Top Tips for a Successful Business Year, from Craig Ford, CEO of Bugs & Sparks.

Whether your 2016 business year has been a write off or one for the books, there is always room to evaluate, improve and cast a fresh vision for the New Year.

When Craig Ford, CEO of Bugs & Sparks, first bought into the brand six years ago it had its fair share of both problems and opportunities. His business journey has been marked by many mistakes and lessons learned as he worked to build a now thriving local business. With his helpful advice, there should be no need for you to make the same mistakes.

Craig shares his top five critical factors for business success in 2017:

1.   Set the bar high

Craig has always subscribed to this outlook from film director, James Cameron: “If you set the bar ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.”

He has seen this work first hand while running a business, and believes that a high measurement of success gives you something tangible to work towards. While this is an easy mantra to adopt as a business owner, it’s something you’ll need to work towards having your staff adopt as well. When you foster a culture of excellence, success is inevitable.

2.   Adapt or die

Your capacity to move with the times and re-invent your business model is what’s going to keep your business relevant and exceed your client’s expectations.

As a business owner, you have to constantly look for innovative ways to improve and refine the way you do things. The business owners who succeed are the ones who innovate, listen to their customers’ needs and stay up to date with industry changes. There is always something that can be improved.

Don’t fall into the insanity trap of doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. Einstein himself knew what that meant, and the success of your business depends on your ability to adapt.

3.   Keep a positive attitude

Your attitude is a powerful thing.

Your personal mindset and approach to the day affects everything from your team’s morale to whether potential clients want to work with you.

You reinforce your company culture with what you say and how you say it, what you do and how you do it. If you are positive, your team will follow suit and vice versa. Allow your employees to take ownership of their responsibilities and always give credit where credit is due. An all-round positive attitude makes all the difference.

4.   Know your numbers

At Bugs & Sparks, results are not negotiable. Once pen is put to paper there is no turning back or opting out. That’s how much Craig trusts his numbers.

As a business owner, you need to constantly test and measure. You cannot manage what you cannot measure. At all times Craig is aware of his numbers, turnover, costs and conversion rates. The saying “Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity and cash flow is reality” should hold a lot of weight when running a business.

When you have a handle on the numbers you can make informed decisions, which pave the way to success.

5.   Take care of your people

Iconic entrepreneur Richard Branson once said, “If you look after your employees, they will look after the clients,” which in turn looks after the business. In dealing with your team and your clients, always try to be visible, approachable and supportive.

Employees who feel valued will move heaven and earth for you. You’ll get the very best out of them, and they will know and understand the value that they bring to the table, which Craig believes is one of the key ingredients for business success.

Hopefully these critical factors will save you a lot of time and frustration as you work to take your business to the next level next year.

Wishing you and your business a hugely successful 2017.