New Year, New Strategies!
Updated: Jan 11, 2021
Before the start of the new year, I want to invite you to be bold and courageous. As entrepreneurs, we tend to shrink when the year comes to an end. Either we shrink because we’ve made mistakes and feel that we can’t improve or we shrink because we did so well that we don’t want to mess it up, so we don’t innovate. The truth is, in both scenarios, you have to be bigger than you are. The best way to do that is to take stock of the successes and mistakes you’ve made and identify the themes that are present. Trust me, they are there. If that is hard for you, invite someone you trust to help you recognize those themes. Once you do that, it is time to set your new vision and strategy. Now, let me be clear, it is not about overhauling your entire business but the companies that succeed are the ones that are constantly sharpening their blade. I am sure your blade cuts well, but I am certain it can be even sharper.
To build a strategy that enhances your performance as well as your business performance, focus on building a strategy on three dimensions that will positively impact your business. Those three dimensions are: personal growth, expansion, and conservation.
Personal Growth – Many leaders who build businesses start on the ground floor and eventually rise to the top. When they do, they lose the connection to the clientele and consumers who grew the company. Even though there are people who are employed to help keep those connections, leaders tend to lose the emotional connection to the problem they set out to solve through their company. Good leaders understand that good business is not a top down approach but an all sides approach. So, for the new year, consider re-learning your industry or personally meeting your clientele or consumers. Engage them and I guarantee you will see aspects of your business case that you could not have imagined.
Expansion – When people think expansion, they assume physical growth. However, expansion can be more and should be more. Often, we focus so much on the business that we get tunnel vision in the type of people we meet. Sometimes, growing a business means expanding your network. Do a LinkedIn or business card audit and take a look to see where you do not have any connections. It may also come from an area that your business struggles with. Now is a good time to enlist allies for your growth.
Conservation – This is new to me too. Everyone is so used to big companies taking on the commitments of recycling and energy efficiency that smaller businesses forget that they also have a part to play in saving the planet. We are starting to see the effects that a lack of consideration for our environment is causing. This may sound like a conspiracy to some, but global warming is real. Our waters are polluted with plastic and we are running out of landfills. So in thinking about the strategy of your business, think about being a business that is also conscious of its supply chain, office use, and engagement. Encouraging a paperless environment will save forests and switching to glass cups instead of plastic is also helpful.
There are a lot of dimensions to build a strategy. These are only a few. Share what your new strategy looks like and next year, share with me how you have seen growth.