Make twelve new year resolutions for business, one for each month! By breaking them down into workable pieces, you’ll actually get them done:
Our local Bollywood-style keep-fit classes in my local area are led by Nikita, an instructor who has inspired me on more than one occasion. At our recent pre-Christmas dinner celebration, she surprised me with her response when I asked if she had made a New Year Resolution by answering ‘Actually I’ve made twelve!’
It turns out that in 2017, she implemented a different resolution every month. I found myself hanging on to her every word, relishing her answers, and inspired to the core at this extraordinary young woman. As I listened, I got excited thinking about the projects I had let slip and was yearning to get back to.
She told me that by having a new resolution each month, it ensured that they actually happened! They didn’t feel onerous! Better yet, she nipped procrastination in the metaphorical bud! More than that, she looked forward to the next one and planned how to execute it, as she basked in the rewards of completing the current one.
Naturally I became inspired to create my own projects, who wouldn’t? It didn’t take me long to start thinking how this idea could be applied to businesses. So here are some ideas that might suit your business. Feel free to change the order, implement some in parallel, fine-tune, add projects and rearrange to suit your particular business. Your New Year Resolutions for business or your personal life can be fun, and can help you to stop procrastinating!
Need a mentor to work with you to achieve your ambitions? Funnily enough, we’re just a phone call or email away so don’t be shy – call us!
January – Review Your Business Plan
So many companies create a business plan to raise funds, and once successful, put it in a back drawer or under a pile of pressing ‘to dos’. It gets forgotten. But if you really want to achieve your goals, monitoring the plan versus actual achievements is imperative. So you know what I’m going to write next: take a look at your original plan and ask yourself:
1) Is it still relevant or does it need updating?
2) Is the company on target?
3) Does it make sense?
4) What works and what doesn’t?
5) What parts of the business need more work or a revamp?
6) Do you need to raise finance? If so, what kinds of finance make sense for your particular business?
7) Can any part of the finance you require be in the form of a grant?
8) Talking of grants, if you implement R&D, are you getting all of the R&D tax credits your company is entitled to? Are you sure? Contact Linda if you would like to discuss further.
February – Mission Statement Review
When was the last time you looked at your company’s mission statement? Does it need updating?
1) Does the mission statement still articulate your company’s purpose?
2) Does it adequately describe what your company does?
3) Does it describe how your company does what it does?
4) Does it say why your company does what it does?
5) Does it fill you with excitement? Does it make you want to jump out of bed in the morning to fulfil your company’s ambition?
6) How do your senior staff feel about the mission statement? What about the rest of the company?
March – The Hook
Why do clients prefer your company to that of your competition? Why do they buy your services or products from you and not from someone else? Not sure? Ask them!
List your Unique Selling Points and get them confirmed by existing clients. Ask them what they like about your company and what they don’t like.
Make sure your USPs are communicated by sales and marketing staff and all media outlets.
Once you are clear about your USPs, do some market research:
1) How is the industry changing?
2) How is the market changing? What are the trends?
3) Are there obvious disrupters?
4) Which companies in the industry are buying other companies – what are they buying and why?
April – New Products / IP
Review your new products under development.
1) What Intellectual Property is being created and should be protected?
2) Talk to a patent attorney to make sure you understand what constitutes an ‘inventive step’.
3) Make sure relevant staff understand this concept too.
4) Make sure you are solving a problem that exists, that the market wants, and at the right price point. The last thing you want to do is to develop a product and then look for a solution. Implementing market research will answer these questions (see above).
May – Strategy
You have reviewed your business plan and your mission statement – basically you know what you want to do, you also know what’s working and what isn’t. You also know your company USPs. Now is the time to develop strategies to achieve your company’s business plan.
June – Review Your Business Model
1) Does your business model make sense?
2) Is it hampering or helping to grow your business?
3) Is there a better way of getting your product or service out there?
Note: You may need to do more market research to answer this question…
Read for another 6 New Year Resolutions for Business? Read on…
July – Staff Review
In an ideal world, staff are reviewed twice a year, or at the very least, once a year. In large organisations this is often a box-ticking exercise and of no real benefit to the manager or the employee. It can be a soul-destroying experience and do more harm than good.
Wouldn’t it be great, however, if each employee in your company was doing something she or he loves and has passion and energy for? Makes him/her jump out of bed in the morning?
What if you were to sit down with your underlings, and ask them:
1) What they love about their role, and what parts of their role they would prefer not to have to do. What part of their role excites them? What intimidates them? What do they find difficult? Why?
2) Reassess their skill sets. Are they being fully utilized in current role? What other roles would they prefer to do in the company, where their skillsets would be better utilized.
3) Where do they want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
4) What training do they require to implement their job better?
5) What part can they play in achieving the overall company strategy?
6) What would make them stay in the company long-term to achieve those goals?
7) What ideas do they have for the company?
8) Enrol all line managers to interview their team players in such a way as to empower them, ensuring they express themselves and are listened to, so they can grow in their roles, take on more responsibility and grow with the company.
If you are a small company, you should still implement this by getting to know your employees better. Even if the staff member will need to implement things they would prefer to have someone else do, it may be possible to outsource that part of their role, or make other changes that would improved that person’s role.
In short, you do not have to appear on ‘Undercover Boss’ to find out what’s going on in the company. These conversations will improve staff loyalty, reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, and improve company culture.
August – CPD (Continuing Professional Development)
Following staff interviews last month, develop a staff training plan to suit the individual employees in achieving their personal and company goals.
September – Costs Review
A periodic review of the cost of sales and expenses is imperative for keeping costs down.
Are there areas in which you can reduce the cost, and keep the same or even improve on the value?
Remember, your P&L improves not only by increasing revenue, but equally by improving margins, reducing overheads, and reducing the cost of sales.
October – Analyse Your Sales
1) Look at year-to-date, and compare with previous years.
2) What sectors produce the most profit?
3) Which clients contribute to most of the sales in that sector? Can you onboard similar clients?
4) Which clients should you be letting go? Which clients / sectors are the least profitable?
5) What other products/services could you develop/sell and add value to your most profitable clients?
6) Which clients are so difficult to work with, time-consuming and/or provide so little profit, you should be introducing to your competitors?
November – Request Testimonials / Referrals
1) Ask your best clients for testimonials (written or on video) to use in case studies, on your website, in brochures, etc.
2) Ask these same clients if they would be willing to refer/introduce you to other clients.
Note: The best time to ask this question, is when you have just completed a project for them and they are excited about the results.
December – Website
1) Take a long, hard and objective look at your website – is it up-to-date? The design of websites, like CVs, shop windows, fashion…change over time. What looked great a few months ago, may not look as good now.
2) Check what your competitors’ websites look like.
3) Look at websites in other industries for new ideas.
4) Check start-up company websites in your industry, as they will most likely have the newest websites.
5) Figure out how yours can be improved – then create a team to create a design brief and up-to-date content.
6) Make sure your other marketing tools are in line with any changes.
I hope you enjoyed this article and have given you ideas to improve and grow your company. I also trust that I have given you ideas, demonstrating that New Year Resolutions for business need not be onerous, and once turned into bite-size chunks, become very doable indeed!
Call us on 020 8868 3163, or contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss how we can help you to achieve your growth goals. We would be more than delighted to work with you, after all, it’s what we do best!