19 Business Success Tips to Make this Year Your Best Year Yet
It’s a new year, we’ve all enjoyed the recent festivities, hopefully taken some time off to relax and recuperate and spent some time reflecting on the successes and challenges that last year brought.
Most of us are now in the process of thinking about what we’d like this year to bring and how we can achieve maximum success in our businesses this year. If we dedicate time to thorough planning it really does have immense potential to be a great year. Here’s some top tips to help you achieve your highest level of success this year:
1. Cultivate a positive attitude
First and foremost, positive thinking is the key to making this year your most successful year yet. It’s this ‘can do’ attitude that’s helped many successful entrepreneurs get to where they want to be. Thinking positive thoughts affects so many things from your energy and enthusiasm levels, it helps build resilience, it’s infectious and draws others to you as well as improving your ability to solve problems and make good decisions.
2. Carry out an in-depth analysis of the previous year
Consider what worked and what didn’t the year before, which products or services were the most popular with your customers for example? This will help you to decide which ones are worth focusing your marketing and advertising activity on going forward.
3. Create a clear vision of the success you wish to achieve
Devise a mission statement that connects what you’d like to achieve with why you’d like to achieve it. For example:
‘I will have a successful year in business by building solid working relationships with people whom I admire and with whom I enjoy working, by carrying out work that I enjoy and by producing work to the highest standard possible. I will commit to my own personal and professional development, to continue to learn and improve my skills so that I can offer the best service possible. I will be responsive to immerging trends in my field and in technology and take a client centred approach to my work. I will aim to provide immense value to my clients in order to have a positive impact on their businesses and life. I will contribute to their enhanced work-life balance and overall well-being by alleviating stress related to time consuming administrative and business tasks. Giving them back valuable hours in this way will enable them to further their own personal and professional development, expand their businesses, gain new opportunities and improve profitability.’
4. Make a list of goals you plan to accomplish this year
A good way of approaching this is to give yourself 10 minutes to write down as many goals as you can think of, for example ‘I want to buy a car,’ ‘I want to make £50000.’ Then go through this list and place a number next to each one, so 1 = 1 year goal, 5 = 5 year goal, 10 = 10 year goal.’ Then take all the 1 year goals and put them into a list.
5. Make a list of SMART goals
Turn all your 1 year goals into SMART goals, meaning that they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based. For example ‘I will make an annual salary of £50000 by December 31st 2017’ or ‘I will visit Cape Town for 2 weeks by April 30th 2017’.
6. Write your ‘why’ for each goal
Why do you want to accomplish each of these things? For example, ‘I want to earn more money this year so that I can see more of the world and sign up to some training courses that are important to my professional development.’ Being clear about why you wish accomplish certain things will create stronger motivation levels. If you’re doing them for a reason you truly believe in they will carry a deeper meaning and create a deeper sense of satisfaction once attained.
7. Create an action plan with detailed steps for how you’re going to accomplish each goal
Schedule the action steps into the calendar or keep them in your sight to review at all times. You could simply place the action points into a bulleted list. So, on your goal list, you have goal number 1, followed by your ‘why’ then your action plan underneath this and repeat for each goal.
8. Take action now
It’s important to get moving as soon as possible whilst you’re still in the right mindset.
9. Display your goals, your ‘why’ and action plans in a place where they’re easily visible
As the year moves forward undoubtedly distractions will arise, you’ll become busier and more entwined in the ins and outs of your business, relationships, family, and so forth. Thus, it’s important to keep your goals, your ‘why’ and action plans within your sight, or carry them around on index cards in your wallet so that you can read them when you’re waiting in queues, on the train or at the airport.
10. Practice the art of visualisation
Visualisation has long been a powerful technique used by sportsmen but is becoming increasingly more popular in business. Try to integrate it into your daily routine and visualise yourself as already having accomplished your goals. Take the time to experience the joy and immense satisfaction that comes with doing so. Making your goals real in your mind will spur your brain and body into action. The sub-conscious mind cannot tell the difference between reality and fiction, so visualisation is a way of tricking it into believing that your goals are real and will therefore catapult you into action.
11. Accept challenges
We must remind ourselves that things WILL inevitably get tough, success is never plain sailing for anyone, therefore we have to accept this as part of the journey. It’s also our ability to overcome these challenges that leads to personal growth and a greater sense of accomplishment. Furthermore, challenges and obstacles make us reflect on how effective our current tactics are, and thus will lead to better decisions, services and products and an improved experience for our customers. Finally, when things get tough remind yourself of the ‘why’ behind each of your goals and this will be sufficient motivation to keep you going.
