Recycling my Christmas cards last weekend, I noticed how rather dull the 2019 batch were. As I was sorting through, I noticed many of the designs had muted colours, and it struck me how much these cards sum up my feelings towards 2019…the business world felt all a bit muted.
2019 for many was a year of economic indecision and frustration – a tiresome dance of one step forward and two steps back, despite everyone’s passionate belief in what they are doing. The impact for business was decisions taking longer and longer and for many a laissez-faire approach on the basis that doing nothing is the safest business strategy because of the general lack of confidence and uncertainty across so many aspects of life in the UK.
What intrigued me though was how the Christmas card choices of my friends and family tapped into the zeitgeist, reflecting this sense of malaise. Confidence is a feeling, but when there is a collective, shared lack of confidence across an economy or sector or business then it’s a difficult mindset to shift.
5 tips to getting our business mojo back
Come on folks, let’s get our mojo back for 2020! As we enter a new decade, how do we do this? At Futurecurve we’ve started the following list and please feel free to add to it with your comments.
1. Where are you going with the business?
A new year is always a good time to reflect but as we go into a new decade it’s important to have some transparency. What is it that you fundamentally want to achieve? Do you want to grow the business, reposition it in the marketplace, get ready for sale, attract new investors, etc?
With that goal firmly in mind next steps will be easier to determine as ambiguity can lead to anxiety which in turn can have a paralysing affect.
2. Identify the WHY for your business. What is your vision?
Listen to Simon Sinek’s inspiring talk about ‘golden circles’ again and get into your strategy helicopter. Look at your business with fresh eyes – why are you in business, above and beyond the annual revenue targets, etc?
Reset your business vision and involve your team by using our vision canvas. Update your business story and share it. Engage with your people and your customers to revitalise and start new conversations.
3. Reset your value proposition and change your perspective
We passionately believe in relationships, so get out there. Network, talk to your customers – understand the challenges they face and consider how your business could help. We all must get better at predicting how market changes will impact our businesses. How are we using our analytics? Are we measuring the right things, what market indicators do we need to track going forward?
‘Change is a way of life’ may be an old cliché, but strategic value propositions need updating just like any other form of strategy. Very often the market has changed but our value proposition hasn’t caught-up, the old way of doing things isn’t bringing in the results it once did. When is the last time you did something different or reviewed your real value to customers?
4. Develop new ideas for the business
Innovation can take many forms. ‘This is the way we have always done it,’ is a dangerous mantra for any business. No-one promotes change for the sake of it but in a world where robotics, AI and machine learning are touching every sphere of our lives there are sure to be more efficient and cost-effective ways of doing things, freeing people up to do the things they are good at rather than drowning them in the routine and mundane.
Do you have the potential to introduce new products, new services, new processes, new ways to communicate with your marketplace, your customers and your people? Is continuous improvement only seen in operations and therefore not encouraged beyond the shop floor?
5. Get back out there
In sales or process-orientated companies, marketing may not be seen to deliver an effective ROI but with search engines and social media everything has changed. As buyers we all do 57-80% of our research before we contact the company we might buy from. If you do not have regular marketing activities or your marketing strategy has been the same for many years, then you are at a serious disadvantage. Marketing for any business must be working 24/7, working harder than it has ever done. If your marketing feels stale, old-fashioned or full of trite business slogans about ‘quality’ or ‘trusted partner of choice’ with no supporting evidence for those statements then potential customers will not recognise the value you can deliver for them and customers may be tempted to move on if they do not have a compelling reason to stay.
When you lose your business mojo then you know it’s time to change.