Most of us are always striving to improve results in both our business and personal lives, so taking the time to reflect on actually how to do that is worthwhile. So few people do it which is why so few people do get better results year on year.
What are the seven ways we can all achieve better results this year?
There are many ways, but these are my top seven:
1. You have to be excited about what you intend to do this year.
When I looked back on an old business plan for a marketing company I had many years ago, I realiSed that the goals I never achieved were those I actually didn’t want to do. There were things in that plan that in hindsight, I wondered why on earth I had set myself those goals, when achieving them would not have excited me at all! Don’t do more of the same, just because you can.
Don’t plan to do something because you can, plan to do it because it excites you. I cannot stress that enough. There’s no better motivation than excitement! Maybe you should have a quick look at the goals you’ve set for the next year, and just check that they actually excite you and motivate you, or are they same-old, same-old goals that you’ve set because you can?
2. Know what your purpose is.
If you know what your purpose is, and what you are trying to achieve through your business, it will help shape all your actions and decisions. If you are a PR specialist and your purpose is to work with environmentally conscious companies to help them protect the global environment, you wouldn’t want to focus on companies without an environmental position, as your primary target. If you are an architect and your purpose is to design buildings that encourage community living, you wouldn’t want to take projects for single dwelling renovations, as an example.
If the sole purpose for your business is to make as much money as you can in a certain period of time, then that will determine how the business operates. If you find yourself working against your purpose, chances are you will not be fulfilled.
As the leader of your company, your inspiration needs to drive your team to achieve, so identifying and being in alignment with your purpose, is essential to your success.
The point is, instead of your decisions and actions producing results that don’t take you closer to where you want to be, you will actually move toward your purpose. This focus will create momentum in what you do and the results you produce.
Knowing your purpose is like a huge signpost telling you which direction to choose.
3. Decide what outcomes would make a significant difference to your business.
You can’t be all things to all people, nor should you want to be. Decide on those things that, if you achieve them, will make a significant difference to your business. They could be in the area of marketing outcomes, financial results, new client acquisition, achievement of major projects, PR coverage for you, your business or your clients, acquisition of business partners, international expansion, development of a successful new product/service, development of a great team. It could be about you – how you think about your business, what sort of thoughts drive your actions each day, how motivated you are, and how strong your vision is. What goes on in our heads is responsible for what results we get in our businesses.
You have to look ahead to know what sort of outcomes you really want (refer to the first two steps as part of that process!) so you can identify what it is that would make this year’s results far better than last year’s.
4. Decide how to achieve & measure significant performance improvements.
Jim Collins, in his book ‘Good to Great’, said that if you could pick one ratio to measure and increase over time, pick one that will have the greatest impact on driving your business. For example, he refers to how Walgreens changed their focus from profit per store to profit per customer visit, which had a significant impact on results for that business.
What sort of focus & measures would best drive improvements in your business?
- Number of new clients acquired?
- Value per client?
- Revenue per person in your business
- Profit per employee
- Number of subscribers per month
- Average value of subscribers/clients
- Highest sales day
- Average value of product sales
- Revenue per distribution channel/reseller/sales person
5. Develop a strategic plan to provide a roadmap for the year ahead
- Know what you want to achieve.
- Know exactly what needs to be done to make it happen.
- Know who you need on your team to help you get there.
- Know how you will measure your performance.
- Make sure that you, as the driver of your business, have delegated everything except what you’re really good at
- Follow this and refer to it weekly, daily if need be, and don’t forget about it.
6. Marketing is everything – give it a priority.
What sort of marketing do you prefer to do? If you hate speaking in front of people, then don’t make that your lead strategy. If you like writing there are many ways to spread your message and your value to others.
Decide what sort of marketing activities you enjoy, are good at, and also determine what your budget is.
Have a look back at the last year and how successful your marketing program was. Did you get the results you wanted? Did you do enough marketing? Did you develop momentum? Did you actually measure the results you achieved from your different marketing activities?
Draw up a marketing calendar of events and activities for the next 12 months and make sure you do some marketing activities every week and every month at an absolute minimum.
7. Keep focused on where and how you can add the most value to your business
This is really important. If you’re not a great marketer, then gather great marketers around you and let them do their thing.
Too often I see CEO business owners trying to fill the gaps left by their team, or micro manage members of their team and get way too involved in what should be someone else’s responsibility.
Build a team of people who are really good at what they do, not just mediocre, and allow yourself to focus on what you are really good at.
Once we allow ourselves to focus entirely on what we excel at, we become exceptionally motivated, fulfilled, and we add enormous value to our businesses.
It’s like anything, the more we do that, the better we become, day on and day out. Better and better, adding more and more value to the business asset you are building.
What did you learn last year about yourself and your business? What habits do you need to change this year to produce outstanding results?
And finally, if you haven’t already started on these 7 steps then start now, and begin implementing the strategies and actions to produce outstanding results in the coming year!
Good luck and have fun.