As the year comes to a close, it’s a great time to reflect on what you have achieved as a business this year. Importantly it’s good to think about what you wanted to achieve but didn’t manage and what you can do differently next year.
So here are five festive tips to help improve your business and give you a better chance to achieve your objectives next year.
Festive tip 1 – Reflect on your business purpose and long term vision
How long has it been since you reflected on why you started your business? When you started did you write down your business long-term vision and its purpose? If you put together a business plan, it might be a good idea to review it again. Are you still true to your initial business vision and purpose? Or has it changed. If you find that you don’t have a vision or purpose statement, or you can’t relate to it anymore, then it might be time to create a fresh and relevant vision and purpose statement.
Festive tip 2 – Make sure you have a clear business identity and values
Is it clear to you and your team what your business stands for? What is the image and brand that describes your business? Is it fun, creative and techy, or more professional and conservative? The image that you want your business to portray will help you to establish your business and customer approach and strategy. And then there are your values. Have you thought about the top 3-5 values that represent your business and team? Your values will help you to recruit the right staff and develop the type of business culture you want.
Festive tip 3 – Envision your business at the end of 2013
Set aside at least one hour soon to sit down with your team, or close friends and family and have a brainstorming session. Using post-its brainstorm what you will want your business to look like in 1 years time. This might be being in a new location, servicing different customers and so on. Summarise 3 key things that you want to achieve most. Make sure they are aligned with your big picture vision and purpose. This will help you and your team to strive towards achieving a clearer goal and give you a sense of purpose and motivation.
Festive tip 4 – Create a plan
There is no point just dreaming about your vision, you need to make it happen! And it will only happen if you have a clear strategy and action plan in place. Take the top 3 things from Tip 3 that you want to achieve. For each one, list at least 3-5 specific actions that you need to do to achieve your objective. Allocate a time and responsibility for each action item and then set a schedule of regular reviews (eg monthly) to monitor your action progress.
Festive tip 5 – Put in place processes
How many processes do you actually have in place for your business? Are your key business processes documented at least in a flow chart? Does everyone in your team follow the same process to have a consistent level of service? Most businesses I see don’t have sufficient if any standard business processes in place. Without clear processes it’s hard to not only achieve your business goals, but it makes it difficult to be efficient, consistent, to develop the team and to grow. Start by thinking about your key 2-3 business processes that you need in order to deliver your product or service. Document the key steps that need to be followed to complete each process. Involve the team so that you can develop one best standard process that everyone will follow.
Enjoy the Festive tips and good luck improving your business and achieving your goals in 2013!