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Here at the Business Board, our focus is on maximising the potential of your business, whether that be with a view to a successful exit or indeed growth strategy. Whatever your immediate designs for your business, it’s important it is and remains in rude health for you to reap the benefits. There is no overnight success strategy, it takes a hard-working and measured approach coupled with (and perhaps most importantly) a positive attitude aligned with a dogged determination to succeed.

We’ve compiled 12 very simple steps on how to help ensure your business stays on the right track:

[/cs_text][cs_text] 1. Success starts in the mind – It’s such a cliché but it really does work… you can’t achieve what you don’t believe, or words to that effect. Even when you do reach your targets, it’s so important to retain a positive attitude and continue to strive to do more. Challenging yourself and your business is the key to constantly evolving.

2. Plan big, act small – Small drops will eventually ‘fill the well’. Approach every challenge or obstacle, regardless of how small, as an opportunity to progress and succeed. It’s great to have big dreams, but don’t lose sight of the seemingly menial tasks that will help lead you there.

3. Lead by example – You turned your business from a vision to a reality. It’s your ship and you need to steer it the only way you know how, after all, you will know which direction you want the business to go. Your team should trust your leadership and ideas and want to contribute to its overall success. Be an example to your team and watch them flourish.

4. Look for the best in your employees – Of course there are unfortunate instances when we end up with ‘bad apples’, but for the most part every one of your team will have a recognisable skill set that will add value to the business. Encourage them to apply those skills to their day to day processes and empower them to want to succeed. Keep them motivated and promote their growth.

5. Reverse your organisational structure – Be available when needed, but avoid micro-managing your middle managers. Create an environment where the ethos is understood and carried out by all of your team, but let them work within those confines and ‘do’ what you employed them to do. Empowerment is extremely important.

6. Plan realistically – We’d all like our plans to come to fruition without challenges, but in reality it’s never the case. Assess the resources you have available, identify what you’re good at, build in some contingency and execute your plans in the knowledge that things can, and often do, go wrong.

7. Be prepared to make mistakes and sometimes even…fail – You learn more from your mistakes than you do from your successes. Again, it’s a phrase we’ve all heard a thousand times but it rings true. There is absolutely no shame in making mistakes, the real sin is not learning from them.

8. Believing the Business will run itself – If you get the infrastructure right, it might well do. But never lose sight of the fact most successful businesses are underpinned by planning, processes and systems. Take the time to implement ‘best practice processes’ and ensure they are monitored and reviewed regularly. Keep them consistent and ensure they are understood by everyone in the team, as well as their importance to the overall business.

9. Don’t be scared to take a calculated risk – We’re not advocating investing hundreds of thousands of pounds on a whim, rather, looking at the business objectively and what resources you have available to be bold and branch out when the opportunities present themselves. They won’t always be right for your business, and with the help of your management team and financial advisors, you can assess if the reward is worth the risk. But don’t automatically rule them out for the sake of being ‘comfortable’.

10. Allow yourself to trust – We’ve all come across those in business who aren’t always true to their word, but don’t let them sour your view of the business community as a whole. Of course trust needs to be developed and expanded over time, but allow yourself to build those relationships and work on them.

11. Expand your network – It’s easy to operate within the network you find yourself most comfortable in. You may work with nice suppliers and customers whom you’ve known for years, and the prospect of forging new relationships seems daunting. But remember, competitors may not stay that way forever, businesses change and therefore opportunities can arise. Stay open to capitalising on those opportunities, even if they appear in places you hadn’t previously considered.

12. Always remain positive – It can be a real, hard slog sometimes. There are periods when it seems the world is conspiring against you and you can’t catch a break. Every business will experience challenges and obstacles that need to be addressed, so you’re not alone. Try to remain objective but always look for the silver lining and perhaps most importantly, listen and take advice from your team and don’t let ego be your enemy. The solutions to your problems will lie somewhere within the brains of your team. If you create a positive environment that everyone is invested in, the obstacles won’t seem so difficult to overcome.
[/cs_text][cs_text]You will no doubt already be aware of all of these steps and perhaps, will already be actively employing all of them in your day to day routine. But the minor details are often the easiest to lose sight of and a gentle reminder to yourself is always a good idea. A successful business is almost always the result of a lifetime of hard work, there are no shortcuts. In order for your business to continue to reach its potential, you need to ensure you are constantly evolving and inspiring your team around you to do the same. Remain focused and sharp, and try not to get bogged down with some of the day to day challenges the business presents, remember you employ good people to handle those for you.

A new year is a good time to reflect on the successes (and failures) the previous year has delivered; a line in the sand we can use as a springboard to propel ourselves towards a year even more prosperous than the last one. So be sure to take some time to relax and recharge the batteries for the year ahead, whilst also looking back objectively on what you have achieved with a view to how you can improve upon your performance.

Wishing you a fantastic Christmas break with your loved ones, and all the best for 2018.

Speak to a Business Board advisor on 0845 337 3327 if you have any questions at all on the above, or indeed if you wish to discuss other related matters.
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