I love this time of year. An ending giving way to a beginning. A new chance to be everything you wanted to be. A clean slate. An opportunity to start over.
However, you approach the New Year personally, when you have a business, more often than not, you’ve got your mind on the bottom line. You’re wondering how you can make that line bigger next year. What will you be known for next year? How will you increase your influence, expand your reach and make more of an impact?
Reflect Some people spend too much time looking forward, forgetting to look back. I have been guilty of this. Sometimes I think so much about what’s around the next corner that I fail to adequately reflect on all of the amazing things that have happened. That whole concept of being in the present? I’m terrible at that. But I have found that I have to take or make the time to reflect on the past, because that helps me decide what things I want to keep doing, or, stop doing.The year’s end is the perfect time to devise an action plan to refresh your business brand for the coming year. Here are three ways to make that process easy.
So what happened to you this year? What were your major accomplishments? What were your mistakes? Did you launch a new product or service for your business? How did it go? Did you reach out to the media more, or try to land more speaking opportunities to get your name out there? Were you pleased with the results?
Reflect on everything – the good and especially the bad. Remember those good things that made you feel like your business was truly achieving its mission? Do more of those. Do them in a bigger way. And the bad things – the products that flopped, the concepts that didn’t take off? Either refine them or chalk them up as a loss and move on. Don’t beat yourself up for trying something new.
Aspire I’ve recently started reading Grant Cardone’s book The 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure. He advises that business owners stretch themselves and expand their thinking for what is possible in business. Instead of setting smaller goals so that you will be to attain them, he says you should set unrealistic goals, you should be unreasonable and you should ultimately push yourself past points you thought were imaginable. Because there’s something pretty amazing about the human spirit, we often can do exponentially more than we give ourselves credit for.
So what is it that you’ve dared to dream of for your business? Are you ready to cross that 6 or 7 figure mark? Go for it! Why not set that as a goal for 2013. Because once you start thinking big, you’ll automatically have to start ACTING big to catch up with your thoughts. As entrepreneurial mind Dan Sullivan has said, once you master 10x thinking, you’ll begin seeing opportunities all around you – opportunities that you never even noticed before because your thinking wasn’t big enough to compute how massive growth opportunities could factor into your success.
Create At the end of the day, if you want to refresh your business brand in 2013 and hit the market in a way that will make your customers take notice, you have to get to work. You have to go into your creative zone, your lab, your atelier or what have you – and create something new. You may come up with a new way of doing something, a new way of communicating yourself, or a new way of packaging your products. Creating may mean devising a new event, creating a complementary industry organization, finally starting your blog, or hiring a new team member that can help you offer your clients more. But whatever it means to you, get ready to roll up your sleeves and work. Make your list of what you want to accomplish, but don’t forget to implement.
To recap, reflect on your past year, stretch yourself with massive goals, and roll up your sleeves to create something brand new. Your brand will receive the ultimate refresh and your customers – whether they love or hate the changes you’ve made – will be forced to take notice.
Amanda Miller Littlejohn is a former journalist turned business coach, blogger, idea oven and award-winning PR practitioner at Mopwater PR. She helps entrepreneurs brainstorm new business models and fresh approaches to personal branding through her signature Brand Brainstorm Sessions. Amanda blogs at Mopwater PR + Media Notes and tweets from @amandamogul.
This article is from the SmallBizLady special blog series: 31 Ways to Boost Your Small Business in 2013. #Boost2013