As we are saying goodbye to the end of year that has been arguably the greatest turning period in the economic crisis, I believe it’s time to be very grateful.. in fact I know so….
And while it’s great ending the year on a good note, it’s still as important as ever to keep your eye on the prize. Whatever you have done to get here, keep doing it, and then some. Protect your business and your future business.
But what does that mean?
I spend a lot of time with businesses at this time of year supporting them in setting their goals and visions for the year ahead. And while this is an important activity to always do, and even more important to execute a precision plan to ensure this success, it’s also very important to look back at 2015 and absorb it all, take it all in. Be very grateful that you have another year, and another opportunity, to improve on your existing achievements.
I was on the judging panel for the Eir Elevation Fastest Growing Company awards in Ireland which took place in a lovely setting just a few weeks back. I had to review over 40 businesses out of 300 and to say I was overwhelmed at the achievements of some of these home grown companies was an understatement. Not only was I overwhelmed, I was proud, proud that we have come so far over the last 7 – 8 years and now we have prosperity in our visions again.
One of the short listed businesses took time to talk to me and the word that stood out for me was that he and his business were just so grateful to be here and have this opportunity, the opportunity to build a bigger and better business in 2016.
But what does grateful mean?
Grateful to your Customers, they are the reason you have been given a bigger and better opportunity for the year ahead
Grateful to your Team, they are the reason you have customers in the first place. As Richard Branson says ‘Clients do not come first, Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your Clients.’
Grateful to yourself, that you have been able to make a difference in people’s lives, both your team’s and your client’.
And how is this useful to you?
As we’ve learnt, the hard way over the last number of years, in business there is no room to sit still, the companies that did had their ship stranded in the harbour when the tied went out, being left behind by new and exciting businesses. Sure isn’t that the purpose of setting strategies and business plans for the year ahead? You have to continually improve your business model and service delivery as nothing can be taken for granted and you most certainly can’t leave things to chance.
And what are these things? Primarily they are your team and your clients.
Simple questions to ask are
Why are they my clients? What do we do that’s different? And if you can’t answer that, go ask them? And when you’ve done that, go ask them again.
Also ask them what else can you do for them, how else can you provide value for them and take away their pains and be their pain relief.
And don’t be afraid to ask them what they didn’t like so you can continually improve on your service delivery.
Then on to your team, why are they working here? Do they enjoy working here or do they just want a wage at the end of the week? And if you can’t answer that, you guessed it, go ask them. And again, don’t be afraid to ask them what could be better.
At the end of the day, a happy team are a performing team and a team of people that want to come to work in the morning and give as much as they can. Make them believe in your vision, in fact, make them an integral part of it, that success for the business will also mean success for them.
There is no one size fits all for this, make it honest and integral.
And when you’ve done that, absorb it and see how you can bring new and innovative concepts to your business plan for 2016.
This is all about making sure you take nothing for granted, keeping your eye on the prize and I don’t need to tell you the consequence of leaving this to chance.
Be grateful, have a fabulous Christmas and wishing 2016 to be your best year yet.