I want you to try something. Look back over your 2015 year. Now instead of listing all the things you didn’t do or accomplish, celebrate what you did do. It’s important that you give yourself credit for your accomplishments, instead of only beating yourself up because you didn’t make as much progress as you hoped you would.
Achieving goals all at once is impossible–persistence is what truly matters. And if you want to make 2016 the big turning point, listen to advice from people who have been in the trenches.
I’d like to share some of those actions and resources I used to build up my own successful businesses over the years.
Must Do #1: Trim the Fat
Over this past year I can imagine the amount of additional work (and projects) you may have undertaken as a small business owner. The sheer number of items on your list can be quite overwhelming, but we keep holding on to them because they sound like (and may well be) great ideas.
These items can include:
- Changing the website
- Working on a new product
- Expanding to a new location
- Developing aspects of your social media presence
Though these are all great goals, they add a lot of excess work to your already busy schedule. Delegate these to a team member, intern or freelance expert, so you can focus on your core business blueprint.
Otherwise, you are trying to do too much and the important tasks, like sales, are slipping through the cracks. Get real about what projects you really plan to commit to and stay persistent. Take some time to go through your list and decide which ones will no longer be part of the pipeline. Remove any excess fat to your backlog (going as far as deleting the documents) so they’re not there lingering.
In 2016, you’ll keep it lean and focused by trimming the business “fat”.
Must Do #2: Nurture the Relationships
It’s so easy to begin letting your ego take over when you see slivers of success. The result can be that you begin to “move on” from clients who you first did business with because you feel you’re “out of their league” or “they don’t contribute value” anymore–but this is rarely the case.
Every individual you’ve come across during your time in business are prime opportunities to help your business grow. They are your raving fans, so take good care of them.
Growth can come about in many different ways:
- Sharing (online)
- Improving user experience
…the list goes on.
Instead of letting those relationships go, you should make an effort in 2016 to really nurture them. By building a strong following (via business relationships) you’ll find those all-important opportunities that are needed to make 2016 a huge leap year.
Must Do #3: Track and Optimize the Flow
Two of the most valuable practices I learned as a young business woman were taking notes and optimizing my workflow.
Notes are fairly common sense, you might say, but are you really doing it?
It’s great to think about it like this:
- What if you became ill and no one at the office knew how to do your work?
- What if your computer crashed and you had to start all over?
- What if you want to hire and train someone to take on part of your work?
Once you get your head wrapped around the idea of creating an established workflow system, you can proceed to create a step-by-step process for yourself and your employees to follow.
The best part of this process of documentation is that you will find areas of your work that have long been floundering.
For 2016, wouldn’t you want to work at the best of your ability?
These are the items that have worked for me and will continue to do so in 2016. What do you believe are the essential actions (and resources) that’ll turn next year into your best year yet? If you are ready to do things differently this time, don’t miss your opportunity to plan for the big leaps.
Voice for Business Success
Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, The World Leader in Scaling Businesses. She is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of, Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19. Her client list has included Ben & Jerry’s, Supercuts, Charlotte Russe, and Allstate.
Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success and create a more meaningful life. The Pinnacle Global Network, her private mentoring and mastermind enterprise has guided thousands of business owners over the past 10 years. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox across the US. Allison has also hosted her own podcast, The Scale or Fail Show, since 2011.