By Peter Radizeski
When I look back on 2012, a lot changed. The cloud hype took over. The VAR-agent partnership is getting more press. Lots of M&A as companies try to add not just revenue, but skills and services. TDM declined fast in 2012 as the RBOCs try to clip the copper. Last year was also the year of social media.
As we stand at the beginning of 2013, what will you need to do to stay relevant in 2013 to your marketplace and customer base? The answer is not necessarily cloud.
Jim Rohn used to say that you have to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. It has never been more appropriate than now. What skills will you need to stay competitive in 2013? What skills will you need to sharpen? What knowledge will you need to add?
Have you set goals for 2013? How will you reach them?
Do you have a list of prospective customers that you would like to land as customers in 2013? How will you land them? What steps do you need to take to meet them?
What would you do if your top five customers left you?
What would you do if your commissions stopped from one of your largest sources? (This thought keeps me up at night.
And I won’t even ask questions about your online or social networks presence because it would just stress you out.
I occasionally give a presentation called How to Have the Best Year Ever. The basis for your best year is to look at a few components: the cash machine, your passion, comfort zone, what’s next.
The cash machine is where you make your money today. More precisely, examine where the most profit comes from. This keeps your business running while you make any changes for the future.
Where’s your passion? Some people are geeks; some aren’t. Where do you derive joy from your business? Do more of that! Outsource what you can that makes you cranky. Brian Tracy’s "Eat That Frog" describes how the tasks we dislike, that we postpone, just makes us miserable. Get those tasks out of the way early, so you can get to the joy.
Growth happens outside the comfort zone. How comfortable are you right now?
You can stay in comfort and ride it out. I know a lot of folks that do that. (They aren’t usually happy people watching the money dwindle down.) Or you can step outside the comfort zone to learn a couple of new things — that you might even enjoy. Tom Peters has been telling businesses for more than 20 years to reinvent themselves before they become irrelevant. (Carriers are in the midst of that process now.)
Finally, “What’s Next?" It’s a far cry from What Now?! But you need to see your future so that you can attain it. (That is the essence of goal setting.)
Maybe you can get through 2013 without making any changes, but do you want to be “getting through" or “getting from?"
"Days are expensive. When you spend a day you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely." — Jim Rohn