5 Actions for Business Success in 2013 (via Springboard Academy)

I wrote this blog for the Springboard Academy website, but finds it applies to many businesses and business owners! What actions are you taking in 2013 to move forward? For more, check out www.thespringboardacademy.com.

It’s the start of a new year and you’re ready to take action for business success in 2013! Where do you dive in? What actions do you need to take? And what should you do first? The five following ‘action items’ will get you started on the right foot in 2013!

1. Set your goals

How do you know what action to take if you don’t know what you want to achieve? ‘Being more successful’ is an admirable goal, but what does that mean? Write down your top three goals for 2013, whether it’s to start your own business, increase the number of clients, or even offer new services. Know what you want to accomplish, and if you make your goals quantifiable, such as ‘increase my number of clients by 30%,’ you’ll know what success looks like when you get there.

2. Create a plan

Once you’ve identified your goals, what’s your plan to achieve them? Create a step-by-step roadmap to lay out exactly HOW you are going to get there. If your goal is to start your own business, one of the
first things you’ll want to do is research whether you have a good idea, look at the competition, and determine whether you can make money at it. (If you need help with this process, check out the Springboard Academy’s Solopreneur Institute which helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their business ideas). If your goal is to increase your number of new clients, you might want to research networking opportunities, and attend a new event once a month where you can meet potential customers. The important part is to determine the actual steps you will take to achieve your goal.

3. What do you need to learn?

If only we already knew everything we need to do to reach our goals. A lot of the time, we have a pretty good base of knowledge around what we’re trying to accomplish. But if we’re stretching ourselves to achieve more, sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know. Do you need to learn a new skill in 2013 that will make it possible to reach your goals? Do you need to make an assessment of your current status, so you can learn what your strengths or areas of weakness look like? And once you determine what new skill or piece of knowledge is needed, how will you learn it? And that leads us to number 4…..

4. Seek out people who can teach you

There are experts in nearly every subject out there, and they can help you learn what you need to know to reach your goals! For instance, if one of your goals is to increase sales by 25%, sign up for a class on the art of selling, and how to close the deal. Maybe you need to learn about social media and how to promote your business online. Seek out a workshop that teaches you the ‘ins and outs’ of Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. We can’t all be expected to know everything, but we CAN surround ourselves with people who are expert in areas in which we are not so we can learn, and improve our chances of success.

5. Act and get started

For many people, taking action and getting started is the most difficult part. They know they need to do something to reach their goals, but if they don’t start, they won’t have failed.

They procrastinate.

They make excuses.

They say they don’t have the time or money.

They stay stuck in the same rut they were in in 2012, 2011 and 2010.

And in 2013, if they don’t act, they won’t move closer to their goals for business success.

I’ve had people ask me ‘how did you start your business?’ I just did it, knowing that there was a chance of failure, but knowing that if I DIDN’T start, how would I ever know? Not starting wasn’t an option. If you don’t do something, how can you succeed at it? Business growth isn’t always in a straight upwards line, but along the way, successful business people will learn new skills, learn from their mistakes, and surround themselves
with others who will teach them what they need to learn. Most of all, they will DO, and not just talk about what they want to accomplish.

In 2013, make this your year to shine! Think about your goals, write them down, figure out your roadmap of concrete steps to take to get there, learn what you need, and TAKE ACTION!

Wishing you much success in reaching your goals in 2013!

Margo Myers, Principal