As the end of year approaches, there will be many posts, articles and reports on things to do to set your business up for a great year. These all provide sound advice and tips to improve your execution or results and the key point to remember is no matter which advice you take, the reality is doing ANYTHING will have an impact. The business owner who makes the choice to work ‘on’ their business is leagues ahead of the one who does nothing and assumes a ‘business as usual’ approach. My tips for some ‘must do’s’ are as follows:
1.Review Your Year
Take the time to revise the overall performance of the business for the calendar year.
Have you met KPI’s in all areas, be it financial, service, leads, growth or any other measurable. If you didn’t set goals from last year, then take the time to do so in the weeks ahead. Set some goals.
Give yourself a simple score out of 10 for sales, profit, growth, staff training, staff retention, marketing execution, process and consistency, your brand image, customer service etc. The more you measure the more data you have to review! Get staff and key customers to rank you in any relevant areas as well!
2.Revise Your Plan
I am sure everyone has a plan, whether it be a full business plan, or a simple one pager!
Take the time based on your review, to update and set new goals for the coming year.
You may have a sales target to set, which therefore means you will need to look at your marketing and advertising strategy and budgets for example.
3.Improve Your Staff Management
Provide the opportunity to include some formal performance planning and review processes and reward the doers, or those who have performed. This ideally will be linked to your overall performance management system you have in place, but if you don’t have this, provide some structured feedback and document it.
If you haven’t got such a plan, use this as a catalyst to commit to developing or implementing, and get external help if this is outside your skill set. It is a worthwhile investment as your people are your biggest asset.
4.Review Your Service
Did you gather any formal feedback from your customers? What did it say about your business and the level of service they received?
Was there a match between your expectations and the actual delivery?
Again, data is the best source of analysis, so if you haven’t got any formal process to measure, consider some options to introduce in the new year. This may be mystery shoppers, online discussions via Facebook etc, formal surveys via Survey Monkey, phone calls etc, whatever works best for your business.
I am sure that the best executors of service have a formal and documented process and system, and provide supporting training programs to re-enforce the standards for all new and existing hires.
5.Place a Disaster Plan in Place
Crisis happens to the best business at the worst time possible. It’s the unwritten law that occurs all the time. Would your business cease if you server died, your website was hacked, you lost all your back ups, a major fire occurred etc? In most cases it would and many businesses never recover. Find more detail on this topic at a recent post.
Bonus ‘Must Do’ – Take a Break!
Don’t work yourself to an early grave as it won’t allow you to enjoy the hard work you have put into your business! If you haven’t planned it, it is not too late to take a break this year.
It doesn’t matter whether it is a day, days, weeks or longer. Just do it and allow yourself a breather and give your family some time with you.
Have a great Christmas and do yourself a favour and spend a ‘little bit’ of time planning for an even better 2014.