How to make business New year’s resolutions
New year’s resolutions are not just for personal needs, but also can be used for business. Like with anything, failing to plan is planning to fail.
Looking forward for 12 months can be a helpful tool to ensure that everyone is in line with your vision for the future and helps focus the drive and direction of the company in the coming months.
How do we achieve this? I hear you cry.. It is surprisingly easier than you would think. By focusing on key areas of the business, you can predict your own success. This brief will help you select which areas to work on, how to achieve those goals and then most importantly recognizing when you have achieved them
What areas to select
This will depend on your business and its current position in the market place. This is where you take a hard look at the business, together with a snapshot of the company accounts (profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow forecast), orders on the books and those pending.
By having this information you can assess where you are currently, to enable you to move forward you need to be realistic about where you are now. Hard facts are important.
Then you need to ask yourself, if it were possible, what would you like to realistically achieve over the next 12 months? An increase in sales, this could involve longer working hours? Better profit margins, this could involve finding cheaper suppliers or developing new ordering strategies, such as ‘just in time’ mythologies.
How to achieve
Once you have decided which areas you wish to develop for your new year resolutions, then it is time to act. Write down each point that you want to improve in the coming year and then break them down into small manageable steps with a time line.
Find cheaper supplier, improve gross profit margin by 2%
Step one – What are you paying for stock currently By end January
Step two – Research the market place, get contact details for new suppliers and set up meetings by end March
Step three – Analyse findings and compare results. By end April
Step four – Give notice if you are in any contracts and instruct new supplier (this could take 90 days) – by end August
Step five – trial new supplier and anaylse quarter data, has the change of supplier worked/are you happy.
The best way to recognise success is by looking at the impact the changes have made over a set/predetermined timeframe. This is where setting the resolution comes into play again, what was your aim? Then asking the question, did I meet the target I set?
If we use the example set earlier, then the target was to increase profit margin by 2% by sourcing a new supplier. This can be drilled down into quarters, by December you should be at the end of the first quarter of changes. What is the trend? Can you tell from your figures whether the new supplier is meeting the price guarantee? This should be clear from the projection versus the actual. Also to understand whether the new supplier is a successful move, you need to look at the bigger picture, are they meeting deadlines, quality etc. If the answer is no then the process needs to resolved or started again.
This process gets repeated with each resolution that has been agreed.
In conclusion, planning for a future can be beneficial and can put you in control of your business. The question of how do we achieve resolutions is answered simply, by planning an achievable goal and devising simple small steps to get there. If at any predetermined deadline the target is not met, then put extra resources or time to the problem and success will be just a short hop away.