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20/20 vision in 2020: Name and claim small business success

Happy New Year – and welcome to the year of “20/20 Vision for Success” in your small business.  When someone has “20/20” vision, it means they have excellent eyesight. So let’s make 2020 the year you can clearly see success ahead.

You’ll need

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Vision

One of Rhonda’s Rules is “You can’t reach a goal you haven’t set.” In other words, you have to identify the goals you want to reach in the next 12 months. What do you want your business to become? What is your definition of success? I rarely quote the Bible in my column, but I would remind you of Proverbs 29:18 — “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

The same is true in business. When you don’t have a clear and sensible vision for what you want to achieve, then your business will perish.

20/20 Vision: I want you to have a really defined vision for your small business in 2020. This is more than just a vague sense of what you’d love to achieve (“I want to be famous.” “I want to be the most successful realtor on the West Side.” “I want to have a really successful app.”). But for 20/20 vision, you need to both name and quantify your goal. (“I want to launch my water use tracking app by June and get 900 users by the end of the year.”)

 

Clarity

You can’t just set goals, you need a roadmap on how to best reach those goals. What tasks must you accomplish to reach those goals? What resources will you need—money, personnel? What steps are crucial? What activities should you put aside until next year?

20/20 Vision: You need a business plan. So sit down in early January and begin working on it — create both a long-term business plan and an annual plan. I believe in this so much that I wrote the book on it: Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies.

 

Focus

If you want something to thrive, you have to focus your attention on it. One of the most difficult challenges for small business owners is they must take care of so many competing tasks that it’s difficult to stay focused. In 2020, be sure to identify the tasks that are truly most important to achieve your definition of success. Make sure you focus on those even as you have to tend to day-to-day tasks.

 

20/20 Vision: Find yourself a good organizing tool — one that works for you. It may be a software program like Trello (I just used that to manage my entire kitchen remodel) or Monday. Or you may like to see your priorities and tasks written out on paper. My friend swears by Bullet Journal and I use a simple spiral bound notebook that is always with me.

 

Insight

Your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum. You need to see what’s going on in your industry, with your competition, with your target market.

20/20 Vision: Join an industry trade group. Subscribe to industry newsletters, listen to industry podcasts. Visit your competitors’ websites regularly. And read trustworthy news outlets that rely on facts.

 

Perception

You need to make sure you pay attention to the details of your business, not just the big picture. In particular, keep a close eye on your financial situation. Find ways and choose tools that keep your eye on your financial resources and your bottom line.

20/20 Vision: Automate as many payments as you can so they’re always made on time. Download mobile apps you have available from your accounting software programs, banks, credit cards, so you can easily and regularly check on your finances. Monitor how you send out invoices, deposit payments, pay bills so you make sure your internal processes are both safe and streamlined.

Together let’s see how we can make 2020 the best year ever.

Rhonda Abrams is the author of “Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies,” the best-selling business plan guide in the US, just released in its seventh edition. Connect with Rhonda on Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram: @RhondaAbrams. Register for Rhonda’s free business tips newsletter at www.PlanningShop.com.

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