With every new year, resolutions are made and quickly forgotten by February. It’s understandable to be that way when it comes to small personal goals such as cutting down on bad food, but resolutions within your business are certainly something you should take more seriously. This year, you should make it your primary resolution to reboot your business and achieve success again (or for the first time). It’s never too late to turn your fate around and, essentially, rebuild the structure of your company.
Of course, this is about more than finding quick fixes. It’s about finding a permanent solution so as to ensure your business achieves success in the long-term. If you want to see sales increase without peaking and plummeting then you need to fix the problems at the core of your business model rather than downsizing your company, cutting services, or making other unnecessary sacrifices that would only ever buy you a little more time anyway. Your business needs a reboot in the new year and here are some steps to help you achieve that.
Revisit the business plan.
Remember the business plan? That wasn’t just something you needed in the early days of your business. Often, a plan is something you need before you get stuck into a project but your business is an ongoing project. It’s forever evolving and adapting in order to survive the harsh and ever-changing marketplace. That’s why the prospect of keeping your company the same throughout the years is absolutely insane. You can’t ignore the external market; become too insulated and your company will lose touch with its target audience. That’s how a competitor swoops in to take your place.
It’s time to revisit the business plan and see whether your objectives are relevant in the modern market. This is where consumer research comes in handy. You need to keep up to date with the things that the average consumer wants from your respective industry. Talk to potential and existing customers. Use this feedback to regularly update your business plan and keep your company modernized with new goals. It’s so important that you don’t blindly follow the path you’ve always followed. What may have once brought you success may not work today. Always look for the next best solution even when you’ve found the best one for the present day.
Incentivize your team.
If your business really wants a reboot then you need to focus on its product or service output. Essentially, you need to focus on the productivity of your team. Your employees keep your business running but they’re not robots. You need to remember that you’re employing people with weaknesses and flaws, no matter how intellectual or professional they may be. We’re all humans at the end of the day. You can’t shove people in an office and expect them to work at 100% capacity. You need to create an environment which boosts their productivity. White walls, windows, mirrors, open design, and anything which is modern and contemporary can help to brighten the office and brighten people’s moods. And don’t underestimate the power of a pool table and a couch in the break room; give workers somewhere fun to relax in their lunch break and they’ll return to work with a spring in their step.
Another way in which you can incentivize your team to work harder is to recognize their hard work. There’s nothing more demotivating when an employee feels as if they’re receiving no more praise for their exceptional work than their coworker who does the bare minimum. With an environment like this, nobody feels incentivized to work hard anymore. You need to make an example of exceptional workers and give people a reason to put in that extra effort. You could offer a New Year Bonus to the hardest worker of the month, for example. In the long term, you could offer little perks to the hardest workers each week; a free lunch and an early finish, for example. These small acts of recognition can have a powerful impact on your workforce. It builds trust, respect, and a desire to be more productive.
One of the main ways in which you could give your business a kickstart this year would be to improve communication in the workplace. As the business owner, you might have created the company you run but that doesn’t mean you’re an island. You rely on your team to keep everything functioning and that means there needs to be good communication between all employees (along with the employer, of course). Yes, hard work is important but that can only get you so far if members of your team isolate themselves from one another. Collaborative minds work better and help to ensure that your business maintains a unified goal.
You could even consider some of the options out there that let you distribute content to social media so your employees could share helpful articles, links, and other resources in order to improve the workflow of everybody in the office. Productivity isn’t just increased through direct improvements to the workplace but through a more supportive and communicative team. You need to work hard to foster a collaborative working environment and also make sure that you, as the boss, are approachable. Holding regular meetings can also help to get your message across to the team as a whole and ensure that everybody is on the same page; invite questions and helpful comments from your team so as to create a space in which employees can help one another.
Spend money sensibly.
Many businesses have a healthy client-base but still don’t make the profits they’d expect. The problem might not be that you’re struggling to make sales but that you’re not selling enough to cover all your costs. And whilst you shouldn’t slash necessary costs, there’s a chance that you’re not spending money sensibly. Take a look at your overheads and ask yourself whether you’re blowing company money on luxuries that add nothing to the business. Who needs paper in the modern age, for example? Everything’s digital, so save yourself some money (and improve your brand image by proving that you’re eco-friendly). Even reducing electricity and waters bills by insulating the office and getting energy-efficient appliances can massively reduce your business’ expenditures.
Of course, spending money sensibly isn’t just about saving. Perhaps your business is already very frugal. Perhaps that’s the problem. You’re not achieving the success you could be achieving because you’re too afraid to take risks. But being risk-averse in this sense is actually a big risk in itself. If you don’t invest in your business then it can’t grow, and a stagnant business will fail to reach the target market. You need to pour money into improving your business and keeping it on top of its game. Otherwise, you’ll fall behind the competition in your industry. Make a resolution this year to sort out your business’ finances so that you spend less money on unnecessary expenditures and more money on investments that will directly improve your company.
Improve your marketing strategy.
As you most likely already know, the rules of marketing have changed in the modern age and they continue to change. It isn’t enough to pay for marketing space on billboards in the city anymore. Consumers are all online in this digital era and your business’ marketing strategy needs to incorporate digital techniques if you want any chance of beating your competitors. The high street has moved to the internet so you need to boost your online presence to increase your chances of reaching potential customers.
You should start with your business’ website. This is your company’s online store so it needs to make a good impression. You’ve probably seen the term ‘SEO’ thrown around. It stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s the holy grail of online marketing. Of course, the rules keep changing for optimizing websites effectively. In order to achieve good results and rank highly on Google or Bing, your website needs not only relevant keywords but a professional design. This will impress Google’s algorithms and any visitors to your website. It’s a win-win situation; you’ll get more visitors and that traffic will most likely be quickly converted to sales.
Always focus on the customer.
You need to provide customer value if you want your business to succeed this year. It really is as simple as that. We’ve touched on this fact briefly throughout the article but it’s so important to do your research into what the consumer wants and expects of a business in your industry. You can’t do things for the sake of your company’s ego or personal goals; your goals and aspirations need to focus on the things that people actually want to buy. You’re not “selling out”; you can still be innovative but you need to innovate products and services that will provide a solution to a problem facing consumers. People buy things to improve their lives. They don’t just buy a product or service because a business is proud of how “innovative” it is. Focus on customer service and always delivering an incredible experience to each client as well as an incredible end product.