As business owners, we know that no two days are ever the same, yet we still need to be alert and do the basics right every day. The right systems and processes and the best teams to run them, with leadership from the ‘top’ and guidance along the way and a relentless focus on customers and how we can serve them – these are the basics of every business and every organization.
Last year we saw plenty of challenges, from supply chain issues to problems hiring staff (please, Chris Hipkins, sort out the restrictions at the border…) and the problems caused by having too much to do and too little time. But amid all that, business owners I’ve been working with have also had quite a few wins and plenty of fun. 2023 promises more of the same, so strap in for the ride!
No matter what business you are in, or what level of the organization you are at, some things are universal and seem to resonate, no matter what. The first thing is that if you fail to plan, you may as well plan to fail (yes, it is an oldie, but it is still a goodie). If you haven’t already done it, take your December/January reflections, get alongside a skilled planner you trust and set your goals (in detail) for the year). Any effort you put in now will be well worth the investment of time.
Second, detailed planning only helps if you know what you actually want to achieve, what your dreams are and what your 2023 BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal) is. ‘Blue sky thinking’ is a term coined this week by local business owners as we worked through their Strategy & Execution planning for the year. What are your wild and wacky ideas, the ones you aren’t sure you can achieve, but know that if you do you will be ecstatic about? What new things can you do this year to set your business apart? Is there one thing you absolutely must do better or differently to make this a good year? If you can spend time doing the blue sky stuff it is liberating. It will open you up to thinking outside the box and free you to imagine what success can be.
Third, people work with (and resign from) people, not businesses. If you are battling to find or retain staff it may be time to ask yourself what your culture is like. Do your staff smile, have a bit of fun, take themselves less seriously than their work? If so, great. But if not, now is the time to set the tone at the top and build a winning team.
Values (the fourth element, but the one that really can be the ‘first amongst equals’ when it comes to setting yourself up for success) are at the core of EVERYTHING we do. As business owners, we are the custodians of our company values and are always in the spotlight. No exceptions. Role modelling is critical and extends beyond the workplace because values alignment and trust are the building blocks of building better businesses.
Fifth – and finally, only ACTION changes things. All the thinking in the world isn’t going to make one iota of difference without taking action, and there is no better time than right now. Don’t procrastinate. You are either moving ahead or moving backwards, so build the healthy RichTUALS and consistency that drive good habits and outcomes. And remember, in all these things you are not alone. Grab a mate, get a coach or mentor and get moving, ‘cos you can never get back wasted time.
You’ve got this!