In “The Luck Factor” we have seen how a positive mindset or “feeling lucky” can not only alter how we perceive the world, but also how successful we might perform. The book “Peak Performance” shows that many of the practices that lead to great success are essentially the same regardless of the discipline. Brad Stulberg, a former McKinsey and Company consultant, and Steve Magness, a performance scientist, show evidence that the following practices (among others) have a proven high impact on results regardless whether it is in sport, arts or business. Some of these secrets of success you might already be aware of, but others will most certainly take you by surprise. In their book “Peak Performance” Stulberg and Magness coach their audience how to use these simple practices:

 

  1. Optimally alternating between periods of intense work and complete rest: 2 hour chunks of focused followed by a short rest (of up to 15 min) is best. Take days for recovery, great inspirations generally happen not during busy times.
  2. Setting up a good routine that is inducive of performing well (which might be slightly different for everybody). Good habits also have the added bonus that they free up mental capacity that would otherwise be needed to navigate through the work when routines are not in place.
  3. There is a direct correlation of sleep optimum and performance. Generally speaking, most of us don’t sleep enough, i.e. 6-7 hours when for most of us optimal are 7-8 hours.
  4. Regular meditation practice increases the ability of dealing with adversity significantly.
  5. Repetitive behaviour, ie eating the same meals and dressing in the same style, does free up other mental capacity (as very amusingly described in “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion, T.H.). Stulberg and Magness point out how Steve Jobs used to and Mark Zuckerberg does seem to dress in very similar clothing.
  6. Socialising: Many of us will be pleased to hear that de-briefing in a social environment with friends or colleagues is beneficial for our performance rather than de-briefing on our own.
  7. Purpose: Evidence shows that people perform better and gain extra strength when working towards a common goal or for a specific valued purpose rather than for their own gratification.

 

I love how Stulberg and Magness give the latest scientific insights into the cognitive and neurochemical factors that drive performance. They got my attention when they challenged our habit of overworking by highlighting the benefits of regular breaks and the importance of letting your mind go into inspiration mode!

Recently I was lucky enough to attend a webinar with the Grow Good Guy, Tim Jones. If you ever get the chance to see him talk – take it! Tim introduced Professor Richard Wiseman, a widely published experimental psychologist. Professor Wiseman’s studies reveal that how to become more lucky in life is not something that happens to us, but something we create. There is a fundamental difference in the approach to life between people that feel lucky and people that feel unlucky, according to Wiseman’s research. Unlucky people generally believe in the power of fate and that building a happy life is out of their control. Lucky people in contrast generally work hard towards realizing their goals and ambitions and often succeed because of it. People that feel lucky are generally open to opportunities that present themselves along the way whereas “unlucky” people simply don’t see the opportunities right in front of their eyes. If people want to become more lucky in life, there are simple steps that they can take to start change their luck.

This became evident during an experiment, in which lucky and unlucky people passed the same bill boards and read the same magazines which advertised huge opportunities. The “lucky” people investigated the opportunities advertised whereas the “unlucky” people simple did not see them. Professor Wiseman concludes that “unlucky” people are generally fearful and anxious and this narrows our perception of the world so that we might miss many opportunities.

Take action today to keep your mind positive and open to opportunities! If you are endangered to go down the path of an apparently “unlucky” person, there several things you can do to become more lucky in life. According to Professor Wiseman, starting a diary to record all the things you could be grateful for can already change your perception of luck.

If you have more than 10 customers per year and you wish to grow this number, you’ll find CRM software indispensable. CRM software will ensure that potential customers transition smoothly through your companies’ buyer experience from first expression of interest to completed sale with minimum friction and loss. CRM software can ensure that your company never misses an opportunity to convert a lead.  Many CRM systems offer a lot more than storing your customer data. They can integrate with your accounting system, generate quotes and timesheets and help optimize productivity. To find the right CRM software for your business can be extremely time consuming. This overview of top 40 CRM systems will be a good starting point. Let me know how you go and if you have any questions.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) simplifies company-client relations by providing a centralized repository for collecting information on prospective customers and established clientele. The ideal CRM system synchronizes your various marketing efforts and optimizes your marketing efforts by automating customer communications. Business owners should consider a CRM platform if they find it difficult to maintain regular interactions with clients or lack a comprehensive system for communicating with customers. A company might also find value in transitioning to a new CRM solution if they find an existing ad-hoc platform like a spreadsheet to be time-consuming or inadequate for their existing needs.

