Sometimes it’s important to take a long hard look in the mirror at the way you are running your business. To help ensure that your print business is a successful and profitable one, Colin Thompson shares ten top tips and strategies to make your efforts more fulfilling and focused for your success.


Build a foundation based on your core values.
What's important to you? What are the drivers that get out of bed each day to go to work for yourself? Look to your core values for some clues. Our core values shape how we operate in the world both personally and professionally. The more aligned your work is with these core values, the more satisfying your business will be and the less like work it will feel.


Get clear on your commitment.
What is your vision and mission for your company and yourself? What impact do you want to have on your community and the world? How do you want to achieve your vision? The more you can refine your vision, the easier it will be to set your goals and objectives along the way.


Create your plan.
Writing a business/personal plan isn't just a nice exercise to do, it's a road map for building your company and your life. It's a working document to help guide you, stay true to your vision and help you establish the mile markers along the way. It doesn’t have to be long, but it should entail both your short-term and long-term goals for your company and include your plans for the internal growth of your organisation and the external growth of your business. Do not let it gather dust, review and update it regularly.


Determine your unique selling proposition (USP).
Do your research - what are your closest competitors doing? Then look to see how you can provide your services better, smarter or faster than your competition. This will help you to stand out from the crowd. Use your uniqueness to your advantage.


Establish a marketing strategy.
It is vital that you identify the 2-3 different marketing tactics you can do to help grow your business. This can include but isn't limited to: networking, local advertising, having an online sales channel, creating a customer newsletter, speaking engagements, podcasting, or writing articles to get published. Whatever tactics you choose they should all point your potential clients into your sales funnel. The more closely each of these tactics is tied into the others, the more successful your marketing campaign will be.


Create your team.
Having the support of different people will help you to achieve your goals more quickly than you will on your own. Does this mean you have to hire a bunch of employees? No, you can create your team in many ways using full-time or part-time help. Consider hiring consultants such as a bookkeeper, or web designer to help you with areas that might not be your forte. The idea is to work from your strengths and find the help you need in other areas that don't fall into your sweet spot of skills and talent.


Accountability is key.
Whether it's to your staff, your board of advisors or your coach, having someone outside of your head (and preferably not your spouse!) to help you stay in action around your plans and goals is extremely helpful. Establish regular check-in calls or meetings to review where you're at, where you might be off course and what you need to do to get back on track.That’s why a coach is so important.


What you focus on comes true.
Focus on what you want to create and achieve, not what you're fearful of. Fear can easily generate internal negative self-talk or limiting beliefs that get in your way and get you stopped. The more you focus on these negative perspectives the more evidence you'll find to support your beliefs. Instead, focus your time, energy and actions on the areas that will create your success. It is all about` Being in the Room`.


Find the balance.
Go back to those core values and remember what's important. I'm guessing that working 24-7 is not your ideal lifestyle. Be sure to take time out for the other aspects that make up your version of a balanced life - time with friends, family, hobbies and exercise. "Down time" is vitally important to recharge your batteries, clear out the brain fog and rest your body.


Celebrate your successes!
It's easy to take note of what hasn't been checked off your list, what's missing, or what's not completed. This can send you into a negative frame of mind in a nanosecond if you're not careful. Be sure to take time at the end of each day to celebrate your successes no matter how big or small they may seem. By focusing on what you're grateful for, you'll raise your energy level, clear out some of the internal noise and go to sleep with a smile on your face.