Guest Post | Building Your Business Dreams in 2014

As 2014 gets underway, leading life & business coach, Rasheed Ogunlaru, author of ‘Soul Trader – Putting the Heart Back into Your Business’ – shares some tips on how to get ready, set and move ahead.

2014 has arrived and is already moving fast. Perhaps it’s no surprise as this is also the Chinese year of the Horse which indicates power, and moving forward at pace.

Whether you’re starting out or looking to take your business to the next stage it’s important to get clear, inspired, organized and to take focused action. Here are my 7 Soul Trader tips for 2014 to get, ready and set and go forward for 2014.

1)  Clarity: If you don’t know where you’re going you’re unlikely to get there. Write a vision, mission, strategy and action plan – covering finance, marketing and operations and review them regularly.

2)  Customers: No customers, no business. Research, network, talk, listen and learn what your (potential) customers need / want. Create and fine-tune your products/ services around them. Excel and they’ll re-use/recommend you.

3)  Courage: Work to and from your strengths and you’ll grow. But also push your comfort zones and try something new too. Be yourself and you’ll stand out. Set backs will come – accept, learn and adjust. Don’t be afraid seek help.

4)  Co-operation: You can’t do it alone. As a small business you can punch beyond your weight by finding like-minded partners and associates. Swap, share, work together, cross-refer to build capacity, skills, sales and clients.

5)  Conversations: Everything is a conversation: your website, your social media interactions, your meeting pitch. Be clear, crisp, compelling, customer focused and relevant to who you are targeting.

6)  Creativity: Manage your time and energy. Eat, sleep and rest well or you’ll underperform. Simplify, systemize, get organized and use technology wisely.

7)   Compassion: Take care of yourself, your health, your customers, contacts, customers, suppliers – and friends/ family – and they’ll take care of you.

+ Change: Everything will change. Accept, anticipate and adjust to change in your industry, business, team and customers. Review your progress regularly. Tweak or change what’s not working. Get expert help when you’re stuck or need to move up.

Rasheed’s Soul Trader workshop takes place each month in the Business & IP Centre. ‘Soul Trader – Putting the Heart Back into Your Business’ is available in bookshops and from his website