Hard to believe that it’s been five years since I quit my job and expanded my side-hustle into a full-time business. The time has passed quickly. With some diligence and good luck, I’ve been able to achieve my goals so far. Anniversaries are cause for celebration and reflection — a good time to assess progress, revel in accomplishments and set new goals. Also time to reflect on what it took to get here.
Businesses that want to celebrate many anniversaries and accomplishments have some common attributes. These include investing a lot of time and effort on these four important activities:
Making a Plan
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 see when adjustments are needed.
Executing 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 plan and make course corrections. Also listen to how your network receives your message and adjust your wording to get your message across better.
Outsourcing for Expertise
Be realistic about aspects of your business where you do not have the necessary expertise or it would take too much time away from your core business to do it yourself. Legal, accounting, and social media are some areas where finding vetted help is essential to get things done correctly and free up your time to work with your clients.
Giving to Your Network
Answering general questions in your area of expertise and presenting at workshops gives to your network and establishes 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 five 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 where appropriate, and giving back develop a strong foundation for many anniversaries and accomplishments to come.