If you’re stuck in a rut from dealing with the same types of clients, offering the same types of services and working the same types of hours, you might be in a rut. How can you recapture the excitement you once felt for your business? There are ways to get yourself out of your business rut and prior to the new year moving in is the best time to do just that.
What can you do to energize yourself and breathe new life into the work you do? Here are my suggestions:
- Sow new seeds. If you know what it is you do better than anyone else, then you need to sow those seeds and nurture that. Focus on your expertise and watch your enthusiasm grow.
- Get rid of the weeds. All business owners can point to a client or two who truly drains them of their energy and makes them dread picking up the phone when that client’s number scrolls across. It may be difficult to imagine a time when it’s good to jettison a client, but one that saps your strength is truly not worth the money he or she brings in.
- Cultivate and nurture your winning clients. You know you have clients in your garden that are a joy to work with, offer you referral business and who truly value what you do for them. Nurture them and never forget to reward their loyalty to you.
What can you do in 2014 to grow your garden and start off the new year refreshed?
Quick, what’s your personal brand? What is your business brand? Attendance at a networking event has likely taught you how to share your elevator speech — the what your business is, what your business does, and how you can help someone with your expertise. For many business owners, though it is about their personal or business brand.
How can you position your business and its brand? Here are some suggestions:
- What makes you “you” and your business unique. Do you have colleagues that have said, “We come to you because of the XYZ you offer that we can’t find any where else?” If so, that is part of your brand!
- How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Price? Service? Speed with which you deliver? Determine what it is that you want to use as your differentiator and promote that.
- How will you communicate your brand/reputation to your potential business clients? Advertising? Your social media profiles? Testimonials from clients?
They say first impressions count, but ongoing impressions matter when it comes to business. Don’t you agree?
As you celebrate the holidays with friends and family, keep in the back of your mind, “the year is fast coming to a close.” Why should you be thinking that? Because you need to take time between now and the first of the new year to look back at how your business performed last year, what you want to change for the new year and how you will take steps to get there.
What can you do to plan for the end of 2013? Here are my tips:
- Deep clean of your office. Gather up the records and business papers for 2013 and prepare to store them once your income taxes are filed. Start the new year with clean file drawers and a clean desk.
- do you need new office equipment? There are many deep discounts this time of year and you could also have that item as a potential tax write off.
- Review your service contracts. Do they need to be revamped, rewritten or your prices raised? Have you started offering new services for which you’re not being compensated? Now is the time to implement new pricing plans if necessary.
Prior to the start of 2014, take a day off from your everyday business tasks and begin planning for your 2014 successes! What can you do? Here are a few things to consider:
- Seek out continuing education or certifications in your field. These may help you stand out from the competition.
- Consider working with a business coach. It is helpful to have an “outside” source with whom you can run business ideas past and who will keep you accountable to the goals you’ve set.
- If you’re going to start a new business in the new year, the time is now to lay the groundwork for that endeavor.
- Take time to lay out your hopes, dreams and goals for the upcoming year.
What will you do to make 2014 the best year ever for your business?
A coach may be the answer… something to consider.
Everyone is looking for the “Silver Bullet”, the easy way to “make it happen”. It does not exist. The answers you need may not be hard to implement, but they are not obvious. In fact, it is rare that you, (or anyone), can see them for themselves at all.
First we have the problem of “incorrect perspective”. What you “see” or “perceive” are the result of the filters of your “perception” displayed upon the monitor of your mind. These filters have been shaped by experience and information input throughout your life…, and most of that information is wrong.
We also have the problem of “limited perspective”. Yes, all information input is “limited”. Just as we see only a narrow portion of the light spectrum, and hear only a narrow portion of the frequency spectrum, so, we only “perceive” a narrow portion of the “knowledge and awareness” spectrum.
To expand your perception, you need a point of “external observation”, plus external input, and accountability. This is where a coach can benefit you most.
You will never find a great athlete, or singer, or actor, without also finding they have or have had a coach. In fact to maintain the ultra high level of performance demanded time after time, great athletes never exist outside of the direction of a great coach.
In life and business, a coach can be as simple as your “mate” or a friend, but they, like you, are limited in their perception, as are we all. A dedicated “coach” has focused his or her life’s attention upon the development of an “expanded range” of observation and perception, that enables them to provide salient direction to others.
When you receive the direction, you will often think… “this is so obvious”, and in many cases it is, but it was in fact hidden from view, hidden from your perception of the subject or object of focus.
The old saying remains true…, “if you want what you’ve got… keep doing the same things”.
But.., if you would like to grow, develop, or expand… may I suggest you consider getting a coach.
Rex Richard provides vision expanding and results engineered coaching programs specifically designed to help small to medium sized businesses to break through their barriers and experience renewed life, vitality, and expansion. He can be contacted via LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/in/rexrichard/
As a business owner and business leader I should be the one who does all of the talking, right? That’s my right as the one who’s gotten the business to where it is today and I am obviously the most knowledgeable. If you think that, you need to take a step back and rethink your leadership style and methods.
Do you work with a team? Have you grown your business to a point where you have hired staff? Do you stand up on a metaphorical pedestal and reign down orders and commands? Does your staff respond? Are they productive? Chances are they are not as productive or engaged as they could be. Change your leadership style and you may see productivity soar and employee engagement improve.
What can you do to be a better, more effective, leader? Listen more. It’s not always easy to step back and take the advice of others or to trust in their judgement but you just might be surprised if you give them a chance. Here are my tips for listening more, and better:
- Ask employees or business partners for their input. If they make a suggestion that sounds “doable” take a chance, give them the reins and let them run with the project or suggestion they’ve made.
- Even if a suggestion doesn’t quite go as planned or reap the results you’d hoped, it’s not the end of the world. You simply need to step back, regroup and start over. Remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
- Learn to let go. When you are just starting out as a business owner it’s natural to think you have to “do it all” but as you grow, you need to let loose of the control — even if it’s in small increments. You need to trust your instincts and know that you’ve hired the best people possible.
When is the last time you truly listened?