Business New Year Resolutions

Business New Year Resolutions

So, the festivities are largely over and you are back at work. Maybe, like many others, the personal New Year resolutions you so seriously made less than a week ago, are already a thing of the past. But today is the day for making your Business New Year Resolutions. Here are five that should produce measurable results.

So, the festivities are largely over and you are back at work. Maybe, like many others, the personal New Year resolutions you so seriously made less than a week ago, are already a thing of the past. But today is the day for making your Business New Year Resolutions. Here are five that should produce measurable results.

1. Produce a strategic business plan
I am not talking about one that sets out the turnover you hope to achieve and what your estimated costs are likely to be, but a truly strategic plan which sets out why you are in business, what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it and how you are going to set about it. It should also prioritise your objectives and set out the steps you need to take in order to achieve them. If your only reason is to make money, have you considered whether or not there are easier ways? You can probably remember why you decided to go into business but have you decided how you are going to get out?

2. Review your business model
Is your business model still valid and effective or are changing buying patterns likely to seriously erode it? Does it make the most of available technology and do you know how to take the maximum advantage from the data produced? Is your model scalable and does it make adequate preparation for a serious challenge to your business continuity? As many businesses in the North West found out before Christmas, flood water can cause an awful lot more damage to a business than simply drowning everything!

3. Adopt Lean Management
One of the biggest, consistent moans we hear from employees concerns unnecessary bureaucracy, over complicated systems and indecisive decisions making. Adopting a lean management approach should help you go a long way towards eliminating unnecessary resources and paperwork that clog up your business, thereby increasing efficiency and clearly identifying what actions need to be taken to improve performance and reduce costs.

4. Engage your workforce
Whilst all employers want employees who will do their best work and ‘go the extra mile,” all employees want jobs that are worthwhile and that inspire them. So what are you doing to create a culture and environment where people feel empowered and trusted and can see how what they do each day contributes to the achievement of the business’s objectives and makes them feel truly valued?

5. Get a mentor
Being the boss can be a very lonely place especially in an SME. You may not want to discuss your fears or aspirations with your workforce or even admit that you do not always have all the answers, but would really like to have someone with whom you could talk things over. A mentor’s role is to discuss and challenge your plans and ideas, not in a critical way, but to ensure that you have considered and covered all the angles and fully understand the risks and costs before you commit yourself.

Like all resolutions, they are only as good as your resolve. So adopt one or two, stick with them, and measure the benefits.

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