How to make 2021 a truly successful year without the stress and without the BS

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Ok, so 2020 is over at last, and we’re raring to go for 2021 …but what, no matter how good your start of the year intentions, and how sincere your resolutions … how can you actually make 2021 truly successful?

How can you be less busy and stressed?

How can you get customers to notice you more?

And how can you feel personally fulfilled at this time next year that you’ve achieved what you set out to achieve … no matter what happens all around you?

And how can you do this without the stress and without the constant BS that’s fired at you all the time?

Well, I’m not going to add to all the hype and analysis of 2020, apart from saying three things:

  1. It was an exceptional year.
  2. Some people and businesses suffered badly and some thrived.
  3. There’s now a HUGE opportunity for independent businesses to prosper and grow in 2021 … but you need to do the right things.

I’ve had tears of frustration and massive excitement from my customers in 2020 … and all emotions in between, but one thing I learnt clearer than ever from them was: those that were agile and take quick actions based on true principles and successful habits have generally done much better than those that weren’t.

A travel company has increased turnover, improved customer experience, increased operating hours … all while reducing wage costs.

An online services Company has taken the opportunity to develop a brand-new product in the slowdown, which will be launched shortly and has the potential to double or even treble the size of their business.

And we’ve had some wonderful stories, especially from the licensed trade, of pubs reaching out and providing service and support to their communities: even when they were suffering and not knowing if they could even carry on themselves.

But here we are: a brand new year, a vaccine rolling out, and the world full of hope and optimism!

So what simple advice can I give you to help YOU make sure that 2021 is a truly successful year, without the stress and without the BS … that won’t cost you a penny, and you can do easily?

Well, I said that:

  1. It was an exceptional year – we don’t need to discuss that any further!
  2. Some people and businesses suffered badly and some thrived – as I’ve outlined above.
  3. There’s now a HUGE opportunity for independent businesses to prosper and grow in 2021 … but you need to do the right things. This is where I hope I can help you: so read on!

The ‘massive opportunity’ I’m speaking about comes from the significant changes in customer experience and customer expectations during the chaos of 2020.

  • Customer experience: I’d suggest that customer experience, in general, has plummeted over the year, with everything from long wait times to lack of services being blamed on ‘Covid 19’: so, if you’re able to understand your customers’ feelings, and rise to the challenge of continually delighting them better than your competitors, then you’ll probably be onto a winner.
  • Customer expectations: I’d suggest that customers have really missed independent businesses this year, as many didn’t have the ability to change quickly enough to benefit from the lockdown restrictions, and are fed up with large businesses that don’t pay a fair level of tax … and so there’s a large latent demand.

OK, as ever it’s easy for people like me to say: ‘There’s a big opportunity, all you need to do is to make sure:

  • Your reputation attracts new customers more quickly,
  • Your behaviour is remarkable enough to make them loyal raving fans,
  • And your systems get them to come back and buy again and more and more’.

If it were that easy, then everyone would already be doing it!

You’re already busy, stressed by all the changes and problems, and have enough on your plate just to keep your plates spinning today I’ll bet.

So what can someone like me offer to GENUINELY help you make 2021 a truly successful year without the stress and without the BS?

Can I suggest small steps?

Often people are so tied up in this week’s sales figures or this month’s P&L that they forget that continual small steps, and in particular improvements, are the key to success over the long term.

This quote from Robert Louis Stevenson says it all for me:

  • “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

So, again, you may be thinking: ‘Yes, that makes sense: easy to say … what can I actually do?’

So here is my suggestion for 4 simple steps that don’t take lots of time and effort and don’t cost any money to help you make 2021 truly successful, without the stress and BS, so that you continually grow your customer reputation, experience and loyalty … step by step!

  • Step 1: find a quote you love on small steps (use the one above if you like it): print it out and stick it on the wall somewhere where you’ll see it every morning before you start work. Easy to do and will help you every day.
  • Step 2: change the purpose of your job, team or business: what are the ‘seeds you want to plant, rather than the harvest you want to reap? For example:
    • ‘Our purpose is to do X so well that customers want to Y’
    • Or ‘We are not here to sell things: we are here to do X so well that people want to buy them from us and tell their friends about us’
    • Hopefully you get the idea.
    • This then becomes a ‘compass’ to guide all your decisions and processes throughout the year … and beyond! Quite hard to do properly so it genuinely works but it costs nothing, so, take your time and do it well: do it step by step with the help of feedback.
  • Step 3: put in a measure of the ‘planting of the seeds’ and hold people accountable to this rigorously … before your measures of ‘harvest’. I’m sure you already have plenty of ‘harvest’ measures: this year how about starting measuring the actions that lead to the harvest, rather than just the harvest, and you’ll be amazed at the transformation of behaviour and results around you! Easy, simple and costless to do: this just takes commitment and persistence.
  • Step 4: put in a weekly ‘one step review’ systems for everything:
    • To develop yourself you can use a ‘weekly compass plan’ (see our previous blog on this by clicking here).
    • Again: these two systems are easy and costless to do.

So there you have it: 4 simple steps to ensure that 2021 is truly successful without the stress and without the BS.

And with no cost.

I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favourite inspirational speakers, Jim Rohn:

  • “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practised every day”

My very best wishes to you for a truly happy and successful 2021.

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Slow Selling is a UK based not for profit organisation for leaders and managers in independent businesses.

Our systems deliver peace of mind and confidence to caring leaders and managers who have limited time and resources, and want to grow their business … all without sacrificing principles or profits.

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