I'm a visual person and in business, that means I visualize the outcome or impact I'm seeking and work backwards in measurable increments. So let's go on a short journey.
What do you see in 2020 looking back at 2019? Was your business financially successful? Is it sustainable with a good model, employees, clients and markets? Were you energized at reaching new benchmarks? What were they and why are you feeling so good?
In the year 2019, I believe it is very doable to create a bold and positive vision and see it through, in spite of what sometimes seems like mounting challenges. It can be done without compromise with just a little planning (visualizing) and thorough and complete execution.
Here are my #2019 business hacks.
-Get engaged with a greater purpose, i.e. health, lifestyle, climate solutions, animal welfare, reducing waste, stewardship of oceans and so many more. The days of putting a label or link in your footer of your website are over. Fully engage with metrics related to your business and showcase them throughout your social media and packaging materials.
-Nail the why of your business and products. No longer pictures of beautiful scenery or beautiful people are a sustainable business plan. If you are growing, harvesting, distributing, certifying, transporting or financing turnips, there should be a meaningful why beyond financial profit. The consumers are trending to the why, so be ahead of the game with your supply chain partners.
-Connect with your consumers. It is a confusing food world with legacy grocers trying to figure out their role and on-line retailers changing their methods or merging horizontally and vertically making a messy marketplace. Do your best to evolve your conversation with customers into a two way discussion. Recognize them, regularly seek advice from them, consider them as part of your business (not outside of it). Show them you are listening by remaining in lock step, where possible. Remember, if you cannot go direct to consumer with products, that does not mean you can't go direct to consumer with relationships.
-Collaborate. You have your entire supply chain. What do your suppliers of consumables and equipment have to offer in terms of collaborations or networks? What do your buyers want to buy and how do they want to buy it? Who would they like to see you collaborate with in 2019? A lifestyle company and your healthy food products? A fitness club and your markets? These are likely the simplest to visualize and accomplish. In my experience, this is leveraging of your resources, at its best.
I hope your 2019 flashback realized what you aspired to in your business and it has made you proud and your business stronger and even more sustainable.