“No matter where you are in your leadership journey, never forget that what got you to where you are won’t get you to the next level.”

~ John C. Maxwell

As we near the end of 2019, it’s important to take some time to think about what you might do to uplevel your business in 2020. In this post, I share 7 key steps that have the potential to see your business grow and improve over the coming year.

1. Uplevel your systems and processes
As your business grows, in order to deliver a more professional service to your clients and customers, as well as avoid drowning in admin and overwhelm, you’ll need to put in place efficient systems and process. I use several tools to automate time-consuming tasks and make the customer journey more seamless (and my life easier!) To find out what tools I currently use head here.

In 2020, after hearing glowing reviews from several of my colleagues, I’m going to start using business management tool, Dubsado, which does in one, what many of my other tools do separately. I’m a big believer in getting your systems and processes set up sooner rather than later – it’s much better to grow into a system than wait until you’re in a hot mess to put one in retrospectively.

Action: Take some time now to brainstorm any and all of the business tasks you could automate, develop a process for or create a system around to make your life easier and that of your customers. If there is a task and you’re not sure what tool or system to use, head on over to my free group on Facebook and write a post asking for recommendations.

2. Create a Strategic Plan 
There is no denying it, I am a planner and I’m in no doubt how important planning is to the future growth and success of your business. You’d be pretty hard pushed to find a successful business out there that doesn’t take some serious time and effort on planning. And when I say plan, I don’t mean just setting some pie in the sky, ambitious goals, I’m talking about creating a plan that is strategically sound. One that takes your ambition and vision for the future and provides a solid strategy for how to get there.

What this means in practice is rather than simply set yourself the goal to make $50K this year, you sit down and figure out exactly what you need to do in order to make that happen, how many sales of what specific offerings you need to make and what size of audience you’ll need to have, as well as what specific actions you’ll take to bring those sales about.

Action: Get a strategic plan in place before the year is out which contains your financial goals, business goals and strategic priorities. Want to use my Business Planner + Blueprint? Head here or for a free one-page business plan PDF head here.

3. Activate your network 
Personally, I believe this is one of the most important (and overlooked) things you can do to help your business soar next year. Activating your network essentially means taking regular action to be in connection with and of service to members of your audience. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. Try reaching out to ask if someone needs your support, recommend a resource that you know could help them, check-in to see how they are. I often refer to this as outreach and you can read some of my best tips on how to do this here and here.

Action: Read this post and choose 3 of the strategies given and make a plan to implement them in early 2020.

4. Create and implement a content schedule
I must admit that in the early days of entrepreneurship, I completely underestimated the importance of content as a means to grow my business, as well as a way to connect with my audience, demonstrate my expertise, be of service and express my unique business point of view. Since rectifying this a year or so ago, by making content creation such a priority that I have 90 minutes a day for it scheduled in my calendar, business has boomed. It’s that important.

Action: Think about what content you could create for your audience that would help to demonstrate your expertise and be of value to your ideal clients. Brainstorm article or post ideas and then implement a schedule to not only publish them but to distribute them as widely as possible. (I’ll be writing a more detailed article to help you with this soon!)

5. Find collaborators and partners
A lot of people overlook the importance of connecting with people as part of their business activities and those who do value its importance, tend to focus on connection with potential clients and customers (i.e. their audience). What often gets overlooked, but that has the potential to grow your business immeasurably, is collaborating and partnering with other people in your industry or related industries.

Getting yourself in front of other people’s audiences is an essential key to growing your own audience and therefore your revenue. There are various ways to do this including, but not limited to, being on someone else’s podcast, doing a guest post for one of the big name online publications such as Elephant Journal or Tiny Buddha or doing a collaboration with a peer (such as this one I did with Helen McLaughlin). If you are not regularly connecting with peers in your industry and getting yourself in front of other people’s audiences you’re missing a huge trick.

Action: Brainstorm people and places that it would serve your business to connect with and then go and connect. If you are approaching a person, remember that the most important thing is to connect and build a relationship free from expectation, if the person feels you are just connecting just to get something from them, it will be a disaster. Connect with a genuine and open heart and you’ll see the difference.

6. Monitor your finances 
I know this one isn’t particularly exciting but you wouldn’t believe how many business owners I talk to who don’t know how much money they are making on a month by month basis nor do they set regular financial goals.

This is one of those things that people early on in business tend to avoid because they feel shame about the numbers. When it’s such a small amount it doesn’t always seem worth the effort but here’s the thing, putting your focused energy on your financial situation is a sure-fire way to bring about change. So as much as it might pain you to do it, record your business income and outgoings (no matter how small or non-existent they are) and be sure to set monthly financial goals.

Action: Schedule some time to sit with your finances from this year. You’ll want to figure out how much you made this year from your business and how much it cost you to run your business (think web hosting, software costs etc). Once you have those figures, think about what you would like to increase that number to in 2020. Note that it could be a deficit (which is normal in the early days). Once you have that figure, take some time to figure out how many of your products and services you would need to sell in order to make that amount a reality.

7. Grow your audience 
Easier said than done, but if you don’t have a clear audience growth strategy, then any effort you are making on content creation and marketing is likely going to waste. I hate the term funnel, but I do know the importance of sitting down and looking at the journey people need to make from not knowing you at all to buying from you and finding ways to make this journey easier and more impactful for your people.

If you find that you are marketing and creating content for a small number of people and that number isn’t growing then you are really going to struggle to see a growth in your income.

Action: Take some time now to map out all the ways people find you and what you do to then deepen the relationship with those people. For example, I create content, which I then share widely (through repurposing and advertising) and then when people engage with that content, I reach out to connect and offer my support, oftentimes that leads to a complimentary coaching session and oftentimes, those sessions are so powerful that they lead to the enrolment of a client. There is no manipulation or pressure tactics, just being of service and offering value every step of the way and in doing so making it easy for people to make the decision to buy from me.

And there you have it, 7 ways to take things to the next level with your business in 2020 and 7 actions to get you started.

If you know you may need support to implement some of these effectively, then do consider applying for the Conscious Business Mastermind, which will run for 9 months next year and is the most affordable way to get my eyes on and support on your business. In the mastermind we’ll be looking at all of these growth strategies and so much more. Head here for the full details and to complete a form to express your interest