It’s January. Christmas is already a distant memory, the New Year’s Day hangover has well and truly subsided (hopefully) and you’re back to reality with a bang. That well-earned break probably felt like a long time coming and then, in the blink of an eye, it’s all over.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help you beat the back-to-work blues with four New Year’s business resolutions that’ll help you hit 2017 with a bang.
Resolution #1: Communicate good
OK, so we’re being a little tongue-in-cheek with the title of this one. Either way, effective communication is vital if you’re going to grow your business, whoever you’re dealing with.
Stop! Don’t send that email, try picking up the phone instead. Human beings really are rather clever things and our brains process a huge amount of information beyond the actual words themselves. From the tone of your voice, the emotional undertone, the pauses between words and more, there is a depth to spoken conversation which is immediately lost in email conversation.
Now think about it from your customer’s point of view. A quick phone call will allow you to quickly find out about their problem in more depth, helping you to solve their problem better. Get that part right and your role is to become problem solver rather than salesperson; dramatically increasing the chances of securing business.
Resolution #2: Embrace constructive feedback
You can’t do it all. That’s hard to hear sometimes, but the most effective businesses are ones that embrace feedback. Whether it’s your most loyal customer or a junior member of staff, another persons’ perspective can have great value. They’ll provide you with a whole host of different ideas. Not all of them will be right for your business, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an absolute gem in there somewhere.
Use customer feedback and satisfaction surveys to continuously improve your business proposition. Just because you’ve always done something one way or had success with another, doesn’t mean to say that that’s the only way you should ever work.
Today’s business world moves at a blistering pace and the rate of change is staggering for most industries. Keep an ear to the ground for changes in your sector to make sure what you’re offering is current and applicable to your customers. If it isn’t, don’t be afraid to adapt.
Resolution #3: Be an inspirational leader
A company culture in the early stages is ultimately a reflection of its founders. Your attitude, enthusiasm and approach to both team members and customers is surprisingly infectious. As an inspirational leader, you’ll make it your responsibility to drive your company vision and support your team.
Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last says, ‘Being a leader is like being a parent, and the company is like a new family to join. One that will care for us like we are their own … in sickness and in health. And if we are successful, our people will take on our company’s name as a sign of the family to which they are loyal’.
If you make it your mission to invest your time in developing your team this year, they’ll pay you back in the quality of the work they deliver.
Resolution #4: Don’t be afraid to fail
We all get it wrong sometimes, that’s just a fact of life. What really matters is how you learn from those mistakes and take those lessons forward with you.
Matthew Syed, author of Black Box Thinking says, ‘It is by testing our ideas, subjecting them to failure, that we set the stage for growth’. Don’t beat yourself up if you get it wrong, just use it as an opportunity to improve what you’re doing.
Some of the most successful business leaders of all time have been the victims of serious failures. What sets them apart from everybody else is their ability to pin point the mistakes, analyse what went wrong, learn from it and improve.
Bring on 2017
Whilst there are a million and one possible business resolutions you can make, those were our top four. It’s easy to get consumed by stats and figures, but often the softer things that contribute to the end goal get missed.
What will you be doing in 2017 to drive your business forward?