5 Mistakes We Made Last Year that Kept Us From Reaching Our Business Goals (Pt. 1)
At the end of 2016, I had the opportunity to do reviews with small business owners from all over the country. There were some great wins, but there were also some disappointments. It seemed as though many of us had a few areas where we missed the mark. After our conversations, I realized that we were making the same mistakes. Let’s look at what those mistakes were and how to fix them.
1. We were inconsistent.
How many of us started one thing, just to leave it behind and move on to the next thing the following week? You weren't alone. Finishing what we started was a challenge for many.
But if 2017 is really going to be our best business year yet, we are going to have to get serious about running our businesses. This means creating systems for doing the most important things everyday. We can’t afford to give minimal effort, or we will all keep getting minimal results. The business systems—or lack there of—of 2016 will not move your business forward this year if they did not move your business forward last year. That’s just the plain and simple truth.
Now I know we all know this, but what we don't acknowledge is how hard it really is to be consistent. It's just not for the faint of heart. It requires an unapologetic resolve to do what needs to be done whether you feel like it or not. It also requires a plan that help makes it slightly easier to repeat. My advice is incorporating whatever change you desire into routines that you already have. If you already have a practice of cleaning off your desk before you leave, leave a list with your phone calls to return and decide that you can't put that list away and leave the office until those phone calls are finished.
Basically, we need the prioritized habit or activity--whether it's following up with clients or staying on top of your bookkeeping--to win against all the other distractions that may come. It maybe hard but it’s not impossible. In 2017, Let us RESOLVE to do what needs to be done everyday.
2. We stretched ourselves too thin.
In 2017, we tried to do everything ourselves. If you were like me, you may have told yourself, “it’s hard, but I’m managing.” Well, I’ve come to let you know that in a lot of these instances we were either doing unimportant work, or work that needed to be outsourced. For example, many of us were the absolute worse with follow-up. We spent time doing the fun "marketing" (and I'll get to this later) stuff like designing new flyers and social media pictures, but we didn’t answer the calls of the people we were “marketing” to. We did not provide excellent service. We left money on the table by forgetting to do the most needful. As a result, our bottom lines suffered, or we didn’t maximize outside resources.
This year, let us take to the time to either eliminate or delegate. The most successful business owner focus on the one thing that makes everything else easier, and outsource to the best of their abilities, the important, but not priority tasks they need to have completed. Learn more about how the most effective people take this step and multiply their time by reading Rory Varden’s book Procrastinate on Purpose.
Did you make the same mistakes listed above? Tell us about it in the comment section. What steps are you taking to intentionally avoid those same mistakes?