Like every year prior, 2017 is your year!
You are going to lose 15 pounds, clean out your garage, be a better spouse, and make a gazillion dollars from your business.
Maybe your business has plateaued, maybe it’s not where it should be, maybe you just launched, or maybe it is on the brink of success. Ultimately, you are committed to the success of your business. It is your baby.No matter the maturity of your business, some simple yet impactful effective measures can be taken to lead you to the path of success.
No matter the maturity of your business, some simple yet impactful effective measures can be taken to lead you to the path of success.
1. Set measurable goals.
Goals that aren’t measurable are pretty much useless. I wish you good luck if your goal is to “cut costs” or “generate more revenue.” These are arbitrary goals and can’t cannot be held accountable by a quantified figure.
Set measurable goals that you can track. Be specific in setting your goals!
For example, “I want to increase revenue by 15% by the end of Q2.” Or “I want 5,000 users by the end of the year.” Both goals are reasonable and measurable goals that you can set.
Boom. Write it out on your bathroom mirror or your intern’s forehead and get going!
2. Get a Coach.
It is extremely difficult, if not damn near impossible to succeed on your own.
Everyone needs a support system. Every world-class athlete has a coach. Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, and Albert Pujols didn’t get to their level of success by themselves. They had coaches helping them along the way.
Whether you need a drill sergeant, someone to keep you accountable, or someone to nicely encourage you, having a coach is a great way to help make your business a success.
I must stress the importance of a third-party coach. What I mean by “third-party” is a person that is not a friend or relative. A friend or relative may be bias or emotionally vested.
Use a hired gun. This coach will have an objective perspective. They’ll have fresh ideas and a different point-of-view on how to get you where you need to be.
Wouldn’t you like your name to be used in the same sentence as the leaders in your space? A coach will help you get there.
3. Remove Time-Consumers From Your Routine
It’s time to cut out the fat.
Refuse meetings that aren’t vital to your business goals. What is it that can’t be relayed in a call or email? It’s time to say “no.” This is tough especially if you are a people pleaser or genuinely trying to help someone. It’s time to ask yourself what is at stake if you don’t focus on the important things. Think about your business. Think about your life!
Minimize the amount of time you are in your inbox. Ladies and gentlemen, inbox zero is a delusional goal! You’re only going to get more emails. Just be one with the fact that your inbox will always accumulate messages. The best thing you can do is focus on the emails that are aligned with helping you achieve your goals.
Meetings and spending time in your inbox are two of the biggest time-consumers.
Ever open your inbox or browser with the intent to do one thing, only to realize 30 minutes later you started doing something else? Yup, been there. I’ve opened my inbox to send an email numerous times only to get sucked into Twitter and other mindless activities.
Focus Start by focusing on the important things. If the activity is a part of accomplishing your measurable goals then keep doing it. If not, then move on. No matter what the task is, ask yourself, “Is this where I should be spending my time? Will this contribute to the overall success of my business?” If not, then it’s time for you to move on to the next thing.
As I mentioned earlier, its is very difficult to succeed on your own. The power of delegation is extremely under-utilised and yet is one of the most effective things to implement.
Are you doing tasks you aren’t proficient at or passionate about? Personally, I am bad at organizing my inbox and calendar. As a result, I have someone else do it for me. This has allowed me to focus on doing things related to my strengths.
Part of being a great leader is helping your team to improve. Give them tasks you know they’ll be good at or will challenge them to improve. Challenging your team will keep them happy, keep them on the team, and help accomplish company goals.
I’m not saying to give them busy work. This will not help them grow nor will it help drive company growth. If necessary, outsource the busy work which is what I did with my inbox and calendar.
5. Expect the unexpected.
Life will always throw lemons at you. Nothing will 100% go your way. People quit and servers crash. things change.
How you react is much more important than the event itself. You have to roll with the punches. Having this in the back of your mind will allow you to calmly react to situations when the proverbial “shit” hits the proverbial “fan.”
While people are freaking out, you, your cool self will be taking care of business.
6. Give your customers what they want.
Are you solving a problem for the customer?
Do you have some type of offering that will improve the customer’s life?
Your customers are gold. Lay rose petals at their feet as they walk. Listen to them. Get feedback from your customers. What do they like? What do they dislike? What do they want more of? One powerful thing to do is call them. It’s easy in the digital age to send emails and surveys. They’ll appreciate the time you take to give them a personal phone call. Take a few moments of their time, ask good questions, then shut up and listen.
Too many businesses fail because they are not building something for the customer. Founders and CEO’s are instead building things they want—like it’s some after-school project.
No one cares what you want. It’s about what the customers want. Give it to them!
In the end, the market will determine your destiny.
7. Take care of yourself.
Above anything, take care of the most important thing in your life . . . You! Make sure your mind, body, and soul are balanced.
- Exercise regularly.
- Have a well-balanced, nutritious diet consisting of whole foods.
- Get your 7-8 hours of sleep.
- Meditate. Go to church. Practice whatever spiritual beliefs you have.
- Spend time with your friends and family. Put away your phone during this time!
- Pursue hobbies outside of work. Creative outlets outside of work can spark creativity while at work.
In 1st Corinthians 6:20 Christians are charged to honor God with their bodies. If someone gave you a beautiful and rare piece of religious art and asked you to take care of it, you would do so would you not?
Being good stewards of the physical vessel means we must not only be mindful of what we put into our bodies as both food and drink but must make the conscious effort to bring glory to God with whatever we eat or drink.
Regular, moderate, and intense physical activity – such as walking or running, has significant benefits for health, as does refraining from smoking and excess alcohol consumption.
You are your company’s biggest asset. If you are not taking good care of yourself then your business will feel the aftermath.
8. Find ways to add more value.
Exceed the customer’s expectations. Add packages to your current offering. Add an extra unit to their order, provide free customer service, free trials, or an e-book. “Wow” the customer with your generosity.
Creating a brand of delivering value will create loyalty. Loyalty creates a following. Loyalty adds more $$$ money in your bank account.
The bare minimum does not increase loyalty and will make you easily forgotten by the customer. Amazon, Nordstrom, and Costco’s customer-obsessed attitude have fueled its ridiculous loyalty, growth, and success.
Try a different approach. If sales have peaked or marketing has stagnated, try another angle. Just take some action. You won’t know everything beforehand. You might not be prepared and there’ll never be a perfect time. Don’t underestimate the power of trial and error.
Throw a hail mary if necessary. Don’t be afraid to try something risky. That’s what George Washington did when he crossed the Delaware. Things seemed to work out for him . . . and us. Thanks, George.
10. Be a storyteller.
Who doesn’t like a story? The Odyssey, The Godfather, Wizard of Oz. Humans are obsessed with stories. It’s ingrained in our DNA. Ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphics to tell a story. Modern humans are now using those same hieroglyphics to recite (attempt to, at least) that same story.
People don’t buy features, fancy designs, or buttons. They buy the emotions behind what you are offering.
For example, BMW gives you the ultimate driving experience. Who doesn’t want the ultimate driving experience!?
Create a story behind your product or service that compels the user to buy. Create an emotion that makes the customer say, “I want to feel that way.”
So . . . what is your story?
Find ways to constantly move forward. Success is only an overnight result after months or years of incremental growth. Nobody launches a business and becomes a hit the next day. It takes blood, sweat, and tears. Small actions taken daily will lead to greater results.
Guest post: Rana Tarakji is an entrepreneur and a lifestyle writer at Stylerail.