- Not taking time to work on yourself--personally and professionally.
- Not getting help--thinking you can do it all yourself will hinder the growth of your business.
- Saying yes to too many things
- Reinventing the wheel.
- Not writing it down.
- Shiny bright object syndrome.
- Not having a plan.
Getting help. We have an Executive Assistant/Marketing Manager, a Virtual Assistant/Bookkeeper, an Intern and a Business Coach. Our growth and productivity are through the roof because we have surrounded ourselves with great people! We've learned that not getting help, thinking we could do it all ourselves, hindered the success and the growth of our businesses.
Keep learning--always. We read like fiends, attend webinars, teleseminars and conferences. As a team, we're committed to our professional development so we can stay on the cutting edge and serve our clients with excellence. The late Stephen Covey called it 'sharpening the saw". What are you reading and learning that will expand your knowledge base and benefit your clients?
Embrace and implement 21st technology. Are you using cloud technology to better communicate with your clients and your team? How is mobile marketing affecting your business? From social networking to direct mail, the marketing landscape has changed and is ever changing. We've found that making peace with change is the smartest thing to do. Then we're ready for anything, open to new ideas and innovations and we're not afraid to jump in there and apply it to our businesses and those of our clients.
"Work on your business not just in it", Michael Gerber tells us E-Myth Revisited. Too often we find ourselves up to our eyes in our businesses and can't see beyond today. Mondays have become our Company Development Day. By taking the long view, spending time working on strategies and packages and improving our services and offers, we have found that we are more productive and more aligned as a team and with the needs of our clients.
Take action--even if it isn't perfect. We can tweak and change as we go but at least we"re moving in the direction of your goals and dreams. It's risky to click the mouse and send our ideas, promotions, products and services out into the work. Yet when we focus on excellence over perfection and work from our strengths, gifts and calling, then we step out in confidence, knowing that we are serving those who will best appreciate and value what we have to offer.
Be a giver and come from a place of service. Too often people fear that by giving they will be out something; that somehow they'll lose. Quite the opposite is true; in the words of Ivan Misner, "Giver's gain." Not only is the person we are giving to blessed and encouraged but we are too as the circle of abundance, grace and generosity expands to those around us.
Build relationships always and everywhere. I heard it said by Gary Vaynerchuk that "the more Jetsons the world becomes, the more Flintstones we need to be." So no matter what tools, trends and technology we're using, nothing trumps relationships ever!
Look back to look forward. Review as you go, keep what works and ditch what doesn't. Keeping a light hand and open mind allows us to embrace and enhance those things that will help our businesses grow and let go of those things that will keep us from doing and being our best.
Spend time each quarter to plan out how you spend the next 90 days so that you can make the most of your time, energy, and money that will yield the best return. Toward the end of the year we started to take a day a week to focus on our businesses, we call it Company Development Day. It keeps us on track as we plan, forecast, implement and evaluate.
Take time off every week to play, rest, hang out with friends and family. As a business owner, it's easy to have everyday consumed with the needs of my clients or the projects we have going. I've found that when we take time to unwind, unplug and recharge, we have far more energy and more able to focus on the needs at hand.
Pay: You know the value of your product and service and what it's truly worth. You charge a fair price and deliver the goods with excellence. There may be discounts and promotions, offers and bonuses but you exchange what you have for money. Do you need to re-examine your pricing? Are you charging enough, too much and to the right market?
Partner: Who can you partner with? What other businesses share your same client base? What are some offerings or promotions that you might be able to share that both of your prospects and/or clients would find beneficial? How do joint ventures benefit the businesses involved? are there any pitfalls?
Barter: Are there situations, services that you could barter for? Is the value equivalent? Is it truly win-win? Be sure to look at the positives and the negatives. Checklists and communication are a great help to be sure that 1.) you're on the same page and 2.) you are giving and receiving what you initially agreed to- it keeps everyone on track.
Trade: Are there ways you can make a straight trade? Examples: Radio Time and concert tickets for restaurant and hotel accommodations. What other trade examples can we think of and how does trade differ from bartering?
_Donna Duffy, co-owner and driving force behind 3EMarketing Solutions, also has two other small businesses—Academic Connections Tutoring and Memorable Milestones Event Planning. Her passion is to build community and help others realize and develop their potential.