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So you want to grow your business. You want to be better, you want to be more successful. Every year businesses set goals and want to grow more than they did the year before, and one of the first things we think about when it comes to growing and making more money is to engage in more advertising, more social media marketing or create more products. All these are great and necessary but how could you give your growth a boost? How could you set yourself apart from the rest? By doing some work on the inside. By growing from within.
Here are three areas you could direct your focus (in addition to what you are currently doing) in the coming year to grow your business.
1. Be Intentional with your Relationships - Relationships are key to business growth. It's been said, love people (customers and employees) more than you love your product or service. What's your relationship with your employees and customers like? What's the plan for your relationships in 2015? Take the time and energy to connect, listen, nuture, empower and add value to your customers and employees. When you do these, you gain more influence with them and you grow more. They follow you and do what you want them to do when you really give them want they want; when you truly meet their needs. For example when you connect with your customers and listen to them, you are able to know what they really want, how they want to be served and what their pain points are. Same thing goes with your employees and team members. How could you connect more with your customers? How could you strengthen your relationships?
2. Incorporate Creativity and Innovation into your Daily Activities - Do something new, do something differently to set yourself apart. With every bad experience comes an opportunity to create something new and different, something better. How many of your mistakes and bad experiences have you reflected on so that you turn each situation into a positive experience. Pay close attention to customer complaints and repeated requests: things that didn't go right, mistakes, and set backs and create something new out of them.
Here are a few statements that may come up that will hinder creativity: "We've never done this before", "This is going to take too long", "No one is going to buy into this", "Is this really going to work?", "This is against company policy". If we give in to thoughts like these, we will not be able to do the things that will grow our businesses further.
We have many ideas pass through our minds or tossed around by staff daily . Write them down even if you won't be able take action yet. There is some sort of power when something is written down. They have a way of manesting in the future.
3. Revisit and act from your Core Values - What are your core values? Do you remember them? Do your employees know them? Run your business and take action from your core values. Your core values stem from who you are and what you stand for. Let this be the foundation of your business activities. One of my core values as a business coach is commitment. It means when a client is not taking action or forgets to call in for their session, I call them, I find out why, I sort of almost chase after them because I am commited to seeing them achieve their goals. If commitment wasn't one of my core values, I wouldn't do that, I would devote my time to something else. Your core values define your business, they set you apart from the others and make you unique. It means you do what other businesses and competiors are not willing to do.
Character and Integrity are still the foundation of any business today. Together with vision, let these three things help define your core values. Time and time again we hear of people losing their postion and businesses and damaging their reputation because of moral failure. Our core values are there to protect us and keep us from doing what we're not supposed to do and keep us on track. What are your core values?
Develop character and core values for life and business so you don't say or do things that will damage your business.