Set your sites on small business profits for the coming year
Retreat, reflect and refresh to profit in your small business in the new year
This post is coming to you from beautiful Port Stephens, about a two-hour drive north of Sydney, Australia. I take a week’s break here towards the end of every calendar year.
My time here has three main purposes:
- To retreat – to rest and recharge my batteries
- To reflect on and review the previous year – both my successes and my failures
- To refresh my plans for the coming year. This year my forward planning is especially important because I plan to launch two new businesses early in the year – Matilda Hosting and Hubsite Builder
Why you want to retreat from your small business to boost your profits
The biggest challenge that most small business owners have is to stop the go go go and do do do routines that can become habitual ways of keeping us locked into working in our business rather than on our business.
That’s why it’s essential to retreat from your business from 3 to 7 days at least once a year to allow you to step back from the inside workings of your business and examine what has happened and what you want to happen from a more global perspective.
12 tips to set the right course for your small business profits for next year
- Retreat from your business for a few days to relax your mind, body and spirit
- Review your values. Your values are your lifestyle priorities and preferences. How have your priorities changed from when you established your small business or when you set your last vision for your business? Remember that your values are your unique motivation code.
- Review your vision for your small business. Are you close to fulfilling that vision? If yes, then it’s time to set yourself a new, expanded vision. If no, is your vision truly aligned to your values, do you have the right strategies in place to take you as directly as possible toward your vision, do you have the right people on board and in the right roles to support your strategies with optimum effectiveness and efficiency? Or have changes in market conditions caused your existing vision to be no longer viable?
- Review your mission for your small business. Are you still as passionate to help your customers or clients in your unique way with your unique products or services as you were the day you started your business? If yes, do the people you have working in your business share your passion and do they have the right knowledge, attitude, skills and systems to support them in the day to day implementation of the mission of your business? If no, then it’s time to review your values, because what you value, in other words, what’s important to you, is what will provide the fuel to drive your ongoing efforts in your business.
- Review what worked well, especially in terms of sales and marketing, which provide your cash flow, the lifeblood of your business. Remember that your web marketing strategy needs to be a subset of your overall marketing strategy.
- Analyze why those strategies worked so well and identify how you can replicate and expand on them in the coming year.
- Review what did not work so well. Is your website optimized for high search engine ranking to make it easier for potential customers to find you?
- Analyze why those strategies did not add to your small business profits and what you need to do in order to tweak or delete any unsuccessful strategies or tactics.
- Take a good hard, realistic look at your customer service. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes – what’s your customer experience REALLY like, both when things go well and when they need to come back to because something went wrong with your product or service?
- Review your own knowledge, skills attitudes and systems. Do you need to update your knowledge to stay current or even ahead of the pack in your field? Are you working as much as possible in your strengths? In other words, doing what you do best, and outsourcing the rest? Are your relationship skills bringing out the best in the people who work with and for
you– employees, customers, suppliers and others? Have you systematized your business wherever possible to make it easier to run independently of your time and attention and to make it easier to sell when it’s time to move on to the next phase of your life?
- Identify, intensify and integrate the Commitment Nexus of your business to turn employees and customers alike into raving fans. Contact me for details of our next Commitment Nexus Workshop
- Take a mini-retreat, perhaps one or two days, every quarter and conduct a mini review of where you’re at in relation to where you want your business to be. Again, use this time to step outside of your business, to analyze what is and what is not working, to recharge your batteries, and to refocus with renewed energy.