By Phillip Chichoni
I know some owners finished their 2014 business plans before the New Year actually began. I also know there are many others who haven’t done theirs or are still working on them. Starting late is better than not doing it at all. So here are some tips to help you develop a more effective plan for your business in 2014.
a) Set action oriented goals. Goal setting should be part of your daily and weekly routines and should not be based on calendar months or years. Neither should goals be based on new behaviors to take up or old behaviors to leave behind. Goals should be based on actions to be taken. By setting actionable goals that move you forward, you move toward your goals rather than simply stopping behaviors that leave you at a standstill.
b) Plan to stand out in 2014. Yes 2013 was a tough year. And 2014 could be even tougher. You will not succeed by doing things the way you have always done. Instead, plan to stand out. Reflect on 2013 and find ways of doing things better this year. Look at what your competitors are doing or saying. Disruption starts with standing out from the crowd. Can you commit to excellence and provide superb customer service while everyone else in your industry is crying about liquidity or other challenges beyond their control? Standing out will attract positive minded and profitable customers to you.
c) Leverage with partners. It is tough doing things alone. Partnering with others creates leverage, enabling all of you to achieve greater things together than as individual businesses. Believe me it works. For the past few months we at BusinessLink have been offering training services to SME owners in various sectors. By partnering with specialists in other fields of business where we don’t have great expertise, we have been able to widen the range of areas that we train in, covering nearly every aspect of business. So commit to build relationships with people who can add value to your offering. There are literally dozens of companies waiting for you to contact them, because your product or service can add some extra value to their clientele. Greatness in business is about blowing your customers’ expectations away. How can you position your business to partner with a company that can help them wow their customers?
d) Leave your doubts behind. 2014 could be the very best year of your life. It’s up to you to make it so. But winning starts in your mind. Make a continuous effort to eliminate negative thoughts. Your belief needs to be stronger than ever before. Be honest with yourself about your beliefs; face your fears by preparing even more thoroughly. The more confident you are, the less doubt you will have and the more likely your success will be. Each year that comes and goes is only going to be as great as you make it. Don’t confine yourself to the boundaries of a calendar or preoccupy yourself with the idea that you have to beat your competitor. Focus now on making sure each day is better than the previous one.
Phillip Chichoni is a business development consultant, author and trainer who works with SMEs that want to accelerate their growth. His books include “Business Planning Simplified”, “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business in Zimbabwe” and “High Impact Low Cost Marketing Strategies for SMEs”. These books are available at selected Innov8 bookshops and other stockists, details which are available on our website http://smebusinesslink.com. For details of our forthcoming workshops as well training programs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.