As we approach another uncertain year, here are a couple of essential areas I recommend you focus on. They’re from a talk I gave to business owners, which the group found extremely useful.
Here they are, in no particular order.
Move with the changes ahead
Crisis precedes change. We’ve all seen changes as a result of the pandemic. People have changed. Priorities have changed. Habits have changed. Outlooks have changed.
Whilst it’s not possible to know what will change in 2022, we can still be ready for it.
I was in business during the last recession and also during the 2000 Stock Market crash.
The most valuable lesson I learned, was the importance of dancing with the certainty of uncertainty: Developing a willingness to adapt as required, in a hard to predict landscape.
It’s easy to slip into a fixed or semi-fixed way of doing things, but it hampers innovation and growth. This is especially the case in business. Even more so in times of change, when our fixed ideas are no longer appropriate for the tasks at hand. I used this approach with my clients this year and 3 of them achieved their best financial year ever, despite 2 of those 3 being in industries that were very negatively impacted by the pandemic.
There will be outstanding opportunities next year for business owners with the flexibility to adapt. So make it a key focus in your 2022 business planning.
Build a better, not bigger, contact network
We all saw how valuable, or otherwise, our contacts were this year. Thanks to Linkedin and similar services, anyone with enough spare time can build a huge network of contacts. However, the value of a network is in the calibre and quality of the people you’re connected with, not the size of your network.
The general advice I give business owners is to go narrow and deep. Not wide and shallow. For example.
- IF MY NETWORK has 10000 people, BUT they lack influence or hardly know me, it will have a commercial value of close to zero.
- IF YOUR NETWORK has 10 people, BUT they are highly influential, know you and are motivated to help you, it will have a massive commercial value to you.
Here’s an exercise to help you get it right. Draw up a list of the 30 most influential people in your marketplace. These people could include high quality prospective clients or maybe influential introducers; (introducers are people who can recommend you to lots of clients or buyers). Then, put a plan together that will allow you to earn their attention. This targeted approach takes time, but the rewards are enormous, and it should be a part of your planning for 2022.
With a more flexible approach to the unknowns of the next 12 months, and with lots of highly valuable new contacts, you will dramatically increase your potential for the year ahead.