At the last Guildford Hub session Emma Selby shared the key ingredients for creating a content strategy for your social media channels. At the next session we have Marian de Kretser talking about the importance of design in all aspects of your business.

These sessions have coincided with me taking over the Hub and planning the content for 2018. They got me thinking about the strategic objectives I have for the Hub, my mission statement and how I need to design these in to everything I do with the Hub. Over the coming weeks I will be sharing more of my thoughts and plans with you as the pieces start to slot in to place.

The Guildford Hub Mission Statement

The mission statement for The Guildford Hub is:

“To share knowledge and build trust and friendship between small business owners in Guildford so that they can work together to become happier and more successful.”

Over the coming weeks I’ll share with you my target for how many businesses I intend to help in the next 5 years. It’s a big, ambitious number and it will only be achieved by design, not by luck.

Planning for a successful 2018

Looking ahead to 2018, businesses will fall into three broad categories:

  1. 2018 will carry on much the same as 2017. No goals or objectives, just more of the same old.
  2. Goals or objectives have been set, but there is little if anything by way of a plan to actually help the business achieve those goals.
  3. Goals and objectives are backed up by a plan:
    1. quarterly or monthly targets for new customers
    2. new products or services
    3. price increases
    4. marketing campaigns
    5. operational efficiencies
    6. etc.

Which category of businesses is more likely to be successful in 2018? No prizes for answering that one correctly. I suspect most businesses in the Hub are somewhere between categories 2 and 3. Objectives and goals are set but the plans for delivery could do with fleshing out.

The Guildford Hub Plan

The Hub is here to help members achieve their goals and objectives. I’m mapping out a series of sessions for the year to help you achieve success in 2018. Each quarter will have a different theme and will be packed with content rich workshops and talks to help you deliver.

Here are the quarterly themes:

  • Quarter One – Setting Yourself up for Success
  • Quarter Two – Amplifying Success
  • Quarter Three – Making Hay While the Sun shines
  • Quarter Four – Taking the Chequered Flag

Quarter One – Setting Yourself up for Success

Success comes when you are prepared to take and exploit every opportunity that presents itself to you. So quarter one is about doing the ground work and laying the foundations for a successful year. It’s about being organised and efficient. It’s about having the right tools at your disposal – great images, fantastic content, the right systems. It’s about having the right mind set.

Quarter Two – Amplifying Success

Quarter two is about building on the foundations laid in quarter one. It’s about identifying what’s working and amplifying it. It’s about compounding the gains to get the multiplier effect.

Quarter Three – Making Hay While the Sun shines

Quarter three means summer, but it’s no time to take the foot off the gas. Quarter three is about making sure your business runs and makes money even when the sun is shining and you’re off on holiday.

Quarter Four – Taking the Chequered Flag

In quarter four your goals are in sight. It’s about powering on through to the finishing line and taking the chequered flag. But it’s also time to look back and assess what worked well, what could have gone better and what’s to be avoid next year. Learning the lessons for 2018 will enable you to prepare for 2019, to set even more ambitious goals for that year and have the confidence that you can achieve them.

Success by design

Your chances of achieving success in 2018 will be far higher if you have a business plan designed to achieve your goals. A good basis for that plan is the Business Model Canvas that Emma has talked about in the last few Guildford Hub blogs. Go back and give them another read.

Some people believe that successful business owners are just lucky. In my experience successful business owners make their own luck, because in my book, luck is where opportunity meets preparation.

Next week at Guildford Hub

Having a great, consistent design throughout your business is one of those foundation stones for success. Business owners are consumers too and we all come into contact with design on a daily basis, often being unaware of how it affects us. Being more aware will help you to improve how you use design in your own business.

Marian is a partner at FdK Design Consultants whose studio is based in the Surrey Technology Centre. FdK Design Consultants have been delivering fabulous designs for their clients for nearly 30 years. They are graphic designers, meaning they do everything from simple pop-up banners, to full corporate design projects, really smart websites and even ‘user interface’ projects: online systems that have to work really slickly.

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