Each month we’re focusing on a topic that’s essential for a happy and successful business. This is the first of our 12Cs of Marketing articles.
Having clarity is about knowing EXACTLY what you want to achieve, why and by when. It focuses our mind and keeps on the path towards results and success!
Clarity rids the fog, makes decision-making more simple and helps to save time and money on things that weren’t quite right.
Clarity is such an essential part of business – but you can’t buy it at a shop, unfortunately! It’s a feeling, a knowing that we need to create for ourselves, yet we don’t always give ourselves the time to achieve it.
So how can you get clarity in your business?
Take a bit of time out to follow this simple exercise we’ve created, to help you gain clarity for 2017.
1. Get strategic – think WHAT
January is a perfect time to focus on the year ahead. Take a morning or day out of the office, alone or with your business partner and think about what you want to achieve in your business.
It could be a turnover figure, an accreditation or award, a new branch opening, a new market, a number or type of client, a number of products sold. Perhaps it’s ending something that no longer is right in your business, reducing your hours, ending a product, changing processes.
At this stage, don’t worry about how you’ll do it, how you’ll fit it in or find budget. Don’t worry about when it will happen and how busy you are. And don’t worry about who will do it, a reluctant staff member or the need to recruit. Get to the stage of ‘I’ve always wanted to….’ and ‘I’d love to be able to…’
Write these things down.
Decide now which of these dreams are going to become goals. Mentally COMMIT that you’re going to start working towards them this year.
2. Get logical – think WHY
Pick one of your new goals and think about why it is important to you. Is it a passion you need to follow? Is it a way to achieve something bigger? Will it bring in more business/different clients? Will it help you personally or with your skill level?
When you know WHY you want to achieve something it will help you to justify the effort required to do it! How will you feel when you achieve it? What will it mean to you? How will it change things?
Are you excited about it?!!!
3. Get creative – think HOW
Think creatively about how your business can achieve these goals. Ignore all negative thoughts, like ‘That’s going to take ages/be difficult because of xyz’! Try instead to think about the practical things you’ll need for that goal to happen.
For example, rather than ‘We want to open a new branch in Oxford but we don’t have the cash, plus I’d have to recruit and commute a lot more’, think in terms of a checklist:
- We need premises with parking.
- We need a site manager.
- I need a company car with good fuel economy.
- Maybe I can learn to use Skype more for meetings.
- We can look into business loans.
Do this for each of your goals.
4. Get an action plan – think WHEN and WHO
Now you have your goals and a list of necessities to achieve each, try putting some ‘When’ and ‘Who’ next to them. Who do you know that could give you some more info on your lists of necessities to reach that goal? Perhaps your networking friends can help with quotes or previous experience. List an action to contact them and when you will do it. Maybe a staff member can do it or show you how. Maybe it’s about you giving yourself time out to look in to the matter yourself to satisfy your curiosity.
Hopefully the things you really want are starting to take shape by now. You are starting to gain CLARITY! Woohoo! Give yourself a pat on the back and order yourself another drink!
5. Get moving – think JFDI!
When you’re back in the office, get this typed up into a PLAN. Put your plan on the wall if you can, along with any pictures that motivate you in reaching your goals.
Make entries in your calendar for all of the actions you put dates against. Put in 5 minutes every week to open the plan and remind yourself of what you wanted for this year. Review it more fully at the end of each month.
Are you working towards what you want? If not, why not?!
If you need a hand with gaining clarity in your business, simply book a free consultation with us.