A new year means a new opportunity to elevate all areas of your life and business. There is a lot of ‘new year, new me’ advice available (which feels to me a bit ‘touchy/feely’), but it is right to feel now is the time to realign, set new goals, and ensure the fundamentals are in place so those goals are achieved. So this is not a ‘how-to’, but about a way to approach planning and improvement.
Many people claim that they are mentally exhausted, mainly due to the profound changes of the past couple of years and the fast pace of change generally. But change is constant and inevitable, so it may be that three key psychological needs have been diminished: Choice (I’m not in control); Connection (None of this is my fault); Competence (I can’t deal with all the changes). So, we need to proactively create these needs for ourselves:
What choices do I have?
Will these choices contribute to my values and the greater good?
Which choices help growth and learning new skills?
1. Focus on the Fundamentals
This year could also be challenging, so securing revenue and profit is a great place to start. These questions clarify priorities and show where focus is most needed:
How does your product/service make a big difference?
Why is it different from what others offer?
What will you do regularly to meet more potential clients?
How will you strengthen relationships with leads and clients?
How will you assist people to buy from you?
2. Become Financially Fit
Assume economic pressures may continue, so take a close look at cost control, pricing, debt reduction, and cash needs. Learn to interpret accounting reports. Look at tax as a cost and manage it better. Use predictive accounting/forecasts to understand the financial impact of decisions before they are implemented.
3. Build Skills
One skill much in demand is Sales, another is managing Cash. Improve those essential skills with a course, perhaps a mentor who can assist (not just hand out templates or formulaic advice).
4. Prioritize, and Don't Procrastinate
A lot happened in the last three years, so it’s understandable if important tasks have been deferred. Get on top of technical and statutory changes, declutter your workspace, and obtain software or equipment that will help you in the business. Be productive and prioritize the tasks, “Put first things first” (Covey).
Engage with people, having a strong network can make a huge difference in projecting yourself and the business. This can also be outside your preferred niche, it’s not just about seeking referrals or business contacts but about learning new skills and ideas from those with different experiences and backgrounds.
When you are proactive in creating choice and competence, the most likely outcomes are high performance and reduced fears and strain.