What an amazing 2016 - and the best is yet to come...We are approaching another Christmas, and as always it is a great time for reflection on the year just passed - what went well, what went badly, and how the next year can be so much better. I know that from my perspective, 2016 has been an amazing year - both from a business perspective and because of the birth of my youngest son, Carl Junior. Despite the doom and gloom of the media, I'm grateful for all who have helped me along the way this year and made 2016 the success that it has been.
So what has happened in the year?
First things first, d&t continues to go from strength to strength. We've benefitted from the business development efforts of the last couple of years, and the professionalism that has been injected into our marketing and sales processes. Our headcount is higher than ever, and we are on target for our highest turnover yet for our current financial year.
We've also launched Bear Group, a network of business coaches alongside Mark Thompson and Dave Holland, Selling a Franchise alongside the teams at Franchise Resales and Franchise World magazine, and a new project to professionalise the tax affairs of those who currently don't bother using accountants.
In the summer of this year, I published The Franchising Handbook. This was a labour of love, and I knew it would never top the bestsellers lists: but I've been pleasantly surprised! I've sold the rights to the book for translation in Vietnam, and it's driving me on to bring my plans for a third book to fruition.
Those that know me know that I love the sound of my own voice. This year, I went from speaking around the UK to speaking around the globe - having a keynote in Luxembourg and moderating a panel in Dubai. I also keynoted a number of conferences, spoke at the UK's biggest business exhibition, the UK's biggest startup show, and a number of regional exhibitions. All good fun!
Perhaps the biggest thing has been my media exposure. I started the year by listening to a Gary Vaynerchuk seminar, and set myself a target of speaking to one journalist per day. He has a saying, that "an audience of one is better than an audience of none".
Well, it just so happens that no-one had filled the gap that I do, and over 2016 I've become a bit of a voice of small business advice. I'm now the resident business advisor at the Daily Express, and have been featured in pretty much every national paper bar the FT and the Daily Star. I've got a monthly radio slot on Share Radio, where I interview small business owners, and in 2017 I'll be filming a pilot of a new TV series. A massively exciting time!
What's in store for 2017?
I can't give away all my secrets! What I can do is tell you what I'm going to improve on, as a form of accountability to you all. The big thing has to be consistency. Whether you are looking to lose weight, improve your French language skills, or build a business, you need to take small steps consistently. 10 hours of reading a French dictionary 2 times a year won't cut it - you need to devote a block of time every couple of days to really make it happen. I need to make sure that I'm consistent in my actions over 2017, and this is where my business coach adds huge value to me and everything I do.
I'm also not going to settle for the same results as 2016. In this world, if you stay still you are actually going backwards - the millionaire of 1950 is not the millionaire of 2016 if they spent all of their returns and simply maintained the financial balance... and what's more, the "muscles" of their mind, their body and their business hasn't been stretched and exercise. So hopefully, my update for 2017 will put this one to shame...
So there's my update for 2016. It's been an amazing year, thank you so much to my wonderful wife Sarah for putting up with me over the year, and here's to an even better 2017! Have a great Christmas all.