‘Same old work, different decade’…
…is not the attitude you want to have going into 2020.
We can get so bogged down by doing the work and fulfilling client requests that it’s easy to forget to take a step back every now and then to gauge whether you’re still doing what’s right for you and by the business. Regain control and get back that same sense of enthusiasm you had when you started out.
Five signs that things have gone stale
- You’ve forgotten why you’re doing it.
- You don’t feel valued.
- You’re struggling to get motivated.
- You’re neglecting your brand.
- The Sunday blues.
“If you start getting the Sunday blues it’s a sure sign that things have gone stale in your business.”
Samantha Dawkins, Owner at Koala VA
If any of these sound familiar it’s time to rekindle that spark and fall in love with your business all over again.
20 ways to freshen things up in 2020
1. Give yourself a break
Running your own business is no mean feat. It’s hard to ever switch off knowing that the buck always stops with you. But you’ll fizzle out if you don’t get enough fresh air. Get outside. Reevaluate your work-life balance. Have a holiday or take a long drive to give yourself the space you need to revive and reflect.
Sometimes the flexibility of working for yourself means that you can allow too many distractions in or try to take on too many things at once. Do your business justice by giving it the attention that it deserves. Play to your strengths, refine your offering and build a really good reputation.
3. Go back to the dream
When did you love your business the most and why did you start?
“Goals are part of it, but the dream is why you do it and why you will rise above the staleness and negativity. The dream gives us the ability to overcome obstacles and push through the endless and often infuriating preparation to achieve the goals we set. If you go back to your dream or the reason why you started what you do, you will find a way to reinstate motivation and break through the barriers of the slow times.”
Lee Booth, Creative Director at OI Marketing and Consultancy
4. Find your ultimate role model
It might be in a book or a blog, it could be another business or someone you know personally. Who or what represents what you’d ultimately like to achieve and why? Where are the gaps between them and what you’re currently doing?
5. Stop making excuses
If you ask for advice, take it. Don’t let anything restrict you. Don’t avoid doing what’s hard. Learn to smell when your favourite excuses are sounding fishy and instead have the confidence to think “I can do it!”
6. Invest in yourself
Keep learning about new aspects of business to stay up to speed with the latest developments and feel inspired. Choose a training course to go on and challenge yourself.
“Never get complacent. I have clients that become just that when thinking about their marketing strategy. I try to take my own advice on board and make sure I put myself out there to learn and improve my skills as well as informing myself about the latest industry trends and tips. It’s tiring and there’s never enough time but staying on top of industry trends and new skills is important to avoid the risk of becoming a stale business.”
Gabriele Richardson, Concepts Factory
7. Review and plan
Take some time to reevaluate your business, brand and client base. Decide what you’re going to change and aim for and then make a business continuity plan to achieve it.
8. Get a mentor or coach
When you’ve got clear objectives, consider finding someone to help you achieve them and to hold you accountable.
“In May this year I was struggling with motivation and with things not feeling as fun and flowy as they once were – they were more of a chore or obligation. I did a mini business review of what I was happy with and what I wasn’t enjoying. I’ve slowly manipulated my offerings to be more in line with what lights me up.
“And I hired a business coach to give me a bit of oomph back. She’s really helped propel me forward in the areas I was cautious about and lacking sparkle in. I’d followed her for a while and spent time being really clear about what I wanted to achieve from working with her. Do your research first to check the coach actually knows their stuff and don’t expect them to magically cure things without putting any work in. I really made sure I honoured the investment as much as possible by putting in the work.”
Jen Eastwood, Freelance Social Media Marketer at Rock Rose Digital
9. Be a mentor
Volunteer locally as a business mentor to help others set up their own businesses. It will renew your passion for startups, give you confidence by making you realise how much knowledge you have and will probably make you see that you don’t always take your own advice… and maybe you should start.
10. Try new marketing channels
Where are your competitors’ advertising and what’s giving them the edge? Are you setting aside enough time each week to work on the business, not just in the business?