Growth really happens in two different ways. One way is based upon the progressing economy, loss of competition, and market expansion. The other is based upon personal investment (both time and money), proper planning, diligent execution, and desperation.
The coming new year brings about an opportunity to refocus your efforts on growth (or maybe for the first time). Whether you are a business owner or an employee, you can choose to hope for accidental growth or you can be intentional and all but guarantee it. Let me share with you a few practical ways you can all but guarantee growth in 2014.
- Evaluate your personal performance.
- Did you give a minimum of 8 hours per day, every single day that you worked (yes even you home-based entrepreneurs)? You may give more, but you should never give less.
- Did you maximize your time by finding ways to do things more efficiently and effectively, or did you just work to get things done?
- Can you think of a time during the last year that you made the same mistake more than once? Mistakes are part of becoming successful, but should never be repeated due to willful ignorance.
- Evaluate your business’ performance.
- How did your business perform in relation to your plan for 2013?
- If you over-performed, are you able to repeat the same steps in order to grow in 2014 with at least the same increase?
- If you under-performed, was the problem(s) identified and are you able to not repeat it/them in 2014?
- How do your customers feel about you? Have you regularly asked for their feedback (a simple “Are you happy with our service” doesn’t cut it)?
- Which of your competitors were successful and did they achieve that success?
- Evaluate your approach.
- Do you hope to grow or plan to grow?
- If asked for your plan to grow, could you give a clear explanation of how (along with real data to back it up)?
- Do you need help from other people (and are they willing and able to support your vision and desire)?
Accidental growth often produces lazy, unintelligent business people. It is not something to brag about and will most always lead to failure. There isn’t a consistently successful business out there that has sustained success accidentally.
Intentional growth produces successful businesses and business people. It is something that can be built upon for many years to come. Every successful business out there became successful as a result of desperate intention. You’ve got to want it so bad that you will do whatever necessary (while maintaining the utmost integrity) to achieve it.
Look back and evaluate what has gotten you to where you are at, both good and bad. Put the necessary steps in place to make this next year the best ever. You’ll be grateful you did!