Running a business successfully is very challenging. It is very easy to get bogged down in the day to day running of the business and to have a limited perspective on your business and what is happening in the world around you. If you find yourself in this position, your business is likely to be struggling to get to where you want it to be. To move your business forward you will need to expand your horizons and gain a fresh perspective on your business.
So what can you do to expand your horizons and gain a fresh perspective on your business?
Schedule in regular time each week to work 'on' your business. To enable you to gain a fresh perspective you will firstly have to schedule in time each week to step back from the day to day and to work 'on' your business. It is amazing how different your business will look when you are on the outside looking in. This will give you time to think about your business as well as time to look at the others areas mentioned below. If you don't do this nothing will change and your business will not move to where you want it to be.
Review what your competitors are doing. What are your competitors doing? What changes have they made? Are they taking customers away from your business? Have they introduced new products or services? Regularly review what your competitors are doing.
Talk to and listen to your customers. Are you talking to and listening to your customers? What are they saying about your business? What is their view of the service they receive? Have you looked at your business from your customers' perspective? Regularly talk to and listen to your customers to understand their needs now and in the future and their perspective on your business.
Look at what successful businesses and business owners are doing. What are successful businesses and business owners doing? What can you learn from them? Look at what they are doing and apply that knowledge to your view of your own business.
Chat with other business owners. How often do you talk to other business owners? What can you learn from them? Talking to other business owners can provide a fresh perspective on your business as well as reassurance as to what you are doing and experiencing in your business.
Speak to your suppliers. What are your suppliers saying? What trends are they seeing with their customers? Speak with your suppliers to gain information and to get their perspective on your business.
Be aware of your market sector and business trends. What is happening in your market sector? What is happening in the wider business world? What may be coming up that will impact your business? Being wise to the world outside your business will help you see your business in a different light.
Attend networking and business events. What business and networking events do you attend? What events are coming up in your area that you may benefit from? Listening to speakers and talking to other attendees at business events can stimulate your thinking, allow you to look at things differently and generate new ideas that you can implement.
Read newspapers, books, e-newsletters and access information via the Internet. There are so many sources of information available to you today from traditional books and newspapers to the Internet, including social media. Whatever your preferences you can access information and knowledge that can open your mind to new perspectives on your business.
Take part in training. Another way to gain a fresh perspective is to take part in training, whether this is via an online training course or formal training in or outside of your business. You may have specific training needs or you may want to understand more about a specific business topic.
Find someone to help and support you. There are many different types of support available to help you gain a fresh perspective on your business including business mentors, business coaches, business consultants and experts in particular areas (e.g. accountants, bank managers, marketing experts etc.). Seek out help and support by asking your contacts for recommendations and searching the Internet for sources of help and support.
Take a break from work and do something different. Having some time away from your business enables you to step back and have a fresh look at your business. Spending time away from work doing something completely different will also give your mind the space to be creative. Often the best ideas for your business occur when you are away from your business and have the time to think.
Hopefully by doing some or all of the above you will expand your horizons and gain a fresh perspective on your business that will help you move your business to where you want it to be.
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