‘Absorb what is done, improve what is not, Build a better Future’
As we are saying goodbye to the end of year that has been arguably the strangest year in recent times. I believe it’s time to be very grateful.. in fact I know so….
And while it’s great ending the year on a good note, it’s still as important as ever to keep your eye on the prize. Whatever you have done to get here, keep doing it, and then some. Protect your business and your future business.
But what does that mean?
I spend a lot of time with businesses at this time of year supporting them in setting their goals and visions for the year ahead. I always feel it’s a time for absorbing the gratitude but also prepare for the new year. Be grateful that you have another year, and another opportunity, to improve on your existing achievements.
I was on the judging panel for choosing the best companies in Ireland which took place in a lovely setting earlier in the year. I had to review over 40 businesses out of 300. To say I was overwhelmed at the achievements of home grown companies was an understatement.
Not only was I overwhelmed, I was proud, proud that we have come so far and fighting a new storm head on.
One of my old colleagues was short listed for an award and subsequently won it. I got chatting to him after and asked him what made the difference. His answer humbled me. He it was a year of gratitude and he was so grateful that he had an opportunity to grow in such difficult times.
But what does grateful mean? I asked…
And below is a summary of what he said which I’m converting to some good advice.
- Grateful to your Customers
They are the reason you have been given a bigger and better opportunity for the year ahead
- Grateful to your Team
They are the reason you have customers in the first place. As Richard Branson says
‘Clients do not come first, Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your Clients.’
- Grateful to yourself
That you have been able to make a difference in people’s lives, both your team’s and your client’
And how is this useful to you?
As we’ve learnt, the hard way over the last year, in business there is no room to sit still. The companies that did had their ship stranded in the harbour when the tied went out. Some not of their own doing unfortunately. Regardless you have to learn to adapt and sure isn’t that the purpose of setting strategies and business plans for the year ahead?
You have to continually improve your business model and service delivery. Nothing can be taken for granted and you most certainly can’t leave things to chance.
And what are these things? Primarily they are your team and your clients.
Simple questions to ask are
- Why are they my clients? What do we do that’s different? And if you can’t answer that, go ask them? And when you’ve done that, go ask them again.
- Also ask them what else can you do for them, how else can you provide value for them. How can you take away their pains and be their pain relief.
- And don’t be afraid to ask them what they didn’t like so you can continually improve on your service delivery.
- Then on to your team, why are they working here? Do they enjoy working here or do they just want a wage at the end of the week? And if you can’t answer that, you guessed it, go ask them. And again, don’t be afraid to ask them what could be better.
- At the end of the day, a happy team are a performing team and a team of people that want to come to work. Make them believe in your vision, in fact, make them an integral part of it.
That is success for the business will also mean success for them.
There is no one size fits all for this, start by making it honest and integral.
And when you’ve done that, absorb it and see how you can bring new and innovative concepts to your business plan for 2021.
This is all about making sure you take nothing for granted, keeping your eye on the prize and I don’t need to tell you the consequence of leaving this to chance.
Be grateful, have a fabulous Christmas and wishing 2021 to be your best year yet.