Happy New Year!
I hope you had a well-deserved Christmas holiday, ate and slept a lot and enjoyed your time with your family, and you're looking forward to a great New Year!
After a pretty tough 2020, I think we all deserved the break!
I'm pretty sure you don't want to be reading a lengthy treatise on New Year's Eve, so this is just a short note to wish you a Happy New Year and to provide some food for thought for later.
Here are some ideas about what you need to think about as you enter 2021!
Review or prepare your Business Plan.
If you don't have a business plan, now is the time to do it.
A business plan sets up a clear direction and can be effective in ensuring that you prioritise the actions you take during the year.
Review or prepare your Marketing Plan.
You don't have a marketing plan? Why not?
A marketing plan is not a "good-to-have" plan, it's a must-have.
You cannot grow your sales unless you know why your customers need your product, how it appeals to them, where to reach out to them, and what messages they respond to.
Anything else and you're just hoping for the best.
Review your staff performance.
Your team needs to know how they are performing.
If you don't honestly but empathetically point out shortcomings, don't get angry or disappointed if they repeat them next year.
Discuss what you really need from them, and then discuss how you can work together so that you improve as an effective team.
Review and update your systems and procedures.
It doesn't matter if you are alone in your business or you run a team of twenty - you need systems and procedures.
They should be written and kept up to date.
Systems and procedures "how we do things around here" and they help you train new staff, keep up standards and quality, and ensure continuity.
If you had a recorded and effective set of systems and procedures, all things can happen - you can even go away on holiday and things won't fall apart because everyone knows what to do! You can replace "key" members of staff because what they did and how they did it is written down. You can scale because you just do more of the procedure. You add value to your business because any new owner can see that it is a fully-functional model.
Master your finance.
When all's said and done, you're there to make a profit.
Get to understand your financial model - what are your profit margins?
What's your break-even point?
What and how should you tweak your finances to make more profit?
So, there you are!
A few things to think about as you relax and find thinking time....have a great year!