I was on a call earlier this week with a business owner who was interested in signing up for my new Mastermind Group. What she said stuck in my mind:
“Next year’s GOT to be different.”
I’ve heard a number of other business owners who didn’t get the results they wanted in 2015 – and whose confidence has taken a battering – say exactly the same.
There’s a quote I love from Albert Einstein:
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
I see so many smart, talented, capable business owners struggle to get the results they deserve. They bash their head against a brick wall until they reach a point where their head hurts so much that they feel they have no option but to give up. By this point, whilst their business might be in dire need of resuscitation and life support, the prognosis often isn’t terminal.
But they’ve lost their confidence and mojo. What they’ve tried hasn’t worked and they don’t have the energy for another battle.
This was very much the case for Sam* whose 30 year old family business was three months away from closure after a series of ‘bad’ years. See my article 12 Reasons Why My Clients Get Exceptional Results. (*Sam’s name has been changed).
Sam was inexperienced in business but what he lacked in knowledge, he made up for with hard work, determination and focus. Over the last 10 months, we doubled his turnover following a number of changes to his marketing strategy. The business had its highest turnover in over 5 years!
This has enabled Sam to fully fund his marketing strategy for 2016 – including a new website with full SEO. Based on the results we’ve achieved to date, Sam expects turnover to more than double by the end of 2016. This will mean expanding his staff team. And Sam intends to be in a position to start a ‘buy to let’ property portfolio in 2017 and marry his fiancée. Because he’s a highly skilled craftsman, he’s also exploring how he can niche in the restoration of historical buildings.
Why has Sam succeeded where others would have given up?
Because he has grit and determination in spades. Because he is coach-able And because he has followed my Best Year Ever Business Roadmap.
Whether your results in 2015 weren’t what you wanted or you hit it out of the ballpark, I want to make sure you go into 2016 with a clear, actionable system for building rock solid foundations in your business and realising your goals.
So here it is! An overview of my Best Year Ever Business Roadmap.
Now in order that this post isn’t an essay, I’m going to give you an overview of my Best Year Ever Business Roadmap. Then over the course of January, I’m going to take each section and explain them more fully.
#1: Take Stock Of Where You Are Now
Before you can figure out where you want to go, you have to understand exactly where you are now. This means confronting the brutal reality of your business and your skillset – the good, the bad and the ugly.
#2: Set Your Course
You’ve got to know where you want to go in order to know whether you’ve reached your destination. Some great questions to ask yourself right now are: What are my greatest talents and skills? Is there something you feel you were born to do? If you could narrow it down, what are the top three products and services your business is best at? Of these, which one product or service is your business best at? What would you love to get paid for doing? Which are the three most profitable products or services in your business? Of these, which one product or service is by far and away the most profitable? Do you have an idea for a product or service that could be your most profitable but which you’ve not yet tested and/ or started? List the top three aspects of your business you are most passionate about. Of these, which one aspect or product or service are you the most passionate about?
3: Know Your Metrics
I have a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that I keep tabs on weekly. If I had a different kind of business – e-commerce for example – I’d monitor these KPIs on a daily basis. This is a habit I set up as a new CEO, and it’s served me well ever since. It’s the same habit as all industry leaders. The key document in my toolkit is my financial forecast. It’s the bedrock to my success – and that of my clients. It gives me all the key data I need to know whether I’m on track to hit my revenue goals or whether I need to course correct. Because it’s always accurate, I have total confidence that I’m going to hit my targets. Around 95% of business owners DO NOT have a financial forecast. I’m determined that everybody who works with me, in whatever capacity, has one! It’s a game changer.
