The holidays are almost officially over. Hopefully, you are getting some rest with friends and family, and taking some time to rev up so you can bring your A Game into 2012.
In case it's a bit of a challenge after the holidays to to find your A Game state of mind, here are a few easy things you can do to move yourself in that direction.
- Clear clutter. Clutter saps your energy and makes you feel weighed down. Get rid of products that didn't sell this year so they are not collecting dust on your shelves. As you do this, assess whether you also need to delete entire product lines that did not do well this year.
By the way, as you do this, don't feel badly that you are ditching products that a few valued customers really like. Continuing, for emotional reasons, to carry products that don't sell is a mistake I see a lot of small business owners make. You've got to separate the emotional side from the business side on this one in order to set you and your business up for the best opportunities in 2012.
This is a often spiritual process. Out with the old, in with the new. It's hard to explain, but it's true — once you make physical space for new things, your mental space is also cleared. Your creativity flows more freely and you can replace the old with things that appeal to your customers and that sell better as a result.
- Ask questions. Use the next few days to ask yourself some hard questions. Why are you in business in the first place? Are you getting what you want out of your business? If not, why not? What needs to change in order for you to change the answer to this question? Is your business growing at a pace that's right for you? Is it time to refine your mission statement?
As you ask yourself these questions, record the answers, and take full responsibility for them. Own what you discover about yourself, and then use it to move yourself in the direction you want to go in.
- Map out a short-term plan. I recently read that the owners of a huge percentage of successful companies did not have a business plan when they started. This may be true, but my guess is they also started at least 10 years ago when there was far less competition than there is today. My other guess is that they were not bootstrapping their businesses in the middle of a recession. While it's possible to achieve goals without a plan, it sure is harder to do so.
Make it easier on yourself by dividing 2012 into bit-sized quarterly chunks and set some goals for those quarters. Be specific, and identify what you will do each month (and each week, and even each day) to achieve your quarterly goals. Build in some ways to check your progress as you move forward. You may want to use a business coach or a MasterMind group to help you monitor your progress and keep you accountable.
Question: What are your ideas? What steps are you taking to bring your A Game into 2012??! I'd love to hear from you!