It’s a brand new year, and it’s natural to be looking for ways to make this year BIGGER and BETTER!
Here are 15 things to do for you and your business in 2017.
1. Evaluate what happiness and fulfillment looks like for you. In 2017, your life can be however you want to design it. You can have a lifestyle business that fuels your creativity and contribution, or you can build a dynamic fast-growth performance business.
2. Select a micro-niche and own it. Being a generalist business in 2017 is a terrible idea. Aim to own a tiny little niche then pivot to a slightly bigger one. Niche-pivot-niche-pivot-niche your way into the size of business that you’re seeking.
3. Get a team. I’ve heard all the arguments for having virtual assistants managing all the aspects of your business. It doesn’t work. The best businesses have a core team of people who make the business come alive. My belief is that you aren’t a real entrepreneur until you’ve got a team behind you and the rewards are big for getting it right.
4. Outsource more stuff. The people you employ should be empowered to find virtual staff who they can then outsource to. The trick is to be able to increase the speed an idea can become “market-ready”.
5. Have a high-end offering. All the money has moved up to the top 10% of the population and a small group of people have a very high budget to get their needs met. In many cases, it’s easier to sell a £5K package to a high-end client than a £500 package to the middle-income market. Take your most expensive product, multiply by 5 and then launch it again.
6. Do more for free. Your business needs to entertain or educate people for free. Not just a little bit, you need to give people at least 7 hours of content, through 11 touch-points across 4 locations before they really fall in love with your brand and products.
7. Whatever you do, you’re also in media. I don’t care if you run a hair salon, a consultancy or a high-tech drone business, you also need to become better at creating the media that tells your business story. You need lots of videos, downloads, reports and audio content.
8. You are also an IT business. In addition to the media, you’ll also need to be more tech savvy. You need data – lots of it. You need systems that do the heavy lifting for your business. You need client portals. You need your website to be mobile, desktop and tablet friendly.
9. Have more sales meetings. People think that media and technology results in sales – it doesn’t. It only helps your business creates relationships with people who are receptive to a conversation.
10. Re-think your sales approach. Inauthentic sales conversations are dead. Have real conversations with people the way you’d talk to a friend or a family member. Most importantly, if your product isn’t right for someone, you need to be the first to suggest that the person does NOT buy it.
11. Be a global company. It’s a big, wide world out there and it’s never been easier to open up your business to customers in other parts of the world. This might mean selling products that are shipped, consulting to people over Skype or it might even mean setting up an office in another country.
12. Feel small and out of your depth. Spend more time with people who stretch your thinking. Hang out with people who have a business 5-10 times bigger than yours. Do something that feels like a stretch. Take a risk with your creativity and your finances.
13. Fail at something. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t really trying.
14. Start scheduling 2 years in advance. While you are thinking about 2017 extend your thoughts through 2018 and beyond. Schedule some training events to attend, new product launches, creating content etc. Get yourself a big wall calendar showing the next two years and start planning goals that take several years to achieve. You can change things if your priorities change but at least you’ll have a backup plan based on your current best thinking.
15. Block out your holidays NOW! This year will go by so fast and you’ll always have work to do; don’t leave your holidays to chance. If you know you’ll function better after a week on the beach, put it in the diary now and book the flights while they are cheap.
Want to know more?
This March in the UK, we’ll be hosting the Business Brand Accelerator in London and Birmingham (for the first-time ever), which will be attended by entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Throughout the day, industry leaders will be showing you the tools you and your business need for 2017. The conference will cover how to prove your value, establish influence within your industry, build a waiting list of clients and formalise assets within your company.