Just the other day, someone asked me how long ago I started my business. I was surprised to realize that it’s been six years this week! I’ve never regretted the decision to parlay my entrepreneurial spirit and experience into a full-time business. Sure, it’s been a lot of work, but with diligence and good luck, I’ve achieved my goals.
Anniversaries are milestones worth celebrating, and a time for reflection – to assess progress, identify improvements, and set new goals. Businesses that survive to celebrate many anniversaries and other milestones invest significant time and effort in these four activities:
- Plan with Your Objective in Mind
A business plan is a road map to get where you want to go and help to keep your “Eye on The Prize”. Unless you know what you’re reaching for, you can’t grab it. Set your overall objectives and describe the detailed steps to achieve them. Set interim milestones along the way to help measure your progress and keep you motivated.
- Execute Your Plan
Actively work through the detailed steps in your plan. It’s exhilarating to achieve goals and move forward. Executing your plans also gives you opportunities to get more information. Use new information to adapt your plans and make course corrections. Also listen to how your network receives your message and adjust the wording to get your message across better.
- Outsource Needs You Can’t Meet
Be realistic about aspects of your business where you do not have the necessary expertise or can’t take the time away from your core business to do it yourself. Legal, accounting, and social media are some areas where engaging an expert can accomplish specialized tasks, free up your time, and prevent you from making costly mistakes.
- Give to Your Network
Answering general questions in your area of expertise and presenting at workshops gives are ways that you can share knowledge with your network and establish your credibility. Sharing tips and perspective helps to establish your brand and draw people to you and your business. Being generous is often its own reward, over the long run.
The last six years of being in business full-time have been hard work, fun, and rewarding – all at the same time. It takes a lot more than investing in these four activities to be successful. But businesses that invest in planning, executing, outsourcing, and giving back increase the probability that they will enjoy many future anniversaries and milestones.