Who can believe we are standing on the threshold of another year? 2018 whizzed by like a freight train, especially for those of us who are busy business owners.
Every time January rolls around, most of us set some resolutions. On a personal level we want to exercise more, eat healthier foods and spend more quality time with the people we hold dear.
If you’re an entrepreneur with big ambitions, you’ll probably have a lot of things in mind for 2019. These are likely to include:
- Finally mastering a marketing strategy
- Hiring some talented, motivated people
- Widening your customer reach
- Boosting your profits
- Expanding to the next town/state/country
- Becoming known as the voice of authority in your industry
That’s a long list but you know what? It’s completely doable. Here’s how:
1. Break your goals down
So you want to be a millionaire! Who doesn’t? But let’s start with growing your profits by, say, 15 per cent this quarter. You can still have your big number but this is a lot more realistic and is something you can build on.
It is great to have big goals and write them down. You also have to figure out how you’re going to achieve them. So start brainstorming and investigating the changes you can make to reach that first 15 per cent, and then the next 15, and so on.
2. Get your head around marketing
Most business owners put together a basic marketing strategy and stick to it, whether it works or not. This is because they are so busy focusing on other areas of their business that they fail to notice new and more effective marketing strategies which have become available.
Do yourself a favour and take a step back from the day-to-day. Talk to someone about which marketing strategies are likely to be most effective for your business and start trialling them.
These new strategies include:
- Video marketing
- Remarketing (Facebook and Google Ads)
- Targeted advertising
- YouTube ads
- Personalised video communication
3. Get the support you need
If you’re an entrepreneur, you are very likely to have a strong independent streak. From the moment you could talk, you were saying “I’ll do it myself!”.
However, no matter how energetic, motivated and driven you are, you can’t be an expert in everything. And if you try to be, you will end up burnt out and exhausted.
Smart business owners surround themselves with people who have been there and done that. They know they have knowledge gaps and they seek to fill them. They also learn to delegate to people who can do it faster, better and cheaper.
By making 2019 the year you let go and finally ask for help, you’ll also find it is the year when things begin to turn around.
4. FAIL FAST
This is another common mistake: business owners hold back on trying new strategies because they are worried they won’t work.
This negative mindset is a success killer. It holds you in the middle ground forever because you’re too worried about all those ‘what ifs’.
Obviously, it is a bad idea to commit your monthly income to a fresh new marketing strategy but you do need to set aside some funds to try new things. If they don’t work, at least you know. You haven’t lost too much money and you can move quickly to the next strategy.
But if you enlist the help of a professional to show you a tried and tested strategy… it just might end up providing return on investment to the tune of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of dollars.
As the saying goes, fortune favours the bold. You don’t have to put your entire life savings on the line to achieve amazing things.
5. Focus on your customers
This is another factor which gets overlooked a lot of the time. As the business owner, you’re so focused on yourself and your success that you forget about what your customer really wants.
Sure, it is great that your marketing is working and you’re getting lots of leads but are you benefiting from the business holy grail that is repeat business? After all, the best marketing campaign will only do so much if the product or service fails to live up to its promises.
Being customer focused and sending out regular customer satisfaction surveys will give you the insights to provide exactly what your target audience is looking for.
6. Review your goals
How many of us set goals but never stop to assess what we have actually achieved?
After you have written down your goals and broken them into manageable steps, make sure you revisit them regularly. You may find they need changing slightly, or that you have hit those targets out of the park and it is time to shoot higher.
Sometimes it can help to have a business ‘buddy’ who will keep you accountable. Get together, compare your progress and inspire each other to achieve more before the next time you touch base.
Now you have hours more in your day, your customers are singing your praises and you are finally making the money you have always dreamed of, take the time to enjoy it!
At the start of the year, as well as setting your goals, write down how you will reward yourself. This may be an extended holiday, a new set of wheels or a home renovation. You may also want to work towards a more altruistic goal, to help out a family member or donate a certain amount to a charity which is close to your heart.