Here are 5 Simple steps to make 2017 your best year ever
1 – Choose One Big Thing (and several little ones…)
The act of building and growing a successful business is more about creating a sustainable process that supports growth than it is about lucky breaks, big investments or that one big magic deal that will change everything.
Business success is about marrying short term actions with long term vision
and keeping that in balance and in flow at all times.
If you want to make 2017 your best year ever then make sure you keep that balance between strategy and tactics. Break the pattern that lot’s of businesses have when they find themselves out of balance.
It’s a negative pattern that’s about banking it all on that one magic deal in the hope that this will change everything and push the business forward towards the entrepreneurs vision of the business.
Too often the focus is so much on getting that magic deal or lucky break that when it does finally arrive, the foundation that is required to support it, just isn’t there.
Entrepreneurs, by their very nature want it all and want it all now. It’s a brilliant attribute. It makes things happen. There’s no excessive pondering, procrastinating or waiting till everything is just so. It’s active and it’s about taking action.
The downside of being able to see the vision so clearly is that there’s an impatience to achieve that vision. An impatience that makes the entrepreneur front load the day to day so much so that it becomes an impossible mountain to climb.
The reality is we need to pace ourselves in a way that supports that thirst to reach our vision and the realities of day to day business life. This is about sustainability i.e. being able to sustain the journey to get from here to there.You need to build sustainability into how you think. Click To Tweet
You need to build the incremental successes every day, week and year that creates that foundation for growth. The effect is business growth regardless of whether that big break or juicy deal comes along. Those increments are building the business.
But you’ve got to embrace who you are so choose one big thing – one big milestone that will change everything and make 2017 your best year ever. What will be a game changer for you in 2017? Will it be to:
- Write that book that will establish you as an authority in your field?
- Build that product that changes the very nature of your service based business?
- Secure that influencer client that marks you out as a bigger player in your industry?
- Finally become a full time entrepreneur, like you always dreamed?
- Something else?
Now choose the increments that support that milestone and make 2017 your best year ever. Create the process that sees continual improvements in how you do business every day. Make it a process that supports the milestone you’ve chosen for the business this year. This can include your:
- Accounts process that makes sure your suppliers are paid on time.
- Customer service process that keeps all your customers happy and supported.
- Production or service process in way that your products or services are delivered consistently in the way your customers want them.
- Team Building Process so that they can take the journey towards your vision with you.
- Marketing process so that you grow in the marketplace and are sought out by your target customers.
There is room for the other milestones later in your journey.
- Choose the one that makes sense with the foundation you have now.
- Choose one that stretches you but is capable of success.
- And build a foundation around it to ensure that you do in fact succeed and move forward.
Top Tip: Remember there will always be more opportunities, more lucky breaks. Get ready to leverage them when they come.
2 – Pay Attention to Customers They are your lifeblood.
They are what makes your business succeed. Start by understanding who they are. Do you know? If I asked you to tell me about your top 5 customers, would you be able to name them as a group and tell me a story about each group, what they like, what they don’t like, why they are in your top 5.
Now tell me when was the last time you listened to them. What did they say? Did you hear their concerns? Or get a sense of what they want from you? One of the cornerstones of marketing is to find a way to listen to customers. It forms the backbone of the business strategy going forward. It is the secret to growing your business every time.This year in 2017, find a way to listen to your customers. Click To Tweet
3 – Match your Products or Services to what They Want
Often we’re so excited about the product or service we’ve built, we forget to make sure it’s something the market wants. Have you checked? Does your customer want what you’ve got? When you listened to them (see point 2), did you take it on board? What do they want? Better designs? Trouble Free Installs? Results now and not later?
The greatest trick here is to build the product or service they want and not the one you want to build.This year in 2017, Build the Offering they Want Click To Tweet
4 – Be You – the you that is your business.
Do you know who that is? It’s your brand. It’s who you are, how you do business and what you stand for. This is what will make your customers resonate with you. You’ve heard it before; people do business with people. Make your business human so your customers can relate to your business.
The age of the “third person” is in decline. Even multinationals are endeavouring to relate to their customers by bringing in the human element. Every connection with your business is with a person no matter what size you are. If you have a team, do they know who “you” the business is. Do they match that personality? Are they an embodiment of that? If it’s just you, do you match that brand?
Discover who that is, Whoever that is. This is about brand – building an authentic picture of who you are and allowing that to evolve. You can only ever be yourself – everything else is a waste of time, so why not Be authentically you.This year in 2017, Discover Who You Are and Build Your Brand Around That. Click To Tweet
Build an authentic picture of what that means and allow it to evolve then incorporate it in to everything you do.
5 – Build a Process that Leverages all this.
So you’ve chosen your milestones, identified who your customers are and created a product or service that they want. You’ve even looked at building your brand. Now it’s time to let everyone know and to let them know consistently over time. You need to draw in all those potential customers who are a match with everything you’ve accomplished or have yet to accomplish above.
You need a process that helps you on this entrepreneurial journey… this marketing journey. Something that ties all this thinking together, that integrates strategy with tactics, is process focused and easy to follow. You need something that builds and you can use at a pace that makes sense for you. You need something that’s updated consistently so you’re always at the forefront.
And we’ve built it. It’s a training programme and process all built into one. It will walk you through each aspect of growing your business with real world examples that we’ve seen from working with thousands of businesses over the years. It’s a companion guide that you take with you as you grow your business. It’s a network of businesses on the same journey as you. Try it out. It’s How Great Marketing Works. It’ll help you make 2017 your best year ever.
I love to work with businesses, both large and small to help them create sustainable business dreams... Brand and Strategy are at the heart of everything I do and that gets rolled out digitally and across any channel where your customer lives.