During the past year, Sanlam Business Tips have provided entrepreneurs with wonderful ways to help them improve their business. These tips ranged from how to get non-sales staff selling to recession proofing your business. You probably got many more ideas from attending conferences or webinars and reading books, magazines and blogs. Social media alone provides hundreds of ‘how to’ and ‘do now’ ideas every day. We are not short of ideas; we are deluged with them. The problem is implementation. Ask yourself: did you implement any of the ideas? Roughly how many? Could you measure any improvement in your business directly related to each idea implemented?

In these difficult economic conditions, we need all the help we can get to manage our businesses for profit and growth. We know that. I get the feeling that we have become a bit like the person with many unused cookbooks and all the latest appliances, desperately searching the home for anything to eat. We have become shell-shocked by the volume of the advice and there are no ‘how to’ guides on how to actually implement all the good advice, while still running a business. So, this is my ‘how to’ guide, focusing on the Business Tips articles, because they are a really good place to start. Make sure that you implement this article. It may be your best ever New Year’s resolution.

Start by following this link for an index of the 2018 articles. Read them again and then reflect on the articles. Ask questions like:

  • If I implemented this idea, could I see a measurable difference to my business? If so, by when? What would the size of the change be? How difficult would it be to implement?
  • If I did not implement this idea, what degree of risk would I be taking? (This is a bit like lying injured in a crashed car looking ruefully at the unused seat belt.)
  • Is it applicable to my business? Is it practicable in my sector? Is it my style or a style I could adapt to without changing my core values?
  • Does it leap off the page to me? Is it something I really like, that I can use?

Choose about three that you want to try. Then decide when, how, by whom and with what measured outcomes this should be done. This may mean that you need to figure out how you are going to measure results. Set a target for results and timing – how much and by when. If you, personally, are the implementer, add the instructions to your task list. Allocate resources, including time, and do not accept half measures. Follow the advice to the letter. The most important parts thereof are to measure outcomes, to achieve targets, to make sure the idea really works. Once you have established a method for implementing advice you will quickly learn which advice to try and which to stay away from. Your business should soon show improvements.

Implementing ideas takes a lot longer than reading about them, so you will only be able to implement a fraction of the good ideas you get in a year. These Sanlam tips are local and presented by knowledgeable people. It is a good place to start. If you do take some of the advice, and it works well for you, it would be great if you tell Sanlam about your achievements. Best wishes for the successful implementation of great business ideas in 2019, and many successes as a result.

To support business owners with the important task of business planning, Sanlam gives you free access to the book Your Annual Business Game Plan for Success, which provides an easy and straight forward framework needed to draft a well-crafted game plan that will create the positive change and growth necessary for business success.

Go to www.sanlamgameplan.co.za to download your free copy.

This article was written by mentor and coach, Ed Hatton. See www.themarketingdirector.co.za for more information. Ed’s business advice blog is at http://marketingstrategy.co.za