Some people have a three to five-year business growth strategy. Others play it by ear, month to month. Some entrepreneurs show up each day and work in their business with no actual plan other than “winging it.”
I recommend following a method of planning out business growth tied to your long-term vision and goals. Once those are set, reverse engineer those goals back into tactical business growth strategies to achieve them. It’s essential to know what to focus on next year, next quarter, and next month while leaving room for unexpected opportunities and discoveries.
Some of the most profitable projects and ideas come to me when I’m doing something completely unrelated, usually taking a shower or walking my dogs.
Having a flexible plan and mindset is especially important now when marketing and technology are changing SO rapidly.
With that in mind, and as the new year is beginning, approach your business planning from a big-picture perspective and break it down into quarterly and monthly goals. Following these five strategies will help.
1. Survey Your Audience
Some of my best ideas come from setting aside time to understand the most significant challenges and dreams of the people I serve.
Surveying your audience will help you keep your finger on the pulse of your ideal client market, as well as help you generate new ideas. Once you put this into practice on an annual, bi-annual, or quarterly basis, you’ll be able to track the differences between the survey results.
Things move fast, people become savvier, new challenges emerge, and new solutions are needed. When was the last time you surveyed the people in your ideal client market?
2. Plan Your Downtime
When I’m too focused on collaboration, coaching, and building relationships with other people, I often forget to focus on myself.
If you don’t take time for yourself and your personal life, you will quickly become burnt out. Burn-out will kill your business growth.
To avoid this, schedule “margins” into your days and weeks to allow time to focus on yourself and plan fun activities and mental breaks.
Block time off for self-care, vacations, and family and friends time; this will allow you to be realistic and set boundaries around what’s most important.
This simple strategy will help you ay focused on the highest impact activities in your business.
3. Stop Doing What Hasn't Brought Results
We tend to focus on the future and are always thinking about what we will do next. It is gratifying to take an assessment and do a “year in review.”
I’ve read many books and posts that encourage review of the past week, month, or year and listing out your wins and what is working well.
That’s excellent advice.
Equally important is to determine not only what worked, but what DIDN’T work.
You may already know what’s been ineffective for you this year. Still, I recommend sitting down and reviewing your business growth activities, looking at them with a detached perspective as if you were evaluating someone else’s business.
You may need to stop doing a couple of things, not only because they didn’t create the results you wanted, but because they don’t light you up. What have you been spending your time on this year that didn’t feel good and didn’t generate any significant results?
4. Capture Your Wisdom in Audio, Video, or Written Format
I’ve always loved creating products and programs, but lately, I started viewing this activity a bit differently. The goal isn't to continually develop new products or services; it’s about capturing your knowledge, expertise, and wisdom in a format that can be used over and over again without having to commit additional time to the process.
Perhaps you’ll share it with clients, stream it on YouTube, or turn it into a membership site or long term results-driven coaching program. Bottom line, through your life and work experience, you have SO much knowledge that you can now turn into an asset that can be leveraged and monetized.
Taking ten minutes a day to capture a nugget of your wisdom can help you easily create content that your audience will love and that can be leveraged into a fantastic legacy, and even a new profit center.
5. Level-Up Your Knowledge And Skill Set
An important “pillar” for personal and business development is to take your knowledge and skills to the next level through continuing education.
Personal development and business growth are NOT additive; they are MULTIPLICATIVE. It’s the law of compounding at work. You build upon what you have already learned or have already created, which expands and grows exponentially. You start small, but with each step, you are compounding momentum and growth.
So how do you choose what to learn or improve upon? You look for the gap, and you can find it by asking yourself these questions:
Choose one thing that you are most excited about, and focus on not only learning but implementing and practicing your new knowledge or skill consistently until it becomes second nature.
As you move through the cycles of learning, you’ll begin to see the impact of taking the next step, learning, then taking the next step, and learning again as a powerful way to bring about new levels of insight that compound into exponential personal and business growth.