Time to roll up your sleeves?
Fiona was featured in ‘The Money Issue’ of NZ Business Magazine.
Looked at your business plans lately? Business growth specialist Fiona Clark dishes up some great advice for making 2023 one of your best years ever.
What will 2023 bring?
Should we be excited or concerned?
We know the economy is tough, but what does that mean for your business?
While there may be factors outside of your control, there are also many things you can do to have a strong year ahead.
First of all, it’s time for Business Growth thinking, not Business as Usual thinking.
There is a year ahead of you and a lot can happen in 12 months. This is the time to take a step back, look at your business objectively and with a fresh perspective.
Business has changed, especially compared to pre-Covid times, and it will continue to change. It’s important we keep up or we’ll get left behind.
I find the beginning of the year exciting, because this is when you get to wipe the slate clean and map out your entire business year. You get to decide the direction, the pace, of your business; who you want to work with, and what your key growth areas are for the year.
For 2023 it will be even more important to front foot business, take control, and proactively make every month count.
There are opportunities in every economy, and this may take creative thinking – looking at your business through a different lens to find new markets, a new client base, new referral partners, or new strategies.
Don’t wait for the year to happen TO you – but make the year happen FOR you.
Here are some key steps to help you achieve this.
Focus on your pipeline
What future sales are in your pipeline? What activity is being done to generate leads, set up opportunities, build relationships, drive interest, and keep cashflow, workload and momentum consistently going month after month? In 2023 it will be more important than ever to have a strong focus on sales and marketing and keep revenue and profit coming in.
Avoid that ‘feast or famine’ cycle.
Make marketing count
A lot of companies will pull back on marketing when they’re being careful with spending. Do the opposite. Spend more. Why? Because why would you shut off a primary source of leads and revenue when you need it the most? When others stop marketing, you benefit; it creates a less crowded market place and can help you achieve better visibility online, and a greater return for your marketing spend.
Supercharge your sales
This is the time to make sure your sales team (or you, if you’re responsible for sales) are taking part in training and learning new skills. When client spending is tight, it’s crucial to have a clear sales strategy, have a solid sales process, and know how to close and ask for the business.
You can market till the cows come home, but it is sales that puts money in the bank account.
Share your wins
Keep yourself and your team strong, proactive and positive. Sharing your ‘Wins’ is a great way to start team meetings and encourage everyone to share what’s gone well, find the ‘good’ in the week, and focus on the successes. Also, remember to share from a business aspect – to give the team confidence in the direction of the business and the future of the company.
(You also want to retain high performers and not give them a reason to look for their next move.)
Women in Business
We are always proud of our clients’ ‘Wins’, and are inspired when we see the changes they’re making. One of our key areas of specialty is working with Women in Business and we are privileged to have worked with a wide range of companies from a variety of industries.
One excellent example of a client’s ‘Win’ involves a supplier to the building and construction industry. This company has been in strong growth mode for some time, and has continued to do well, despite the disruption of two-plus years of Covid.
There have been certain key factors that have made a difference to their success.
We established that in order for this company to scale, they needed to focus and work hard on streamlining systems and internal processes; to further build the culture of the team; to improve internal communication; and build team performance and skill-set.
The business owner has a team of 30 staff and promotes people from within the company. She has invested in training and development for them, and now has a good senior leadership team to support her. We have worked on strategies to fill the pipeline and are clear on what client work they will take on, and what to say ‘No’ to. This will help them mitigate risk and manage any downturn of specific work. They are positioned well to continue to scale and grow, and thrive in the next 12 months and beyond.
Women in Trades
Other areas seeing real growth for women includes the progress being made for Women in Trades. There is a lot of work going on within the industry and there are many highly-capable women who have changed careers to work in the construction space.
I’ve met some great women from NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction), BCITO, Waihanga Ara Rau (the Workforce Development Council for Construction and Infrastructure), and those in the industry who are working hard to lead the way for a construction workforce that is diverse and inclusive. We know that ‘What you can see, you can be’ and for many women in trades or business, there is great opportunity ahead for their careers and the future.
So, what will 2023 bring?
That’s up to each of us.
Whether you are a company of one or a team of 100, take control and You decide what the year ahead will bring your career or business.
When I started out in business the advice given to me was: ‘Take a deep breath, roll your sleeves up, and get on with it’.
That could be the best way for you to build success this year.