We are looking dead straight into 2020, right around the corner. How did that happen? The expression “the days are long, but the years are short” rings particularly true to me this year. As we close out the year and the decade, it’s a good time for reflection on where things stand as a business owner. At the top of my list for this holiday season is to proactively take time to reflect on the state of the business and what the next year and next decade look like. There’s no GovCon cheat code for success, but we’ve compiled some important points for long-lasting, satisfying success in the GovCon world.
Here are some thoughts to get you started:
- Most importantly… Are you doing what you want to do?
Do you love it (you don’t have to like it every day)? You may have started your business and things may have grown significantly or gone in a different direction from your original intent. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s a good time to take a hard look at what you are doing and ask if it’s what you want as the owner. Is it time to retire? Sell? Buy another company? Pivot into different offerings? Different clients? View the turning of the calendar as a new opportunity to reinvent your company or reinvigorate it. What’s financially viable isn’t always where your heart wants to be. The best advice for small business owners, especially in GovCon, is to decide whether this is somewhere you’d be happy being in 5 years. If not, it might be time to move on.
- Strategy. Does it exist?
Are you following it? If not, why? Do you have an exit plan? What steps are you taking to meet your goals? Now is the time to really think hard about if things are working, what could be tweaked, what you want to accomplish and how you’ll get there. We all know that things change rapidly in business (hourly somedays!). When was the last time you pulled your head out of the tactical and really spent some time on the long-term strategy? Not a corporate off-site with a ton of PowerPoints….but time by yourself reflecting and thinking? Pull your head out of the day-to-day. Even with a really good strategy, you have to ensure that the strategy is being followed, and if it isn’t, understand why that’s the case.
- Scale. Are you scalable?
If you meet your goals or make significant progress towards them, do you have the support to deliver? What do you need to do that? Scalability is critical to success should things start to pop quickly.
- Partners. Do you know your own?
We all need them. Do you have the right ones that can help you in the next phase of your company? This isn’t just teaming partners (though we’ve got a platform for that), it’s the right advisors, right support and even the right mentors. Having the right partners is as close to a GovCon cheat code as there’s ever been, as the right partners will support your shortcomings and bolster your strengths.
- Well-being. How’s your health, CEO?
It’s an overused buzz word but damn if it doesn’t impact everything. Are you burnt out mentally and physically? Are you taking care of yourself? A reminder that money is just an asset. Your health cannot be bought. Your overall well-being and wellness are what will allow you to enjoy the success you worked so hard for. Figure out what works for you in terms of stress management and overall health. If your health is suffering, even the best advice for small business owners will be lost on you, as you won’t be able to execute the strategies you’ve laid out.
- Gratitude. Do you take time to appreciate your life and the people in it?
No one got to the top alone, no one built a successful company alone. Are you truly grateful for the opportunities you’ve been given? Are you grateful for your life?
Taking time to truly appreciate what you have is important and contributes to your overall well-being. Your well-being contributes to being a better partner to others. Having partners to leverage allows you to scale faster and with better results. Scalability leads to a strategy that will actually work. Put this all together and, you’ll love what you do. Be better in 2020.
*While “technically” we understand that a new decade begins 1/1/2021, we’re all about those round numbers. (Thanks, Frank!)