Business New Year’s Resolutions

Each time the new calendar year rolls around, there’s a rush of conversation around new starts and big changes. It may be clichéd, but as a time of year where people are receptive to changes, it’s a good time to take stock of where you business is and where you want it to go next.

Your business is a great place to start, but your clients could benefit just as much from the same thinking.


 

What do you want to change?

This is a big question, and could affect any area of your business. Is it a financial or productivity target? Or maybe you just want to give the culture a shake up. Is this a localised change within particular teams, or something you want to take company-wide?


 

Get people involved

It may help to make the decision if you consider what your employees want to see. In addition to generating ideas, people are more enthused about changes that they’re involved in.

In fact 80% [1] of senior business leaders believe that employee engagement is essential in achieving business goals – what better way to ensure their engagement than by involving them in the change?

This doesn’t mean that you need to take everybody’s idea and make it happen (where would you find the time?). It does mean keeping everybody up to speed to ensure a smooth transition in the long run.

This could mean sending out a company-wide opinion survey asking what changes people would like to see in 2017, or a meeting of department heads to get opinions.


 

Setting targets

Once you know what you want to achieve, you need to get down to specifics.

You might have seen the SMART acronym mentioned frequently in this context – it refers to making targets that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.

Using KPIs (key performance indicators) will ensure that your goals are specific and measurable by default. It could be that you don’t have defined company values, and you want roll out a charter of five values (and live by them) by the end of the year. This is:

• Specific (you know exactly what and how many)
• Measurable (do you have five values?)
• Achievable (can you do this with the time and resources?)
• Realistic (is it achievable considering external factors like competitors?) and
• Time-bound (has it happened by December 31st?)

Assigning the appropriate team and giving them deadlines transforms this into an achievable and realistic goal too.

Similar principles would apply If you want to be more productive, or achieve a financially focused goal too.

Not only does the SMART plan break your target down into an easier process, research shows that businesses that write down clear goals achieve more [2] than those who don’t.


 

Reviewing past activity

In addition to employee opinion, how your business is doing at the moment may have a big impact on what targets you choose to aim for. A set of KPI metrics taken at the beginning of your journey can be a bellwether for business success, whether you decide to set KPIs for your marketing, financials, sales…or any other goals.
This puts everyone on the same page, and ensures that the M section of your SMART target is easier to keep an eye on.

This approach is a great start to setting your own business goals for the year, but your clients could benefit from the same approach. Use your own process as a template to support your clients into the new year, and beyond.


 

Make sure your marketing is integral to your goals

When it comes to achieving your business goals, marketing can be your most useful tool.

When you’re reviewing your goals, evaluate how you reach your current audience and think about whether there are new opportunities. Even if your goals and targets are urgent, don’t just roll out the same strategies – take time to consider new marketing approaches to reach your audience.

For example, using some of the buzz generated by targeted segment campaigns, try producing hyper-targeted ads aimed at smaller segments of your audience for bigger results.

Or maybe you could commit to something bigger, and make sure your customers get a consistent brand experience. This builds trust and recognition with your audience, and two thirds [3] of people won’t buy from a brand they don’t trust. The good news is that about the same amount actively recommend brands they do trust. Look at content marketing, using social and build relationships as a way of reaching out.

Whether you’re using marketing to reach other goals, or make a marketing refresh a goal in itself, you’re sure to see the impact.


 

 

 

[1] https://www.cebglobal.com/blogs/the-9-questions-that-should-be-in-every-employee-engagement-survey/

[2] https://boardview.io/blog/goal-setting-22-mind-blowing-stats/

[3] http://www.britishbrandsgroup.org.uk/upload/File/Consumer%20Trust%20in%20Brands%20Summary%20Report%20UK%20201015.pdf


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