Most people enter the new year with resolutions about their health, about their relationships and their personal finances.
How about developing some new year resolutions about the business? It is not as crazy as it sounds. Truth is printers around Australia will enter 2017 with new plans all designed to improve the business, draw new customers and build the bottom line.
Some will do well, others will fail. It is worth looking at them as the equivalent of New Year resolutions. Good business resolutions are common easy-to-follow steps for every business. None too hard but important nonetheless.
The most important way to start the year is to note the progress that has been made over the last 12 months. And make sure that is communicated through the company. Communicating it broadly ensures that everyone will be moving in the same direction and focused on the right outcome.
Secondly, take stock of where the business is. How is the company tracking financially? How is it managing costs? Has it met last year’s goals? Is there a less expensive way to operate? Would you save on costs with people working remotely? Are there positions you can turn over to contractors? Do you need all that office space? Are there employees not working to standard? Are there items that are not making money? What areas need attention this year? What strengths can the business build on? These are critical questions because they always provide the starting point for businesses planning their strategies for the year ahead.
After that, it is important to assess the environment. Not just the business, economic regulatory landscape. Smart business leaders look at the trends ahead. That means reading everything about what is happening in the industry. How can you take advantage of the trends? Where are the opportunities? How are you placed? It is also a good time to do some research on what competitors are doing. How are they marketing themselves? All these are important details to include in this year’s plan.
The next step is to lay down the goals for the year. That means covering all goals whether they be broad, or smaller and aspirational. This is important for staff because they have to feel they are making progress. Getting that right increases engagement and keeps them focused on the company’s plans. The good bosses are those who know how to communicate these goals and ensure that everyone knows what’s required. They have to ensure every employee knows what they are contributing to the organisation.
After that, it is important to focus on what resources are needed to fulfil the year’s goals. It could be about getting more funds, more time and more staff. What are the best ways of approaching this? Access to capital? Better repayment arrangements? Does the company have enough time to achieve those goals? Will you need more staff? It is important to ensure there is enough flexibility and wiggle room in the budget. It is also a good idea to ensure there is a source of backup funding.
Such are the first steps printers should take in 2017. Implementing it takes clear headed focus, and the flexibility to adapt when circumstances change.
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