So today you wake up and find that you have only 15 days until 2010 (fewer than that if you count working days, at least for most people).
You vow that 2010 is going to be the year that you finally get your act together – despite the state of the economy, since can’t do anything about it but create your own…
Maybe you vowed that in 2009 and it did or didn’t go so well. Doesn’t matter. What’s gonna make 2010 DIFFERENT?
No matter how things are going, they could be better. If they’re going great, the challenge is to keep it that way and build upon your success.
So lets go over 5 things that you can do to make sure 2010 is the year your business gets the effort – and the results – it deserves:
Number 4: “Put on the hat” of your biggest critic or doubter: Ask yourself some tough questions. Justify what you’ve done this year. Reflection is a critically valuable tool. It isn’t about guilt, it’s about recognizing the need (or lack of) for change as well as recognizing what went well.
Even better, take your biggest critic/doubter out for coffee and ask them to let you have it. Ask them to kindly critique the year they’ve seen from you and suggest what they think you should be doing. The feedback isn’t the result you’re looking for. Instead, consider your reactions to the conversation. How do they make you feel about your level of commitment and what you’re really trying to accomplish? Do something about it.
Number 3: Schedule communications (not boring ones) in some form with every customer, at least once every month. If you can’t figure out what to say to your paying customers, you aren’t thinking hard enough – or – they aren’t much of a customer to you. If you can’t afford to communicate with them (and I don’t mean just by email) on a monthly basis, it seems clear that your business model could use some work.
Number 2: Spend some time considering where the leading edge thinkers in your industry are going – and why. If one of those leading edge thinkers is you (be honest with yourself), think harder. Look outside your industry for ideas you can use and “convert” for your business.
- How do these things fit into your current plans?
- Do those plans need adjustment?
- Does your entire big picture need adjustment?
- Do any legislative changes affect you in the coming year?
Number 1: Spend an hour (I’d prefer you spend a day or two – or a week if you can do so) and really, seriously nail down a picture in your mind of a few things:
- What things in your business should look like on Dec 15, 2010.
- What that year of progress is really, truly working towards – yes, what exactly *is* your big picture?
- Did 2009 work toward it, or go somewhere else? If you don’t like the answer…do something about it.
- If you have staff, do they fit the result of this discussion? Can they be trained to do so? What other resource challenges does this bring to mind?