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14 December 2014

5 Strategic Areas of Focus to Jump Start your New Year

“Next Year” is just a few weeks away.

Right about now, you’re decking the halls and putting on party pants to spend special time with friends and family but don’t throw away the rest of this year yet!

Now is a great time to lay out your strategy so you can hit the ground running when January gets here. Don’t wait until then to think about your plan. Build your plan NOW and jump start executing sooner to achieve results faster.

We’ve combed through our blogs, speeches and coaching tracks from this past year and developed a list of our Core Key strategies that have aided in growth and achieving objectives. These strategies are applicable not just to Small Business Owners but to Sales Executives, Directors, Job Seekers, Promotion Seekers, et cetera.

Your top 5 Strategic Areas of Focus for next year:

Strategy – Build it, Execute it, Tweak it, Commit to it.

Strategy is nothing revolutionary, but Strategy is always the Linchpin of Revolution. Only a handful of people build a complete and thorough strategy to reach objectives and even fewer actually execute it. When in doubt, go back to the strategy and pick up where you fell down. Or tweak it, go back and zig when you zagged. Don’t throw out your strategy. Modify and tweak and apply what you learned to move forward. Build a strategy with actions and execute to reach your objectives.

Schedule more to do less.

Or, to do more – efficiently and effectively – schedule time to do the important stuff. The business of work is messy and hectic and in most every office I sit down in for more than 5 minutes I see that evident in the interruptions, distractions and diversions that pull people from their core focus. Our “norm” is trading priorities for emergencies and what usually suffers is the work that produces growth, generates innovation and advances organizations. To give the important things their time put them on your schedule. Phone calls, writing content or scripts, prospecting, learning, planning, doing . . . get these events on your calendar and keep those appointments with yourself. You wouldn’t blow off an appointment with a client or your boss, so treat your priorities as your most important client.

Apply 4 Tenets to all your interactions.

Our expectations have morphed in to a set of demands through which we unconsciously filter all our experiences through. We’ve termed these the “4 Tenets of Modern Consumers” and they include our need for Transparency, Authenticity, Collaboration and Responsiveness in our relationships in order to meet our “trust” requirements. Look in to your relationships to see if you recognize how you’ve come to expect these conditions before you give your trust to sellers, vendors, employees, et cetera. How can you build more trust? Can you increase your transparency in communication? Do you collaborate to build solutions? Are you being responsive by meeting people on their terms? And can you show up as more of “you” by being authentic? Apply the 4 Tenets of Modern Consumers to areas where you need to impact trust and credibility.

Share your POV.

People need to know not “that” you’re an expert but the “what” that makes you an expert, an authority or a specialist. Demonstrating your expertise and relating your experience through your point of view helps build that all important trust factor. By consistently sharing your knowledge – in a way that is valuable and beneficial to others – you establish your position as a thought leader, builds your supporters, compels advocates and enlightens potential customers or employers. Sharing your insights – via Linked In, blogging, social channels or case studies – gives people a “preview” of what it’s like to work with you and lets them know how they’ll benefit.

Leverage Technology to scale and grow.

The most underutilized means to scale and grow business is technology. For our clients who are in highly competitive, traditionally commoditized and/or mature industries, applying many of the low investment technology tools such as CRMs, Websites and Email are game changers to differentiate, segment and grow in their market. Small firms, solopreneurs or even lone rangers who want to get ahead, can leverage their time and resources with exponential results. Technology is a multiplier – performing or automating tasks, repeating or replicating functions that help us focus our strengths and priorities in other areas so we can maximize our effectiveness. There are probably dozens of technology applications that most of us could use to be more effective and efficient right now. The trick is knowing what to use – what to automate and replicate so that frees you up for the relationship building you need to do to grow. Leverage technology for scalability and the opportunity to apply your human expertise to reach your objectives.

Pick one target area and make a plan – write out the objective and figure out what steps you’ll take to get there – whether it’s starting and sharing a blog, climbing on to the social media highway or collaborating with your clients and becoming more authentic and transparent. Time stands still for no one. In fact, it rushes forward at a terrifying rate leaving you wondering what you were doing while it passed.

Until next time, keep start kickin’ more butt!

-sks

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