Most people see the new year as a fresh start. It’s a blank page where you can start writing a new story, laying out new goals and setting the groundwork for the year to come.
1. Set clear, measurable goals.
The best way to get your year started is to take some time to figure out what you want to achieve. Be specific about what you hope to accomplish monthly and quarterly and how those things help move you toward your annual goal. Share your plan with the people who can help you make it happen and revisit it every month to make sure you’re heading in the right direction.
2. Review and adjust your goals regularly.
January isn’t the only time you’re permitted to set goals. It’s important to take everything as it comes and make adjustments to your goals as new information and opportunities present themselves. Assess things daily or weekly to keep your business moving forward.
3. Allow yourself time to think.
Yes, reacting quickly is important but not at the expense of making the wrong decision. Everything moves very fast these days and business owners are often called on to make split-second decisions. Give yourself some time to sit down and think about the best way to proceed and respond in difficult situations.
4. Assess the needs of the people who work with you to attain your goals.
It’s always important to talk with your staff about the overall goals for the business but you should also talk to them about their own goals. Make sure priorities are in line with the overall goals and that they have everything they need to make it happen.
5. Define the culture and refine an HR strategy.
Think about the company culture and what it is about it that gives you a competitive advantage. Work with HR to create a clear plan as to how you’ll handle things like benefits, raises, performance evaluations, recognition, development, and advancement opportunities.
6. Make good employees want to stay.
This goes back to defining your company culture. And identifying the things your business stands for. Be genuine in what you’re going after and make sure your employees are a part of reaching the ultimate goal. Good employees are worth their weight in gold and you should try your best to keep them on board.
7. Define your dream goals.
These are the kind of things that you could call a big win. Dream goals are things like landing a major client, winning an award, or getting a lot of positive press for something you did in the community. These aren’t things you can plan for but they are huge wins that should be celebrated.
8. Assess where you stand.
It’s tempting to be lured into the clean slate that is a new year but take the time to look at what you’ve already accomplished. Celebrate the strides you make in 2019 and look at what you did right and what you could have done better. Identify those things that still need work and take them on in 2020.
9. Spend time reviewing the previous year.
This involves more than a simple look at where you were at the beginning of 2019 and what you accomplished by the end of it. Look critically at what your business did, what it didn’t do, and where you wasted time, money, and energy. Is there anything that threw you off track or set you back? What can you do to avoid those issues in the year ahead?
10. Think about your customers.
Consumers have more options than ever so it’s important to focus on the experience your business is giving them. Develop a strategy to put the customer front and center, focusing on building trust and loyalty and exceeding their expectations.
11. Bring in more income.
If one of your goals is to make more money, figure out how you’re going to accomplish it. Figure out if there is a part of the market that you haven’t identified or that your company isn’t resonating with and broaden your marketing strategy to make it happen.
12. Pay attention to applicable trends.
Invest some time in evaluating the trends in the market to try to anticipate any market changes in the coming year. Develop some possible scenarios and come up with a plan to handle them ahead of time. Identify some warning signs that things are heading in a different direction and set the appropriate plan into motion when necessary.
13. Be prepared to adapt.
Things change quickly in business, especially since we entered the digital age. Be ready to adapt your plans in response to sudden shifts in demographics, changes in the economy, and pressure from the global market. Being ready to tackle these changes keeps your business competitive and a leader in your industry.
14. Figure out what not to do.
Part of moving forward is being able to recognize when you’re falling into bad behaviors. If you’ve made mistakes in the past, own them and figure out how to avoid them in the future. It’s also important to identify things that are wasting time. If you’re trying to make something work and it’s costing you time and money without giving you the results you were looking for, there’s a lot to be said for knowing when to quit.