12. Never stop working on your personal and professional development
As the year goes on ensure you continue to work on your success mindset, striving to embody all the qualities you envision requiring in order to be your most successful, healthiest and happiest self. Remember how important it is to be a kind, genuine and compassionate person because these qualities result in a positive reputation among customers, colleagues, competitors and other influencers. It will also ensure that new opportunities do not run dry and more people will wish to work with and buy from you.
13. Acknowledge the freeing power of delegation
Entrepreneurs and solo business owners need to realise that they simply cannot do everything themselves, and so they must learn how to delegate. This is their most valuable business strategy, the art of delegation. The freeing power of delegation will have a tremendous impact on any small business, whether it’s hiring employees or outsourcing work to independent contractors. As serial entrepreneur and best-selling author Chris Ducker very rightly puts it, ‘Do what you do best, delegate the rest.‘
In his best-selling book, ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ Stephen R.Covey states that ‘effectively delegating to others is perhaps the single most powerful high-leverage activity there is, transforming responsibility to other skilled and trained people enables you to give your energies to other high-leverage activities – delegation means growth.’
14. Be fearless
To be successful, you must possess courage, and you must be brave enough to take risks, even if this involves pushing the boundaries of what you believe you’re capable of. Whether you succeed or fail you’ll still learn and grow from the experience.
Every move forward, every step we take comes with uncertainty, it’s impossible to predict the outcome. Those who take these steps forward regardless of the risks involved are much more likely to do well, if failure occurs they learn from the experience and use this education to make them more effective next time round. Complacency is not an option, if you choose to remain inside your comfort zone you’ll never know what you’re capable of achieving.
15. Work on building your confidence
If you don’t believe in yourself how can you expect anyone else to? It all comes down to attitude, and if yours is negative this will significantly decrease your chances of success. Confidence and self-belief are your armour, they are what protect you and empower you with the resilience required to go on in the face of difficult challenges.
16. Associate with the right people
According to Jim Rohn, ‘we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with’. It’s therefore key to our success that we surround ourselves with those who have a positive effect on our lives both personal and professional. It’s equally as important to say your farewells to those who do the opposite. It’s detrimental to your success to spend time with negative people who do not support you, so rid yourself of these toxic naysayers. If you surround yourself with like-minded, goal-oriented individuals you’ll learn from them and vice versa and help each other to reach the top.
17. Employ mindfulness
Being mindful means taking all angles into consideration and paying particular attention to the present, it is a state of total awareness. According to the Harvard Business review ‘you can train your brain to focus better by incorporating mindfulness exercises throughout your day’. Their advice includes tactics such as starting your day right, paying careful attention to your breathing, focusing on one task at a time with total focus, avoiding checking email first thing in the morning, using mindfulness to practice shorter more focused meetings and turning off your phone for 10 minutes on your commute home to simply ‘be’.
18. Do work you enjoy
If our work is centred on our passions it’s not difficult to see why we’d be happier individuals overall. If you are doing what you love you’re more likely to succeed because you’ll be more willing to invest your whole self in your business.
If you’re not currently doing what you are most passionate about consider making changes. This doesn’t necessarily have to be giving your business a complete overhaul, it could mean making small changes and integrating more of your passions into it slowly and gradually build it into a business that reflects your passions over time. So, making slight amendments to your services, products, systems and processes so that they fit your personality more and more.
19. Express gratitude
Finally, it’s important to remember to take a step back on a regular basis and to express thanks for the things you already have. It’s all too easy to become obsessed with what we want and are working towards, but it’s just as important to express gratitude for the things we’ve already accomplished. This also boosts our confidence and self-esteem since we’ve already experienced the joy and satisfaction they bring. Be mindful of how often you complain about the things that are missing from your life and business.
Applying the advice above will help pave your way to a prosperous 2017 filled with fulfilment, happiness and success. Remember the importance of reviewing goals regularly, and of continuous self-development. Adopting the correct mindset will fire up your effectiveness, creativity, productivity and motivation.
Lastly, remember that these actions do not all have to be done in one go, so take it step by step.
Do you think you need to outsource to get you to where you want to go this year? If so feel free to contact me here to discuss how I can help move you closer to your goals.