So 2017 is almost over. Before we let it go I want to ask you: How was it? What went right and more importantly what went wrong. How did decisions you made in January affect you in September?
Looking towards 2018 what do you want to accomplish that you didn’t in 2017? What new things would you like to learn or show to others? What is your time line for getting those things done?
Please keep reading for some thoughts on things that can get you where you want to go. I want you to think about the questions out loud, reflect on them honestly and see where it takes you.
Start a new revenue stream. Where can you expand in your business to fill a niche that your competitors are not filling? Have you done a cost to benefit analysis on what it would take to get you there? Does it provide a unique experience for your customers that they can’t get anywhere else?
Hire the right people, or better yet let go of the dead weight! This goes back to having the right people on the bus and having them all headed in the right direction. If there are people on your bus that can’t see the goal or challenge you at every turn then it’s time to let them get off at the next stop, wish them well and say goodbye.
With that in mind I want you to hire tough and let potential new hires in on your goals and dreams. Tell them what the plan for the future is and turn your goals into group goals.
One way I help my clients visualize who the keepers are is that I ask them if you bought the business today knowing what you know now and made everyone fill out new applications who would you keep and who would you not re-hire? If you have some that you would not re-hire why are they still there?
Review your online presence/check your branding. How do your customers both internal and external view your business? When customers walk in what do they see? Do your employees see you “living” the brand? One thing I like to do is have my clients send me a video of them driving onto the parking lot and walking into their business and continue walking around. Next I have them watch it and tell me what makes them cringe and what makes them smile? The follow up question is always now why haven’t you changed what makes you cringe?
Scan your environment. This involves evaluating outside factors that could affect your business plans in the upcoming year such as the forthcoming economic agendas, as well as new rules and regulations within your industry. What are things that you look forward to and what are things that leave you sleepless at night? What are you doing about it? Join or follow lobbying groups or other groups that have your same interests at heart and do everything you can to give yourself a leg up.
What is the future of your business? What are some of the new technologies on the horizon that you could be in the forefront of if you started with right now? I challenge you to get involved and sign up for new beta programs for POS software etc…. have a hand in and enjoy being at the forefront of your industry. Be a pioneer and somebody that others talk about 5 years from now. Make them say man I wish I would’ve started that in 2018 like Chris did.
Vendor Relations, Hold the good ones close and let the bad ones go! I would venture to say that you know who your good vendors are and also who the stinkers are as well. The good ones are the ones that take care of you no matter what and are looking at the leading edges of their business so they can be proactive and help you better. The stinkers are the ones that just come in like Eeyore and tell you what is going bad for them and how it is going to make your business terrible as well.
Re-Check all bills! This goes hand in hand with vendor relations but I think it should get a special little example. As business owners if you don’t check your business costs such as insurance rates and advertising you are doing your business a disservice.
For example: As part of my services I constantly help my clients review their cost of goods. Just this year I have been able to save one client over 1500.00 per month in advertising costs because what they were doing was competing with themselves in some areas and driving up their CPC numbers. They also had multiple agencies doing the same thing. By streamlining what we do and how we do it we were able to reduce the cost of advertising and drive more customers to our door as well as making the phone ring more often with a better targeted customer pool
I also helped a client save over 900.00 per month on health insurance! It covered the same amount of people with NO drop in coverage. Matter of fact it was with the same insurance company and they will be able to stay with their current doctors etc… The only difference was that we had an Eeyore for an insurance agent that just tried to get us to sign quickly and didn’t bother looking at coverage to see if there were any other options available.
I hope this gives you some great ideas on how to make your 2018 better.
Chris is a Strategic Advisor and Accountability Partner that helps Business Owners achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams. He loves helping others and can’t wait to see how he can help you.