Getting Your Business on Track in 2017
It’s so easy to get off track in business. We spend our days putting out fires, dealing with the ‘issue’ of the day and then often heading home exhausted after never having gotten to the work we wanted to do or knew we needed to do. Owning a business is a joy-filled, adventure and a chaotic, crazy ride. [And I LOVE it]
This fall I had the busiest season of my business to date. And during this time I became clear about some of the things that were off-track in my business. I had widened my focus too far and as the result my business wasn’t working as optimally as it could. I was running around like a tornado trying to do too many things for too many people. And in this chaos I KNEW that I would crash if I didn’t get my business back on track. I needed to focus, re-calibrate my vision and my strategy for achieving my goals.
Below are some simple things I did to help get my business get back on track.
I did a time assessment. I looked at how I was spending my time over a few week period. I kept notes and paid attention to what inspired me and what drained me. And I noted how tired I was each day, how much fun I was having and how productive I was. I try to do this a few times a year. It’s a natural reset. When I take time to assess how I am spending my time I’m quickly able to see where I’m off and where I need to focus. As the result of my assessment I decided to narrow the services I offer and take a break from social media. I’m already seeing results. And I am much happier and more rested!
I revisited my goals. I’ve always be an avid goal writer and strategic thinker. And yet my implementation has not always been stellar. So in order to get back on track with my goals, I revisited each of them and asked myself what I REALLY wanted and what I was willing to do. I got clear and in doing so I got rid of a few goals that I knew I would not do, and added a few to help me focus. I have fewer goals for this year but more clarity than I have had in years.
I got help. I hired a new business coach earlier this year and it’s been so helpful. I find that left to my own devices I get off track easily. When I have accountability and help, I stay more true to the course I’ve set. Being a business owner can be lonely – it’s more fun and more productive to share the journey with others.
I got more focused on my numbers. When I get busy or distracted, I’m not always good at staying on top of my books. I know and follow a budget but I pay less attention to the little things and stuff starts to fall through the cracks. Spending time monitoring my accounts receivable, paying attention to my bank accounts and making sure I have clear, realistic projections sets me up to grow my business.
I scheduled some strategic time. I needed time to work on my business, time to think about my life. By taking this time over the past month I ‘saw’ things differently, I created more space for growth and change. Going forward I’ve once again put this time into my calendar – I need to continue scheduling regular time for this. Because I know if I don’t take time to work on my business – I’ll end up only working in it. [And my clients pay me to help them work on their businesses – I must walk my talk .
I analyzed my competitors. I’ve been trying to get my information together to build a new website and I have been putting it off. I hate writing marketing material. I don’t like writing about myself and I just keep thinking what I have is good enough even though I KNOW it needs a face lift. So instead of writing I began looking at all my competitor’s site. I had not been paying much attention to what my competitors had been doing. As I took a look – I was inspired. Inspired to do more of what I do, inspired to narrow my focus AND a bit more convinced I need to build a better website.
I looked for new opportunities. As I scrolled through my competitors websites looking at their client lists, I got inspired to look back through my database. When I did this – I began to look at the names with a new lens. I didn’t just see past clients and potential clients – I saw opportunities – new opportunities. Right there in this list I had been doing nothing with for months – I saw new opportunities and began reaching out. This has been fun and has begun to fill my pipeline with new and exciting work.