Rule #4: Market, Market, Market, Sell, Sell, Sell
Generally there are a small number of sales and marketing strategies that drive sales. I get my clients to identify the 3 most effective sales and marketing strategies for their business, and focus their energies on getting results with these. Now this pre-supposes that you know which are the most effective channels for your business. For me networking, relationship building and referral are how I get clients come to me for 1:1 coaching and my Mastermind Group. Guess how I’m going to spend a significant proportion of my time in 2016?! But for my online business – the launch of an independent study course called Best Year Ever Business Roadmap and my private membership site, Best Year Ever Boardroom – it’s building my platform. That’s primarily Facebook, and to a lesser extent Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. That’s why in 2016, I’m investing significantly in my Facebook advertising budget and re-targeting. How do you know what the right sales and marketing strategies for your business are? (a) Analyse what successful competitors are doing; (b) Seek the advice of an experienced business coach.
#5: Schedule Time For Regular Business Reviews
Whilst I know my KPIs inside out, I still make time on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis to take a ‘helicopter view’ of my business. It’s this regular ‘time out’ to review the performance of all aspects of my business that helps me to chart the correct strategic course.
#6: Run With Blinders On
I got this great analogy from Terry Williamson, co-founder of Boom Social. Once you’ve formulated your strategy and your implementation plan, start running towards the finish line. Don’t look behind. Or to the sides. Keep your eyes firmly focused on your destination, just as a race horse does when it has its blinders on. Don’t take account of the advice of anybody unless they have serious business chops – and your best interests at heart. It’s your life, these are your dreams and goals and it’s your business. And for goodness sake don’t listen to the opinions of so-called business coaches who don’t have the experience and credibility. Or people who are inexperienced in business for that matter. I see so many people – especially in Facebook groups, doing this. If this is you, make it a New Years resolution to stop it! When you do need advice , go to experts who walk the talk. Why do I follow Kim Garst of Boom Social for social media advice? Because she walks the talk and delivers measurable results in her business. Why do I follow Michael Hyatt when it comes to writing a blog and building my platform? For exactly the same reasons. Learn from the professionals!
#7: Sell What People Want and/ or Need
… and work out how to explain this to your potential customers. You’ve got to give them ‘the afters.’ Ryan Deiss explains this brilliantly HERE. This is where market analysis is so important. Study what your competitors are doing and emulate their best ideas. I’m not talking about stealing or being a copycat. Recently I learnt a simple list building trick from Amy Porterfield and in a short space of time, it’s been working like a charm for me. I’m not copying what she does, but I’m sure as heck using this tactic!
#8: Brands With Great Products and Services Win
Branding on its own will make you no money. I’ll say that again! Branding on its own will make you no money. I love beautiful brands as much of the next person. I’m a sucker for sparkly jewellery. But it’s got to be well made with durable materials otherwise I won’t buy it. It’s the same with equipment. It’s got to be fit for purpose and easy to use, especially if it’s anything tech! Substance will always triumph over style. Over the course of January, I’ll be exploring each of these topics in greater detail. BTW I really don’t like the colours and fonts on my website. Does this stop me producing and promoting articles for my blog? Heck no! Have I got time to change it right now? No.
In the meanwhile, you’ll find me over in my Plan For Profit Facebook community sharing daily business tips and advice, as well as details of regular online training events.
Join the Conversation
Question: Are you following these 8 rules? In particular, are you following rule #3? If you take just one action after reading this article, it’s implement rule #3. It’s a game changer! Leave me a comment in the box below as I love to hear your views.
Explore Additional Resources
If you enjoyed this post, then you may also like:
- 10 Top Tips For First Time Entrepreneurs
- Take A Sneak Peak Inside My Mastermind Group
- 9 Questions To Ask As Part Of Your Business Review
I have 25 years’ experience in business, including 8 years as a CEO. I trained at Cranfield School of Management, the UK’s leading business school. With experience in business planning, financial management, risk management, building strategic partnerships, product development, marketing (including PR) plus leading and developing staff teams of up to 150 people, there’s very little I haven’t had to deal with or experienced.
I now run a boutique business consulting and coaching agency, Best Year Ever. If you’re interested in working with me, you can find out more about my business consultancy and coaching practice HERE.
Will 2016 be the year you look back at as the one that transformed your business and took it to the next level?
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