David FullerAt the beginning of each year, I challenge my clients and readers to name the upcoming year. I get a huge response with people naming their year and sharing what they would like to manifest and work on.

This year, for example, was named variously the year of vision, clarity, wealth, systems, growth and change.

I’m sure if I asked halfway through 2020, many would automatically name it the year of COVID-19, due to the phenomenal effects that the virus has had on their lives and the economy.

For many businesses, especially in the restaurant and personal care sectors, the year has had some drastic effects.

However, for others, it’s been the best year ever!

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So what could make you say that 2020 was the best year ever?

For some businesses, 2020 has been spectacular because of the increased demand for their products or services.

Some industries have seen a spike in sales because they seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Computer shops, pharmacies, health-food stores, health-care providers, flour producers, grocery stores, cleaning material suppliers, pet stores, hardware centres, liquor stores, virtual meeting services, and online gaming and trading are among those experiencing incredible growth during this unprecedented time.

I’ve had some clients tell me they were able to grow sales 10, 20, 50 and even 80 per cent.

However, having the best year ever doesn’t automatically mean your sales grew.

I’ve had some business leaders tell me they were having a great year because they were able to tap into government subsidies, which went directly to their bottom line and resulted in their most profitable months ever. This was the exception rather than the rule, though.

Most people who took advantage of the government subsidies for their businesses found that the money enabled them to survive during a period they wouldn’t otherwise.

There were some incredible opportunities afforded to those who took the time to use the slowdown to focus on their businesses.

Some people used the time to develop better relationships with prospective clients. They found that these people had time to talk to them because their competitors, and anyone else for that matter, stopped calling. If you’re the only one phoning people when all others are huddled up in fear or frozen by inaction, you might just gain an advantage in the months and years ahead.

One business owner chose to close down his business for a couple of months. He told me he used the time for a well-deserved rest, which made a huge difference for him.

A non-profit found they were able to reset their operation. They took the time to break down their business model and create something totally different, enabling them to thrive into the future.

More than one of the owners I work with struggled to find motivation through a drought in cash flow. Some persisted despite the hardships of working remotely, without team engagement and with fewer contracts.

One used the time to put in 30 proposals for work. However, because of particularly stiff competition, he lost many of his bids. Finally, with his hope waning, he was awarded one of the largest contracts of his career.

In hindsight, 2020 will be remembered as one of the strangest and most difficult years for many business leaders. If it isn’t your best year ever, the great news is that you have almost six months left to make the label fit.

But nothing happens without action. Don’t leave it to chance. Come up with personal and professional plans for what you need to do that would allow you to say that 2020 was a great year.

Break it down into 12-week sections and get your team engaged in making your successful year happen!

David Fuller, MBA, is a certified professional business coach and author who helps business leaders ensure that their companies are successful. David is author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy.

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