- The 9 must-answer questions to ensure this is the best year ever
July 11, 2012
Enhance Lifestyle, Financial Strategy, Improve Cashflow, Leadership
The new financial year provides business owners with a great opportunity to plan. And for me and the team at May Partners, our goal is to make the 2012/13 financial year our best yet.
What are your plans? Whatever they are, here are 9 strategies designed to help it be the best ever. Go for it!!
1. Bigger, or profitable; you make the choice
You may have heard the saying before; ‘revenue is vanity, cashflow is sanity’. Quite simply, having your best year doesn’t simply mean you have to focus purely on growing revenue. We see it time and time again that Country Victorian businesses grow the top line but don’t necessarily increase their profits. Or they grow their revenue but end up no cash – nothing in the bank to show for all your hard work! There’s nothing wrong with growing your business but just remember, it’s not what you turnover that counts, it’s what you keep.
2. Are your customers buying everything they you have on offer?
I want to grow my business, I need more leads… Does that sound familiar? This is what we hear most often from business owners in and around Bendigo who want to grow their business. But the question is, is this the best way? Well, maybe not – see number one above. Research shows that it’s 6 times cheaper to market to your existing customers, so if you want this year to be your best year ever, make sure your current customers are buying every single thing they can from you. At least, make sure they know everything you do or sell.
3. Work with your team, make them more successful
Whenever you hear truly successful people interviewed about how they achieve greatness, every time you hear comments about how great their team is. Learn from this. If it works for great sports people, great business owners and great achievers the world over, then it will work for you. My tip, advise the team of your goals, work with them to derive the strategy, then cut them loose and give them the freedom to achieve. That’s why you employed them in the first place, wasn’t it?
4. Reward excellent failures, punish mediocre success
This is a quote from the great management guru Tom Peters. But what does it mean? Well, my take on it is that we will never achieve greatness if we are satisfied with average success. Does this mean we try to fail? Of course not! But what it does mean is that we need to set our sights higher than ever before and don’t accept mediocrity. If we do fail, we try something else (see number eight below)
5. Work on yourself as much as you work on the business
There’s a very good reason why businesses grow to a certain size and then either stop growing, or worse still, go broke. And that reason is The Leader. The business will never outperform its owner or leader, so the owner needs to keep increasing performance. If your business seems to be plateauing, it could be you need to develop yourself some more… take on the challenge, it will be worth it.
6. Don’t try to be everything to everyone
The quickest way to fail all of your customers (and yourself) is to try to do everything for all of them. Yes we have to provide great service, and yes we need great products, but if we try to be everything for everyone it’s only going to end in tears. Much better to serve your customers excellently in the areas you are already great at.
7. Think outside the square
The business world is changing quickly so you have to make sure you keep up. What worked for you 5 years ago may not work now. We are in the creativity age, where anything goes and technology turbocharges the results. Keep trying new things. Most of them don’t cost you much and the results could be amazing.
8. Map, Move and Measure
To have your best year ever, you should Map (plan for the next 12 months) Move (dedicate serious energy to implementing the plan) and Measure (determine what is working, keep doing what is and stop what isn’t). Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well it is! But most business owners simply don’t do it. The team at May Partners is putting the finishing touches to our new business success workshop, “Map, Move and Measure” – so to ensure you achieve the results you’re striving for, make sure that you stay tuned for details.
9. Have some fun with it
There’s enough doom and gloom in the world at the moment so lets make business (your business!) a happy place to be. I literally just did some quick calculations – did you know that we spend around two thousand hours a year at “work”. That’s about 80,000 hours over a forty year career! How about we make it enjoyable. If you aren’t turning up to your business with a sense of happiness and anticipation, then you need a holiday… or a new business. You and your team will perform much better if there’s a smile on their face and they are happy to be there.