In order for your company to run smoothly, it must remain healthy throughout the whole year. That means anticipating and daring to look back on the past with a critical view. It’s also important to give yourself breathing space from time to time and to reflect on recent times. That is why we wrote down 5 tips to help you keep calm and reflect on yourself and your company.
Tip 1: Be aware of your competition
Many entrepreneurs think they have no competitors because they think their idea is unique, but nothing could be further from the truth. There is always competition. That is why it is important to look clearly at which services or products come close to yours. In this way you map out who your competitors are. Then you can start looking by which USP(s) you can continue to make a difference. Be critical of yourself: "What makes your company special? Does your client think so too?”
We often only think of our direct competitors, but you should also take your indirect competitors into consideration. An example: the supermarket chain Delhaize is a direct competitor of Albert Heijn because they both supply people with groceries. This makes HelloFresh, which delivers your groceries at home, an example of an indirect competitor. Just like a bicycle shop is an indirect competitor of a car manufacturer.
It is interesting to check your indirect competitors and see which USPs they have and how they play them out, maybe you’ll learn something from that. In addition to this, you should repeat this process briefly every year.
Tip 2: Self-reflect
Plan a moment each month for self-reflection and to take a close look at your way of working: which projects have been realized, what have you done to prevent mistakes, how have you supported employees who needed it, ... These reflections always provide new insights that immediately lead to more turnover and/or less costs.
Tip 3: Be guided
Stop wanting to do everything in-house. It's good that you want to hold the reins, but you can suffocate yourself and your business with it. There will always be things you don't have the right staff for, for example, creating a webshop, maintaining your social media or your bookkeeping. It is ambitious of you if you want to manage all this in-house. However, external people often bring new insights and approaches that you would never use yourself simply because they have more expertise in that field than you do. They are also more flexible and can help you out with your last-minute or unexpected deadlines.
Tip 4: Everyone aboard
Make sure everyone you work with has the same end goal in mind. Don’t limit yourself to only the goal, but also how you want to achieve that goal. Many entrepreneurs assume that everyone knows that, but that is not always the case. Therefore, plan a meeting every quarter, for example, to discuss with your team where you stand, what achievements have been made and what the challenges are. In addition, this is also the ideal time to link a teambuilding!
Tip 5: Customers know customers
Check if existing customers can also bring in new customers or visit a trade show where your customer is present to see if there are other companies in the same industry that could use your services. You might be surprised how many of your customers can refer you to other companies.