What does a smarter better business look like to you? Before you can start building a better business, you need to define success. Be crystal clear on exactly what you want from your business. Remember, your business is there to serve you, not the other way around. To build a compelling vision of where you want to be in the next 12 months, consider the following questions, and write down your answers.

It’s amazing what we, as humans, don’t even know that we don’t know. Being open to change and new learning is a crucial step to building a better business. New learning opportunities are everywhere, and in this digital world, there’s simply no excuse to avoid new learning. We’re all busy, and sometimes we feel like we just don’t have the time to sit down and read a book. We need to make the time. Set yourself targets and share these with someone who will hold you accountable to achieving these.

You know what you want from your business; it’s time to plan how to get it. Start by deciding what you want personally from your business. For example, if you need $100,000 p.a. to cover your living costs and a family holiday, and your overheads are $100,000, then your gross profit needs to be $200,000. If your current gross profit margin is 50%, then your annual sales need to be $400,000. Make sure your plan is linked directly to how you’ll achieve what you want personally from the business, e.g. $100,000 and a six-week holiday.

Once you have a clear Business Plan, the next step is to get your business structure right. Your ideal structure will allow your business to become more efficient and achieve economies of scale. This will mean that your bottom line returns will increase at a greater rate than your revenue. Your organisation structure should allow your revenue to increase without creating bottlenecks. An organisation structure should show all of the departments in your business, who is responsible for what, and how the hierarchy works. Each of these departments should have only one leader. The same person can lead more than one department, but two or more people can't lead the same department.

Being a better leader and building a strong workplace culture is crucial to having a better business. Have you ever asked yourself if your workplace is toxic? With the average person spending more than 40,000 hours of their life at work, a workplace should be an enjoyable place to be.

Do you find yourself setting goals but struggling to achieve them? Need accountability? A bit like a personal trainer for your business; find someone independent who’ll hold you to account and ensure you reach your endgame!

Referrals are the easiest way to generate new business, and building strong networks is a great way to generate referrals. Networking and referrals are cost effective ways to grow, as the return on investment can be huge. Think about the types of networking you can undertake and encourage your team to do the same.

Monitor your progress to reach your targets. When you’re driving, there are certain things on your dashboard that you keep an eye on - your speed, your fuel level, and the engine’s temperature.  It should be the same in your business. You should have a business dashboard with 3-5 key things you’re monitoring regularly.