Developing your business in 2013

Like any business, the need and desire to grow is never far away, but this can often be a real challenge to accomplish, especially with an environment where the goal posts seem to be changing daily. No sooner have you found an opportunity only to find that you don’t have the time to see it through yourself, thus losing your chance. Whether you’re a seasoned ‘pro’ with multi-million pound deals on the table or a fledgling business aiming for the sky in 2013, it actually doesn’t matter. Knowing what you want and how you are going to achieve it is a small element of a much bigger picture. Irrespective of size, many business owners think from the outside in, spending time asking; “How can I attract new customers?” or “How will people find me?” Whereas, what they should be asking is; “Are we optimising opportunities in-house?” or “Does my team recognise potential when it comes along?” In reality the potential for growth is often right under our noses but we are far too focused on the daily chores and housekeeping to realise this, so missed opportunities are a frequent occurrence. Our current clients often offer the best potential for growth and business development, yet we waste time and money seeking out new streams of business, neglecting some of the biggest chances. Successful businesses tend to review what they are doing regularly but more importantly, they also recognise the relevance of reviewing the way in which they do things. This can be as simple as finding a new supplier of paperclips, saving the company money through to more complex streamlining activities, designed to enhance working methods and generally improve output. They also recognise that looking after current clients is important and can be just as beneficial when it comes to generating new business. How can you start to reach your goals? The best approach involves taking time out of the daily chores to do some reflective thinking and perhaps to ask yourself some questions: Do you listen to your staff and are there any gaps you can fill to help them achieve their goals? Do you really listen to your clients? What services are you providing to your clients and are there any gaps you can fill to help them achieve their goals? Where in your business can improvements be made? What do you want to achieve in 2013 and what changes can you make in-house to help you achieve this? Do you understand your staff and how you can get the best out of them? If you had difficulty answering any of the above, then you may want to consider a new approach this year. We all know how to listen but in today’s world it is very underrated – yet provides a key to understanding where in your business you are failing and of course where you are succeeding. It is often said that successful people have great people behind them and when you grow a business you need great people behind you too. If you want to plan growth for 2013 take a look inside. You may just be surprised at what you might find…