New Year’s advice from your business coach
5 P’s for your Small Business
As your favourite small business coach, I am supposed to tell you how to start the new year off with a bang. We’re already a few weeks into 2017, but in Australia the year never starts properly until after the Australia Day weekend of 26 January (also known as the Invasion Day weekend,) so I have a bit more time to give you my top 5 things to do in your business in 2017.
It’s not that there is anything particularly special about 2017, but the start of any year is a good place to set some powerful intentions.
These are the five intentions you should set for yourself at the start of 2017:
- Fingers on the pulse
- Systems, systems, systems
- Social media
If you nail those 5 in 2017, you’ll truly start to build a Business that is Fun and that sustains you for years to come.
Here’s the low down on each one of the five:
The most important question any entrepreneur must be able to answer in his business is this one:
Why does your business exist, what’s it on this earth for, and why would anybody else care about that?
Obvious? Maybe, but let me tell you: the answer to that question will have nothing to do with money. (Money is never the Point, it’s a by-product at best). Neither will the answer be a variant on “We deliver a Great product with Great customer service for a Great price” (because everyone else does that too), and nor is the answer: “Because I need to pay the mortgage” (Your customers do not care about your need to pay the mortgage, they really don’t, sadly)
Nobody, but you can tell you what the answer is, but once you answer it in one short powerful statement, in a way that sends a shiver down your spine, 2017 will be a great year.
No human endeavour has ever amounted to anything without a plan. At the same time however it can be said that all plans are out of date the moment they’re created. Planning is guessing, but that doesn’t mean we might as well stop planning. On the contrary, the secret is to always be planning. Planning is a verb that must continuously be carried out. Plan every week, every month and every year. Ideally on one page, no more.
If you are focused on planning with regularly, I guarantee you that 2017 will be the most exciting year you’ve experienced in your small business.
Finger on the Pulse:
In 2017, make it your focus to start to measure the important functions of your business. What gets measured, gets managed is the old saying and that wisdom holds true as much in 2017 as it did a hundred years ago. Think about the 10 or 15 key indicators of the health of your business and how you might get a weekly and monthly single measurement of those to look at. Obviously, a few of those numbers will come directly out of your bookkeeping program, such as your bank balance and gross and net profit and your revenue figures. But there are a bunch of other numbers that will give you powerful insight into how your business is going, as well.
Keeping your fingers on the pulse of the key indicators of the health of your business, I call it. If you want your business to start humming in 2017, focus on learning to measure the key numbers.
One tip though: You as the entrepreneur should not be involved in obtaining these numbers yourself. You should delegate getting the numbers to others and ensure that those key numbers land on your desk every Friday afternoon for the week just past. Delegating the reporting on the numbers to others in your business is a really important part of the process.
Systems, systems, systems:
I suppose it goes without saying, but systemisation is the secret of any entrepreneur. It’s all about predictability. I’m not suggesting that every small business must go through a process of McDonaldisation, far from it, but we shouldn’t ignore the lessons from McDonalds either. When you send one of your plumbers out to do a job, you want to feel confident that he’ll do the job smoothly, safely and profitably and that he leaves a satisfied customer behind. And when someone in your business answers the phone, you don’t want to have to hold your breath hoping they’ll not annoy the person on the other end of the line because of bad phone manners.
Systemisation is about the opposite of “Managing by keeping your fingers crossed”. Systemisation can be about small things such as answering the telephone with a simple little script as well as big things like a complete safety management systems. Only you can decide the balance between the cost of developing and implementing a system and the cost of not having one. Some things will always have to come down to common sense, but not all of them.
Facebook is here to stay
So is Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest and YouTube and Yelp and TripAdvisor and LinkedIn and Google and a whole bunch of others that haven’t even really been though about yet. They will become more and more important and you simply must get on board with them if you still want to have a business a few years from now. People ask their Facebook friends for recommendations to plumbers, restaurants, holiday accommodation and accountants and then they expect to click straight to a Facebook page of that business and see reviews and opening hours and star ratings.
You may still be getting the bulk of your business outside of social media, but if you are, I bet it’s already getting harder and in 5 years I guarantee you’ll be left behind eking out a living in the margin.
20 years ago you effectively couldn’t run a business without an ad in the Yellow pages… These days the same goes for social media, whether you like it or not.
Don’t resist it any longer, make it a priority to really learn how to maximise your opportunities in social media and you’ll have great years from 2017 onwards… I promise you.
#FunInBusiness #Coaching #Entrepreneur #SmallBiz #Goalsetting #TopFiveThingsNewYear #NewYearsResolution
It’s very easy to get caught up in your business, especially when you are working hard to make it work. Learn to have more fun in your business with my start-of-the-year freebie– The 10 Truths for Making Business Fun. Because you created your business to live life on your terms – so do it!