Planning for the Year Ahead
By Amanda Hosey
A new year has arrived, and with it comes reflection on the year passed and desire for change in the year ahead. As you plan for change in your company, consider these ideas for developing strategies to improve your business.
As with personal new year’s resolutions, it’s important to stay grounded in your plans for the year. Create a list of every goal you’d like to achieve with your company if you like, but make sure to choose for your final plan two to three important goals you could realistically accomplish this year. Centering on only a few items will help keep you focused and stop you from feeling overwhelmed and giving up.
Focus on people
Every business with employees is struggling to fill positions, and that likely will continue all year. Consider planning ways to improve your hiring process and overall employee satisfaction.
Revamping your job posts, increasing pay and benefits, and improving company culture can all help with this issue. (See page 25 for tips on hiring and retaining employees.)
Be open to feedback from your people, too. You might hold a planning session with your team to hear their ideas for company improvements this year. You might also consider meeting with each employee to help them develop their own plans for improvement this year.
Improve your leadership
Take the time to think about yourself as owner or manager and how you can improve your leadership skills this year. Something as small as picking three leadership books you’ll read or a seminar you’ll attend can be a great boost to your skills and is a very achievable goal you’re likely not to avoid.
Think about performing an analysis of yourself as a leader. Talk to people who know you as a leader and person and get their opinion on your strengths and areas for improvement.
You might also consider budgeting time for your own relaxation as part of this goal. It’s easy to forget to take a break when you’re a busy leader. Remember to give yourself a break this year, as it will help you stay focused the rest of the time and help you avoid burnout.
Plan upgrades and adjustments
Use this time to evaluate your equipment and tools and figure out what needs to be replaced or receive major work. Consider selling off unnecessary equipment and make sure you aren’t purchasing unneeded chemicals. Use your employees’ knowledge of the day-to-day processes to help evaluate and plan for this year’s purchases.
If you’ve not been regularly checking in on your sales and marketing efforts, it’s good to plan for this as well. Make sure your salespeople are following company-specific guidelines for selling services, and check that your marketing streams are producing and converting leads like they should be.
Keep in mind business plans can be revisited any time—you don’t have to wait for a new year or a momentous occasion. If you feel like your company needs a reinvigoration, plan for change and reach for new goals. Good luck in all your plans in the year ahead!
Amanda Hosey is the managing editor of Cleanfax. She has worked as an editor and writer for more than six years, including four years with Cleanfax. Reach her at [email protected].