Well here we are again, the end of another year. Whatever your business, the end of the year is a great time for reflection, and I for one will use it as a time to look back over the past twelve months, consider the highs and lows and review my ambitions and targets. The New Year can even prompt us to make life-changing decisions; as the saying goes “out with the old and in with the new”.
Whatever path you choose to take in 2013, I cannot stress enough how important it is to have good supportive networks, especially if you are in business on your own; to boost you when you feel alone, to offer support and advice through both the good and bad times and to share in the celebration of your successes. Decisions always seem easier when you have someone to bounce ideas off in your personal life, and this goes for your business life too.
We’ve all heard time and time again that anything worth accomplishing is worth fighting for and taking a new direction in 2013 may well be the most rewarding and satisfying thing you have ever done. If you are not enjoying work, if you feel unhappy and have lost the drive and passion for what you do then I urge you to use this time of the year to really take stock and reassess your business, job and personal life, thinking long and hard about what it is you’d really like to do. Think of that ‘gap in the market’ you have spotted, that niche that needs filling and ‘go for it’!
But, if you do decide to make a change and perhaps start up on your own, you need to be aware that running your own business will not be easy. It will test you mentally, physically and emotionally. It will test your relationships and your finances. However, overcoming challenges can give you an incredible buzz, and having the tenacity and resilience, particularly in this economic climate, to seek knowledge, resources, contacts and customer base will pay dividends. Increasing and retaining customers is paramount for our survival, so think about being unique and special and develop sound business values which can be the key to success and satisfaction.
So that is your New Year’s Resolution sorted but we mustn’t forget that Christmas is a time when people think about giving. I believe that as business men and women, we have a genuine responsibility to society, and we are often placed in the fortunate position of being able to give something back. I know I have a very real desire to improve the lives of individuals and ensure that ethical values permeate every aspect of my business. We should all be committed to providing locally-focussed environmentally-friendly products and services wherever possible.
Giving back also includes charitable donations, and which one we choose will depend on our own life experiences, often positive but also sadly, sometimes tragic. The way we donate may be through purchasing charity Christmas cards, running marathons or simply setting up a monthly direct debit to the charity of our choice, all very real ways we can all make a difference to others less fortunate.
Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year to you all.