things that need to be done in the next 90 days? Three good solid actions? This allows me to break the bigger goal down into smaller key steps and measure the progress. If I miss a deadline or milestone, I need to review and refine and reset. This gives me momentum that pushes me toward achieving the goal.
For each milestone, ensure that you have planned ahead to allow for any potential obstacles you may meet.
One clear mistake that businesses make in setting goals is they forget to consider the support available and the obstacles they come up against. Every goal you are likely to want to achieve has probably been completed by someone else at some time. Do your research, find out what works best and get some help if need be.
There are few things worse than stumbling blindly in pursuit of a goal that you don’t understand. If need be, buddy up with someone who will help you out or get a mentor.
5. Get used to obstacles, learn how to deal with them and move on.
There will be setbacks but learning to accept these and get around them is the key to success. Define the obstacles that might get in the way -lack of time, resources, motivation or assistance. Plan for these, so that when you hit the speed bump you are not thrown off the chase, you can just readjust and keep pushing forward.
Rowdy McLean works with Australian companies to grow their business via keynote motivation and leadership presentations, and through his website and blog. He is the author of books including Play a Bigger Game | www.rowdy.com.au