The new year is an opportunity to rewrite the rules and stop settling for less in your business. It is the opportunity to cast a strategic vision that is different from the past and to create more success and growth in your business and your life. Here are five ways you can make it happen.

1. Embrace change

Change unsettles most people, but it is constant for small-business owners. And change is happening at a frightening pace. If change is already happening in your business, why not get ahead of it?

One solid way to bring agility and innovation into your small business is to implement a quarterly strategic planning and review process into your business. This planning rhythm keeps your efforts focused and actionable while remaining agile and able to shift as new learnings come to the table.

 2. Prioritize customer needs

Customers’ needs and their problems are in a constant state of change.

A simple strategy is engaging in a conversation with your clients to identify opportunities. The strategy could be as simple as asking a probing question at the end of every client interaction. It could also be more involved such as surveys or quarterly client advisory groups, to follow a more formal process.

More than ever, staying in tune with the customers’ needs and the problems you can solve is imperative. It is the gateway for future growth and innovation.

3. Work smarter, not harder

Working smarter is about leveraging the talents of people and collaboration. When you remove hurdles and bottlenecks in your processes, you promote ease. That which is easy gets accomplished. That translates to being able to produce more income with the resources you have. You likely will see a boost to team morale and fewer daily fires to put out.

Consider which elements of your client experience and service could be delivered through automation, saving critical points for human interaction. The organizational efficiencies gained can offset growth investments and produce a more efficient team.

4. Profit is an intention, not a reward

By shifting your mindset around profit and other metrics in your business, a magical change in how you spend your day occurs. You start focusing on initiatives that produce results and impact your bottom line.

For many people, bringing profit up on the priority list, even with reduced revenue, is the defining element of rebuilding business stability.

5. Be a confident leader who empowers others

The current situation of economic crisis makes the future feel less certain. That uncertainty erodes our confidence to take risks and make bold moves. Past success, “knowing” and being right are pillars in the old definition of confidence.

However, Marshall Goldsmith teaches that empowering others is what defines the success of top leaders. What got you here has centered around who you are and what you can accomplish. Those accomplishments won’t fuel the future. Relying on your efforts alone is a limiter when scaling your business — even in strong economic times. The old definition of confidence was about what you could do. Your future confidence needs to be about your team and the belief in what the team can do.


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