As one year or season draws to a close, it’s natural to sit back and take stock of the situation. We reflect on our successes, laugh at the funny times, fist-pump at the underdog moments, lament at the losses and then we all do one thing consciously or subconsciously – we set new goals and make a plan for the next season. Whether you’re charging ahead, excited about the next steps or feel a bit lost and unsure of the future, these tips might just help.
1. Forget Plan B. While I always talk about the importance of being able to pivot and change direction if your Plan A isn’t working, don’t focus on your Plan B before you need it. New research by scientists at University of Wisconsin and Wharton University found that when participants were asked to perform a task while thinking about what they would do if they didn’t succeed, they were less successful than those participants who focused on Plan A 100 per cent; those who were ‘all in’.
2. Increase your Value. A study by Intuit found that 35 per cent of start-ups undercharge for what they do, which is a great way to get stage-one customers (because who doesn’t love a bargain!) but by relying on this strategy, your company will probably never reach stage two. As I write in one of my books (Money & Mindfulness), it’s vital that you calculate realistic margins for your products, even if it doesn’t undersell your competitors. I’ve even heard of entrepreneurs adding a 20 per cent ‘innovation tax’ to their margins to cover all their tough day and sleepless nights. Yes!
3. Go Back to School. As an entrepreneur, every day is a lesson and there is a general consensus in the entrepreneurial space that traditional educational methods are redundant. But there’s a shift in the wings as educators catch up and start to change their teaching ideas and methods to suit the entrepreneurial way. Last year, Collective Hub partnered with Torrens University Australia to launch a global first; a completely one-of-a-kind Graduate Certificate in Collective Entrepreneurship. Whether you’re a wannabe entrepreneur or a veteran founder, this online course is a place to test your value proposition in a safe environment, whilst practising your resilience and ability to work under pressure before you hit the real world.The course commences on the 20th of February, with limited spots available. Get to know more about it here.
4. Befriend Gen Z. They’re not babies anymore and, in the future, they could become your most powerful customer. What do they want? According to studies, the Millennials’ successors are won over by expert customer service, are more likely to save money than spend it and 77 per cent want brands to reach out to them, as outlined in a report by trendspotters Cassandra. Looking for a market to create products for or unsure who your market is currently? Why not try the new kids. The website AtoGenz even decodes ‘Gen Z speak’ for marketers.
5. Profit With Purpose. Don’t wait until you’re making millions to think about giving back. Instead, build philanthropy into your business plan today, to benefit the wider world and also your brand. It is empowering personally for an entrepreneur – when the days get tough, it’s good to know there are bigger causes associated with what you are doing. According to research, customers are far more likely to stay loyal to companies with a charitable ethos. More importantly, it’s also good for team morale, as a Nielson Report found that 67 per cent of people prefer to work for socially responsible companies. Think about what you can afford to give, whether it’s money, time or product. Then envision the day that you’re successful enough to join Bill Gates’ Giving Pledge gang.
Good luck for the next part of the journey. You’ve got this!