Nearly every entrepreneur I've met in my career has a purposeful and directed passion that drives their every move. It's that "do it my way" energy that I find so inspirational in my line of business. The indomitable belief entrepreneurs have in themselves and their dreams is by far their most valuable asset.
It takes hard work to continually transform that passion into fresh ideas and new approaches to problem solving. It's easy to get wrapped up in the mundane yet necessary daily management activities of your business. To power your continued success, make it a top priority to constantly renew your entrepreneurial spirit.
Stay connected to your drive and let your passion infuse your business with big-picture thinking by scheduling time for your own private "meeting of one." Setting aside time for this meeting keeps you focused on your current goals and inspires new ideas for taking your business to the next level.
1. Rededicate yourself to the value and power of new ideas. Great ideas often come from unexpected sources. One good idea can galvanize both your business and your attitude. Create a list of your past accomplishments and define where each achievement originated. Did it develop from a customer suggestion, a visit to a new store or something you read in a magazine? Keep your mind open to new possibilities by adding these specific development channels to your strategic plan.
2. Focus on your unique ability to improve your customers' lives. Build on your success by focusing on your customers' needs and desires. Create a list of potential expansion ideas by reviewing testimonials, requests and development ideas customers have shared with you over the past year. Integrate these items into your product improvement process. If you don't currently have a mechanism for obtaining customer feedback, devise a plan to glean this information from your most loyal clients. This input is the most valuable data your business can receive, bar none.
3. Create new product extensions and variations that relate to what you've learned. Entrepreneurs become vulnerable to competitive forces when they forget to tailor their offerings to specific customer requirements. Based on the information you collect, ask yourself, "How can a customer request be transformed into a product variation or a completely new product?" Linking customer suggestions to your endeavors keeps your business personal and helps you sustain your competitive edge. Keep your entrepreneurial energy and motivation high by ensuring the new project is something you will enjoy implementing.
4. Experiment with an execution strategy that differs from your normal business routine. Executing your decisions is imperative to your success. However, what may seem like your most prized business practices might actually prevent your business from growing efficiently. Use your new offering as an opportunity to test fresh implementation methods. For instance, if you always launch products through retail stores, investigate how to sell them online. Developing innovative distribution channels can be as profitable for your company as offering additions to your product line.
Close your meeting by declaring that you'll continue to inspire and challenge your business direction. Commit to regularly investigating new product developments and distribution possibilities. Conducting an annual meeting of one provides an excellent opportunity to stay energized about growing your business.
Speaker and consultant Romanus Wolter, aka "The Kick Start Guy," is author of Kick Start Your Success and Kick Start Your Dream Business.