I was prompted by an associate to write this blog and share some thoughts and expertise as an experienced business coach. I will discuss a little about 2023, but more importantly, moving forward to 2024. I’ll absolutely share some tips and thoughts to help with growth and success – certainly doing a little better than ‘barely surviving’.
What Did 2023 Look Like?
Let’s just say, it’s been an ‘interesting’ year. The Albanese Government had its first full year (voted in May 2022) and well, I for one, am not impressed with the economy to date:
- Interest rates are up again; not as bad as the 80’s but not great either
- Electricity and fuel costs continue to hit our back pockets
- Everything else had increased; you can’t get food to the supermarkets without paying the rising cost of fuel, labour, material and power
- The 2023 referendum cost us $450M – and of course, the people overall said “no”. Statistically, that was likely to be the case as only 17% of federal referendums have passed.
But enough of that. We have COVID still, although at least we don’t get ‘locked up’. Supply chains are still a huge issue. Getting (and keeping) good people is a challenge. It’s not about being a bad boss; it’s that it’s become an employees’ market where primarily the dollar talks. Business owners are naturally stressed and tired.
However, despite all that, a good number of my clients thrived in 2023 and I expect will have a fabulous year in 2024. It’s been one of my busiest years – with clients now in every state of Australia. Thanks Zoom for making that happen! I’ve had clients increase their turnover (and more importantly their profit), settle things down and get some great systems in place, reduce their stress and come into Christmas feeling downright happy. One client went from a loss of $150K to a profit of $350K … how fabulous is that!
On a personal note, I became a grandmother to little William. He is such a bundle of joy!
How You Can Make A Better 2024
Yes, I know, you’re keen to hit ‘how do I make a great 2024’. So, let’s look at that now.
- Strategic Planning. I know we hear these words a lot and often people just dismiss the concept as a marketing ploy or upsell to spend. The reality is that planning and goal setting and putting action steps in place to make a plan actually happen really does work. And yes, I do offer those services, whether it’s at end/beginning of a year, or really any time of the year. When you couple strategy, thought, planning and follow through – that’s when things happen!
- Appreciate the 1%ers. In business coaching, or really anything in life; it’s often not just one big thing which makes a huge difference. It’s a hundred little things which make a difference. Are you paying too much for a particular service? Is there double handling as part of your process? Are you too busy to shop around and get a better priced supplier? Do you ‘leave money on the table’ because your sales process has gaps? Are you missing out on opportunities due to poor marketing? The list goes on … well more than a hundred areas that most businesses can improve on.
- Be Money Smart! You don’t have to be a financial wiz, but you should be able to understand your figures and financial reports for your business AND more importantly, you should be looking at these monthly (and maybe even weekly if suitable). Those who watch their figures, have current and quality data, are then able to make timely informed decisions. It may be that you have industry ups and downs (Christmas or winter for example) so a combination of fiscal foresight and strategic planning can help level out those situations. Some of my clients need a little financial education and tutoring – and I do that. I know accounting, but I speak English. : )
- Pace Yourself. When we start out in business we often go ‘helter skelter’ and work huge hours or put in a big effort and that’s natural. However, if you’ve been in business for over a year now, start pacing yourself. You need to have balance and you need to keep up your momentum. For that reason, I often coach my clients to book their holidays a year in advance. Once it’s booked and scheduled in, you’ll make it happen and you’ll get regular breaks. These breaks allow you to recharge, refresh and return with renewed vigour and energy.
- Be Constantly Learning. I’m a grandmother now, so not exactly young, but every day I am learning. It might be Googling information, reading blogs like this one, listening to podcasts, reading business books (or re-reading the classics), doing a short course or attending a workshop. Don’t just do education specific to your industry or what interests you, but also educate yourself in areas that you know you are not as strong as you can be. If you’d like to learn more about marketing check out Magnificent. There is so much free information out there and so many different ones you can consume that knowledge. E-audiobooks (whether via Audible or free through your library) can be used for learning, not just entertainment. Find a method which works for you and make it part of your daily routine.
- Be a Smart CEO, Not an Absent or Lazy CEO. Often when a business gets to a certain stage, we put on managers, GMs, Supervisors and other people who can essentially run the show for us. Many business owners at this point think, well I’ve got that person watching everything so I can sit back and just take in the profits, or I can switch off and not worry about the business. Even if you have a fabulous person at the helm, you should always stay involved to a degree.
You should be meeting with that person every week to touch base, ensure they have everything under control and watching your KPIs, figures, stats and financials even more carefully. This isn’t about micro managing, but about being a smart CEO who keeps their finger on the pulse. They might have team who look after the rest of the ‘body’ of the business, but you need to make sure that pulse is strong and consistent. For the CEO who is switched on, they will see an untoward patterns emerge and can get things back on track, or can brainstorm with their manager (as a team) to find a great solution. This is especially important when your person at the helm is new to the role.
These are just a few things. Having a plan, getting support and guidance and being smart in business all go towards success. Whether times are good or tough, those who do business well will always do well. Those who don’t do business well might be ok in flush times, but when things get a little tough, that’s when they often fall down or fail. There will be business failures in 2024 (always have been and always will be), but the point here is to take action so that your business doesn’t become a statistic. Luck doesn’t play into this. Don’t blame the economy. Instead, take charge of your business and its direction and make 2024 a great year for you. If you need help making that happen – reach out to me via my contact page. My passion is your potential!