Mirror Mirror on the wall…’tis the season to reflect

I have often been quoted as saying you need more than just a good idea to get a business off the ground.  I’m sure over the festive season many people taking a rest from work will be hearing the cogs whizzing as they take some time out to ponder on a new business idea, and wondering if 2012 will be the year it all takes off.

I read an interesting and slightly amusing article the other day written by Jason Hesse concerning where entrepreneurs get their ‘big ideas’ from. A survey showed nearly half of British entrepreneurs come up with their business idea in bed, so I have a feeling over Christmas many new business ideas will be born for those fortunate enough to have a lie in or two.

Now I don’t want to be accused of “Bah, Humbug!” so I’m not going to start listing all the things required to accompany these ‘big ideas’ and spoil your ‘Eureka!’ moment. Instead, my advice is to go and talk to those people already in business. They will tell you the reality about what’s required not only to get your business idea off the ground but to survive and thrive.

If you’re one of those businesses up and running, then you’ll know how important it is to take time to work ‘on’ your business, reflecting on what’s going well and areas of the business (and yourself) you need to prioritise to make 2012 a better year.

Here are some areas to focus and reflect on:

Business Plans – What were your plans for 2011 – did you achieve/exceed them? What made a difference? What are your plans for 2012 – will you achieve them on your own or would some collaboration/partners/employees help?

Market trends – What’s happening in your target market? Future trends? Are your target groups changing? Where will they be spending their time/money in 2012?

Competitors – What are they doing? How are they doing it? New competitors on the horizon?

Accounting systems – Are they working for you, could they be improved? Are they effective in helping you manage/predict cash flow?

Mentoring/Coaching – how are you developing yourself as well as your business? Are there skills you’re going to need for future plans? Who do you talk business with?

I’m sure there are other areas specific to your business, but this is a start. Talking of start, everything detailed above is also relevant to those of you dreaming up those big ideas in bed this month too (so I guess I did manage to sneak a list in!). There is plenty to be thinking about.

Whether you’re spending Christmas in bed dreaming up your new business, or sat at the computer on Boxing Day trying to work out the online self-assessment system, have a wonderful time and don’t forget when your mirror asks the question “Who is the greatest of them all?” you know the answer!

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