As I sit down with my advisor Aaron Rose during the first week of 2018, he asks me to discuss my victories with Entreprov for 2017. Although I have been constantly writing down my accomplishments in my journal, I notice how little time I have taken to celebrate my wins and evaluate my risks of the business.
Acknowledging Accomplishments can Build Momentum
We started Entreprov with the idea to help small businesses attract and retain customers using data analytics. Our initial goal was to see if we could get a few customers and successfully deliver results. Although we were successful, we noticed that our focus was too broad to scale the company. However, you should always list your victories and communicate them with your team. Throughout my career, I’ve worked for many startups that are focused on keeping their employees involved with the companies major success. By getting your team emotionally engaged in the companies growth your indirectly increasing the morale and motivation of the employees.
Although we had some victories last year we were exposed to potential risks as well. As a business owner, it’s your job to constantly identify risks that could have a negative impact on your business. Being a great leader also includes the ability to clearly communicate the challenges to your team. You want to communicate in a way that will inspire them to take on the challenges. Schedule time with your key leaders and advisors to identify the major risks that could have the highest impact on your business. Whether it’s a management or industry risk, you should clearly spell out the potential impact on your business.
Building a Strategy to Mitigate Risks
Once you’ve identified your major risks and opportunities for growth, now focus on building a plan. This plan should consist of actions that will help mitigate your risk. You want to build systems that measure the actions you consistently take to improve your business. Each activity should have a metric system and a baseline for performance. Executing on key activities that reduce risk and improve business performance can ultimately lead to more success with your business.
Alex Brooks is the founder and CEO of AE Brooks, LLC (d/b/a, Entreprov), a Seattle-based firm that builds custom tools to help businesses increase customer retention and engagement.