What a difference a year makes. 12 months ago I was writing a New Year message to members of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce as CEO from my Hampshire home. This year I am writing this as owner of my own business from my new home in Devon.
This is a time of year for reflection and planning. Reviewing what has been achieved, what challenges and obstacles have been overcome and what would you like life to look like this time next year and beyond. The most important thing I have learnt this year is that taking calculated risks does reap results. The old adage “if you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got” is very true. I have spent a number of years wishing I had time to do things I enjoy such as photography. I now have that time but had to make a lifestyle change and accept the risks attached to that to achieve it.
Starting a business especially in the current uncertain economic climate is challenging and who knows whether it will work however, if you don’t try it you will always wonder what if.... I already feel more relaxed, healthier and am loving the flexibility to undertake projects I enjoy without the constraints of standard office hours.
So what are my new year resolutions?
I was given a copy of Debra Searle’s book for Christmas – The choose your attitude, priming your brain for positivity journal. I fully intend to use it to keep me focussed on logging small wins, developing positive habits and journaling personal aspirations.
Businesses are the same. It is so easy to get taken on a journey that has the wrong destination. Being busy is not the same as being successful. With a well thought out plan and achievable goals you can chart your path ensuring it leads you to what you want your business to achieve. Taking the time to plan properly is an investment not a cost. For example, too many businesses undertake scattergun marketing often spending a lot of money but without knowing the end goal. Some simple planning first would enable this spend to be targeted, audience relevant and undoubtedly achieve better results.
it can often help to have a planning day with an external facilitator to ask the questions those bogged down with day to day activities may take for granted and overlook. They can also act as a sounding board and look at things through a potential customer’s eyes. Allow your team to participate and buy into the vision and plan too. They will welcome the opportunity to contribute and share their ideas.
If you have had a successful year don’t keep it to yourselves. There are many business award schemes which can reward success, raise your profile and give your staff something to be proud of. If the categories and entry forms are a bit daunting at first we can help as with many years awards judging we can focus on what the judges will be looking for.
So in 2020 dare to dream, focus on your journey, try to avoid unnecessary detours along the way, take calculated risks and celebrate your successes.
Come and have a chat if you think we can help with any aspects of your business planning, marketing or manage a project for you whilst you focus on your core business.
Wishing you a happy, healthy and successful 2020
Maureen Frost has spent the last 21 years working within Chambers of Commerce helping businesses of all shapes and sizes. Now taking the opportunity to branch out into self employment and recently moved to Devon with her partner.