Don’t wait until 1st Jan to decide how you are going to grow your business.

It’s that time of year where we all crave a break with friends and family. A time to overindulge and de-stress, but could it be a time for significant growth for you and your business?

For me it feels like the last drops of energy should be used to get ready for the New Year rather than wind right down to a stop. Now, this is a very personal point of view as I am feeling the wear and tear off a huge year of learning, experiences, wins, and failures too.

If I use the old cliché – It’s a marathon, not a sprint – that’s what this year has felt like. Taking small steps moving constantly forward towards key goals and outcomes I have planned. So how will I use that to change what I do in 2020?

Let’s be honest when the clock turns midnight on New Years’s Eve we don’t suddenly recharge and erase our previous 12 months of baggage, good and bad. I almost feel like we should see the change as a constant that we run through it rather than a blank piece of paper that we can fill up with all the things that we didn’t do last year.

What miracle will happen on 1 January each year that will propel you to untold riches and happiness that couldn’t happen on the 31st of December?

Why will your gym membership work this year, giving up alcohol and that global domination if I just wish it to?

Be honest with yourself – it won’t. Things only change when action is taken. An action is simply stopping or starting something, at any time… any time… let me repeat.

Our fascination with social programming and habits leads us to delay the very things we should be doing today, until tomorrow, or Monday (the start of a new week… because that is somehow more effective?!?) or 1 Jan each year.

If you follow any of the current gurus and social narrators such as Gary Vee or Tony Robbins, view every third post on Instagram by a copycat motivational speaker – you should already know that you should start every single day like you mean business.

So if you do mean business, then start today…

Rather than think of New Year’s Resolutions, think about what you are able to achieve every day by asking yourself these two questions:

  • What can I stop doing to improve my situation?
  • What can I start doing to improve my situation?

STOP – Worrying what others are doing

One of the biggest lessons I have learned in the past 12 months and something I practice every day. I allowed the actions and influence of others to dictate my actions and thoughts. When you think about it this is insanity.

In business, we are taught to watch the competition and react to them. For me, Uber and Airbnb have taught us to focus on the market and innovation far more than the competition. Let the competition spend their time and energy on watching you while you accelerate away. The only thing you need to watch is where your audience is.

STOP – Thinking to grow you need bums on seats in an office

One of the biggest challenges of growing your business is people. Not enough can’t grow, too many you have high salary costs. There is no right or wrong answer as every business will know their own needs. But the assumption that more people equals growth is a fallacy. Automation technology and SAAS products that cost a few dollars per month give business owners infinite growth opportunities to grow anywhere at any time.

Ask yourself how you want to grow versus how you need to grow and choose your own path. We have chosen to reduce our team and client base, but also to meet a different client need. A focus on value and not volume. (Which can also be scaled).

STOP – Thinking you need the next big thing to be successful

If you read any form of a business website or blog it will be filled with the next big thing, and boy when they arrive they take the world by storm. But for every 1 that succeeds there are 10,000 that fail because they are trying to be Airbnb or Instagram. They exist, it’s done.. move on. Find the thing that you can solve – that’s where the success lies.

If you consider how many tasks fill your day and how many you think you can achieve you suddenly have an abundance of everyday challenges that you may be able to solve. If you can solve it for many or few it is irrelevant – if you can find an audience that you can solve it for, for the right price, you may just have a business.

STOP – Thinking traditional and start thinking nostalgic

We have witnessed some amazing outcomes with clients this year where we have used both digital marketing and traditional channels to launch products and build audience growth. Yet when we look where we won, it was nostalgia. As generations change and evolve parents and grandparents pass on their loves and memories to their young families. Just look at Lego – a business that you would imagine with technology advances would decline but it has done the exact opposite. It has taken licensing brands to another level, combining new audiences with an ‘old’ product – Harry Potter, Marvel.. the list goes on.

Who do you think wins… everyone! And the best thing is that the price point of Lego is stronger than ever. They have enhanced the value through collaboration and nostalgia. Which provides emotional connection…

Consider what your product or service might mean to your customer – it should either move them or move them forward.

STOP – Telling yourself you can’t do it…

Because that is crap. You may not be able to do it alone, but you can definitely do it. A little like Lego above, you may need to collaborate to increase the value or you need mentoring to increase your confidence in what you are doing. No matter how the recipe looks it can be done. Even when you are down, tired, low, skint and frustrated… you can do it. I learnt this in the biggest way this year: Give Yourself Permission to Succeed

START – Looking after yourself

This year I have been training up to 6 days a week and at a higher intensity than ever before (I am a competitive age-group triathlete). Early on it was hell. Tired and hungry all the time and fighting for time to get it done… within a month I was structuring my day to get the sessions in and the impact on my mental clarity and physical energy was off the charts. Getting home after a long week on a Friday night and running for 90mins was the ultimate test, but I set myself up to succeed because I know I operate better when I am at the peak of fitness.

You don’t have to take up a new sport or take it to the level I did, but treating your body a little more kindly gives you ten times more benefit for all parts of your life compared to taking a holiday for a week once a year and burning out in between. Walk, swim, run, yoga… who cares just move.

START – Social Media… and own it!

For some its a dirty word and the downfall of the human race. Maybe. But for business, it is the untapped resource you cannot ignore. Like anything in business it takes learning, time and hard work, but the benefits to your brand if managed well are significant.

We have been working with two clients over the past 18 months developing a presence and communication channels previously untapped for them both. Both industries lacked serious investment in social, hence our drive to develop and grow our brand in the space. Starting with rich content and a tonne of patience we are seeing a range of results – Quality control, customer feedback, massive website traffic generation, closed business and best of all a greater understanding of our customer personas.

You haven’t missed the boat, the opportunity is still significant and with Google changes impacting on organic search outcomes, more and more potential customers are being reached on social platforms… especially on mobile devices.

START – … well starting….

If you do nothing then nothing happens. Start dreaming big, start making connections, start social media, start building for the future, start asking for help, start disruption, start being noisy, start risking… momentum is everything.

There’s nothing new in here, they are all things that we dismiss each day because we are too busy being busy. Ultimately it is about standing still for a moment at this time of year and asking. ‘Am I really doing what I should be doing right now…’

So rather than saying Happy New Year, I will just say get on with it today!

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