We all set out to accomplish our goals, no matter how big or small. They ensure we aspire towards continual growth and stay on target to achieve the vision we have set for ourselves and for our business. But achieving them isn’t just about setting clearly defined goals and wanting them badly enough. You have to have grit, determination and most importantly deploy the right strategies. But what happens when something outside of our control throws those goals into doubt?
These past couple of years have shown us all how unpredictable life can be. Just when businesses felt they were getting into the swing of things and looking to expand; a pandemic, Brexit and changing buyer habits were dropped on us. When changes happen outside of our control it can make us feel as though our goals are farther than we can reach. Whilst many of us throw in that metaphorical towel and call it quits, in reality, we just need to navigate around the hurdles by thinking outside the box and tweaking our strategy. Things aren’t always bulletproof so when we are faced with challenges that set us off course, don’t be afraid to re-evaluate and find an alternative route. Persistence is key!
Here are some key goals and how you can adapt your strategy to ensure you achieve them despite setbacks…
Building your network
Let’s start with the big one, networking. This was one thing that was well and truly halted during the pandemic which was a big challenge for entrepreneurs looking to expand their network ad connect with others. In-person events went out of the window and instead, we had to get to grips with video communications and webinars. But if you set goals to attend more events and network this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t get yourself out there. We’re no longer restricted by location, we can attend the many online events that are being hosted or even feature on a podcast or two. Whilst being face to face always sets a nice precedent for an initial meeting now you have the benefit of spreading your wings and going further afield virtually.
Growing your products and services are key to the expansion of your business but with many facing financial uncertainty and customers more hesitant to part with cash, creating anything new has fallen by the wayside. But what about the products and services you are currently offering? Not only are they tried and tested, but they also have a current market for them. Ask yourself if they performing well and could there be room for improvement. Then you should consider whether you are even charging what you should be or undervaluing yourself. Having something already is a great starting point because you’re most of the way there. By nurturing and developing your current offering you won’t just have good products, you’ll have great ones that customers/clients will be clamouring for.
Generating more sales
We should always be generating new leads and working on our sales pipeline but customers, especially ones who aren’t familiar with you and your company, might be apprehensive about parting with their money. This has been compounded by the changing state of the economy and a highly competitive market. In this instance are you nurturing the customers you already have? Your client satisfaction and retention rates are key factors in securing sales because happy customers/clients give positive reviews and nothing is quite as powerful as word of mouth. When a client or customer has loyalty to your business and trusts the service/product they are buying, they will shout about it. In return, you have a solid client base and new clients/customers you haven’t had to scour for but have come to you through a good recommendation.
Whilst growing your team or employing your first staff member is a great asset to business growth, it’s not the be all and end all if you don’t have the capacity, finances or the right person for the position. Plus, hiring when your team aren’t consistent and sure of their responsibilities can be detrimental in the long run. Consider what is best, a constant turnover of new staff or a high retention rate with an intuitive team. Any sane person would choose the latter because a longstanding employee who contributes towards a fantastic team and company culture is worth their weight in gold. There could also be talent that when nurtured, could be moved to a position you’re hiring for and utilised to better effect. In the end, a team that is productive will lead to increased efficiency and long-term growth.
Strengthening your marketing
Working with others in the industry through collaborations and partnerships is great for exposure, industry relationships and building brand awareness but what about your social media audience? Have you invested in them, are they fully engaged with your brand? Building your social community by taking the time to regularly communicate and engage with them will ensure they are a lot more receptive to your business. As a result, when another brand sees how strong your social presence is it will open doors to bigger opportunities. A brand collaboration will also far exceed expectations when the audience you already have is fully engaged and rooting for you every step of the way. Maintaining your current audience could also lead to greater prospects and potential leads that you may not have tapped into.