Like most business owners, we bet your brain was full of business goals and objectives to go back to work with in January. The start of a new year is always good like that. We begin full of enthusiasm and energy about what the next 12 months will bring, and then something gets in the way. It’s that thing called life. We get it. In our latest blog, we share our 10 tips to getting back on track and achieving more of your business goals this year.
Define Your Values and Purpose
It’s what is at the heart of your business and the reason why you get up in the morning. Here’s Google’s:
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Think they’ve probably nailed that. By having a clear vision, you’ll be able to gain more clarity across the whole of your business. When your WHY is big enough, you will find your HOW.
Be You, Uniquely You
Own your vision, however unique! Find your niche and concentrate fully on that niche. Your tribe will respect you all the more for it. Jo Soley, business coach, advises, “The stark truth is that everyone is NOT your client. Fact. You want to be Marmite. You want to be sooooo right for some people that you are sooooo wrong for others. When you speak directly to your ideal client, they will feel that you hear them, see them and understand them and because of that they will be inspired to work with you. If you are not completely clear about your message, how do you expect your ideal clients to find you? A clear message gives you clarity, a road map for your business, it articulates what you do so it carries impact. YOU need to be very clear on who you are, what you do and how you help people.”
Document Your Goals
We always recommend using the SMART goal method to define and document goals. As a wise person once said “Unless a dream is written down, it’s only a wish”. What do you want to achieve? More money, more time, more leads, or something else?
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. An example could be increasing the amount of visitors you get to your website.
We will increase the number of new visitors to our website by 10% within six months (August 2019).
S – Specific: The goal defines both what needs to be attained and by when.
M – Measurable: The goal is measurable within Google Analytics.
A – Attainable: The goal is a 10% increase of their current site visits which is realistic and attainable.
R – Relevant: The goal is to get new users to the site and build awareness of the brand in new markets.
T – Time-bound: We set a period of six months to achieve this goal.
Measure Your Goals
Now you’ve got your goals in place, it’s time to start measuring. As Ian Braysher, Business Coach at Pro-actions recommends, “Measurement frequency depends on the process in question, e.g. progress of Pay Per Click campaigns should be weekly and review of milestones monthly. Do not concentrate milestones to a single month, spreading them across the lifecycle avails flexibility and does not drain confidence as much.”
We particularly like Ian’s advice to spread milestones across projects so that you’re not reviewing multiple KPIs at one particular time, which potentially could be a drain on resources.
Get your mind right and the rest will follow
All this talk of action is fantastic, of course, but what if you’re just not feeling it right now? We spoke to Will Polston, Mindset Strategist who shares, “Business owners will often need to go without basic human and psychological needs of their own in order to serve their clients, grow their team and fulfil their mission resulting in having an extreme lack of uncertainty at times. Therefore a strong, empowered, resourceful, resilient, forever growing mindset isn’t a ‘nice to have’, it’s a ‘must have’ for business owners. Without it, they won’t be business owners very long.”
Direction + Action = Growth
And when your mind is right, you feel more able to step outside your comfort zone. That’s where the great things happen. Eric Evans, business advisor and mentor knows more than most about taking those leaps of faith. From the age of 22 when he started his own company to today, Eric has embodied the spirit of entrepreneurship, resilience and positivity, through his life experiences which include surviving a terrorist’s bomb, a civil war, blood cancer and two bone marrow transplants. He shares, “As directors, owners and managers, you are busy operating your business and sometimes it can be hard to recognise the additional opportunities out there for your product or service.
My business is to find these to protect and improve profitability, by using and staying ahead of market trends. You may be looking to expand your business, diversify, use your assets to better value or consolidate and reduce overheads.
The last business I advised on was a service company, which through consistent bad practice, had fallen into administration. Steered successfully into a CVA, this business is now profitable with a reduced turnover, cashflow is strong and business is growing again. All too often, people rely on habit to drive their business which can be the very opposite of what is required. My top tip to creating more opportunities in 2019 would be to identify the areas of the business which have stagnated, for whatever reason, and take proactive action, however difficult, in order to head the business in the right direction once more.”
Manage your pipeline proactively
It’s a rare business owner that doesn’t want more new business. Rupert Miles of Sandler Training gave us his top tips to prospecting, sharing that, “Filling your sales pipeline consistently is simply down to your behaviours. Interestingly it is the things in life we least like that we take the longest to do. Putting off calling a fairly cold lead, not following up a client, or avoiding attending a networking event.
Ultimately it saps our energy and feeds our negative self-talk. If you wait to feel ‘up for it’, you will never do it. You need to just do it (act as if you can) and your belief that you can will grow. Even better, the more you do it, the more your technique will develop and this too will increase your success and confidence. Behaviour (doing it) drives attitude (believing that you can), not the other way round.
Getting a healthy pipeline is about finding and separating out the prospects (people who need what you do) from suspects (people who don’t need what you do or don’t wish to benefit from what you can offer them). People who fail at sales do one or more of the following:
- too little prospecting
- stick with just one prospecting approach
- are not consistent
- do not set and monitor their prospecting plan and targets
If you work out the metrics carefully (how much of each activity leads to a sale) you can predict – to a level of accuracy that will astound you – the sales you will achieve. All you have to do is start now.”
Excellent, practical advice there from Rupert. After all, the first step is always the most important and once you’ve taken it, you can start promoting your business strategically through online and offline marketing.
Get seen for all the right reasons
Cat Tierney of Absolutely PR shares the one thing you should be doing to gain more coverage in a crowded marketplace: “Know your target market and align any opportunities to that. There is no point getting a feature in a magazine designed for 20-25 year olds if your service or product is for an older market. Take the time to find influencers who would be of benefit and get to know them. Just one or two at a time will really help your chance of featuring. Don’t just bombard local papers with press releases or send in products in the hope they’ll be featured as chances are they won’t.”
Use social media to target and prospect
Emma Goode of Brentwood social media agency 24 fingers agrees, “Today’s social media platforms are making it easier than ever to find your ideal customers. Use hashtags, use groups, use paid targeting to find more of the clients who you want to work with and who will value your product or service. Above all though, and my top tip, would be to create the type of content you’d wish to read, engaging content which gives something of value to prospects and potential clients.
Time is precious, use it wisely
Time, not money, is the 21st century’s most precious commodity and people are beginning to see the benefits of doing what they do best, and outsourcing the rest. Take some, err, time to review the bits you don’t like, or that are slowing you down, and seek help and additional resource. Clients tell us when they use our virtual assistance service and our team of elite PA’s, it frees them up to focus and grow their business, rather than being bogged down with admin tasks. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we could help free up your time. Our services include: event management, diary management, social media and marketing, and personal assistance, in addition to bespoke requirements.
Here’s to 2019 and beyond – may your business goals be well and truly smashed!