2017 is a blank canvas, and maybe this is the year that you will take your business to the next level? You have passed the start-up phase and now have a solid ongoing business but to thrive it is important to keep the forward momentum going – keep moving ahead and innovating. If this is the year that you plan to move your business up a notch, here are some tips for taking your business to the next level.
Be consistent. Consistency is an under-rated but solid strategy to moving your business on. Business owners often look to the big splash – the newsworthy things that they can do to attract customers. But it is not always being unusual or different with a grand plan that will make the impact. Small, daily actions taken on a consistent basis will gently move things along but on a solid footing. Keep your social media updated regularly, if you send a newsletter, stick to a schedule so your customers know when to expect it. A business that does these regular consistent actions will appear more stable and trustworthy than a business that seems to chase one big idea after the next. Consistency is key.
Make a plan. It is essential to have a plan of where you are going so your business has some direction, but mapping out a whole year or longer can be overwhelming. Take it in easy to manage steps like one quarter at a time. This enables you to adapt to operational changes along the way and be responsive to the trends of your marketplace. It also keeps you close to your customers and what they want, as you are able to react quicker to what they need. Make a plan then head in that direction but be flexible enough to tweak your plan along the way.
Know your customer. This sounds like a no brainer but bear with me. You not only have to know what your customer wants and needs to be able to serve them well but for a business to thrive it is also important to know your IDEAL customer. Think of the customer you love to serve – what is it about them that makes it so easy, profitable or pleasant? Think about what they need and what you provide then look to attract more customers just like that! Wouldn’t it be great if you could eliminate the time wasters, mood vampires or high maintenance clients and just look after your ideal customers? At least having an idea of who they are will take you closer to that goal.
Get sound advice. We all need advice from time to time and business is no exception. There are many sources of advice from your bank manager to a business consultant like TrevorMcClintock.com who can look at your business from an operational level and work with you to find solutions and strategies. The important thing is to not to try to do everything alone and seek help where it is needed.
Go for it. Don’t overthink every decision in your business – it can be easy to remain stuck if you try to micro manage every outcome, and sometimes you just have to operate from your gut. Lead your business from a position of not being afraid to jump in and try something new, you can always try another strategy if the first one doesn’t work out. Remember – great things never came from comfort zones.
If you are a start-up, why not read my guide to staff recruitment?
What business plans do you have for 2017? Do you have any advice to share? Let me know in the comments!