The best CRM platforms will enhance client interactions through a number of tools designed to fit your company size and needs. Look for a flexible solution that automates key client transactions and interactions, improves your customer support services and efficiently manages your marketing campaigns. For more information about the variations of CRM solutions available, check out Business-Software.com’s range of CRM vendor reports, all of which are available on the Exclusive Reports page.

Top 40 CRM systems

Taking the Growth Test is the first step in working smarter not harder. It also touches on sustainability, you will find more info about sustainable growth here. We understand that you might not wish to grow your business size-wise. But growing your profit margins without additional investment could be of high interest, or not? And if you can grow your social impact while reducing your environmental footprint at the same time – wow, wouldn’t that be an amazing outcome well worth pursuing?

People, Planet, Profit

Growing your positive impact on people, planet and profit is the area we can help you with. Because certain parameters have to be in place and working satisfactorily to enable your business to grow sustainably which means long-term. In fact, we could even go so far to say that revenue growth is almost inevitable if certain parameters are working well. Chances are, if you are interested in revenue growth, these pillars of business development are not working for you! It does not matter if you have been in business for 10+ years. What got you here, won’t get you there.

Growing sustainably

Take the Growth Test to find out whether your business has what it takes to grow revenue sustainably. Go ahead, it will only take 3 minutes! If you can answer all 10 growth questions with an honest and definite “yes”, then you will be well on your way to business success!

In any case, taking the growth test will give you a complete list of our top growth strategies and valuable marketing advice for business success in the months to come.

And if you still have difficulties to grow revenue after implementing the recommendations – we obviously need to talk! It won’t always be the lack of marketing function that prevents your revenue to grow (in the majority of cases it is though). We will do what it takes to get you in touch with the right people to enable revenue growth – and ultimately business success! It all starts with the Growth Test below, let the magic begin:

Take the Growth Test and receive a list of best practise sustainable growth strategies.

Dummies Guide to Business Planning

Okay, let’s talk more about the planning that you might want to do on a regular basis. Or in fact as often as you can.

At the very least, you would want to have a business plan for the next 12 months (and beyond). The business plan outlines how much revenue you are going to make and how (through which channels) you are going to make it. If your business operations are adversely affected by COVID-19, your planning for the rest of 2020 might look quite different to planning for the next 2-3 years. In this case you are most likely considering to re-position your business to target a new and slightly different group of customers.

SWOT analysis

Part of that business plan should be a SWOT analysis. Sure, we all know what SWOT stands for – strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threads. The first two, strength and weaknesses, refer to your business’ internal capabilities, whereas the other two, opportunities and threads, are referring to your companies’ external market environment. The SWOT analysis is therefore the shortest market analysis you can – and should – perform.

You would want to perform a SWOT analysis at least once a year. It should be part of your annual business plan. However, best practice would be to have an in-depth market analysis which would form the bases for your business plan and your marketing strategy. This in-depth market analysis would go a lot deeper than the SWOT analysis which is just a very quick way of assessing a new idea or a new situation, i.e. a new product or a different target customer group.

Market analysis

The in-depth market analysis would answer the following questions:

  1. How big is the market you are operating in?
  2. Who are your main competitors?
  3. What are they offering and how does that compare to your products and services?
  4. How can you differentiate your products or services from your competitors’?

What is going on in the market you are operating in and what your competitors are offering is something you would want to monitor continuously – at least once a year. If you’d like help with that – get in touch!

Use this free business plan template – it is a great starting point and will assist your planning immensely.