IT’S HERE!! – The New Year is here and you hope it will be even better than last year!!
There are things that you’d like to have happen in your business, e.g. more sales, customers or clients, etc. Hey, you can keep doing things the way you’ve been doing them and hope things will get better. Yes, you can…but Hope is NOT a Strategy.
When was the last time you stepped away from your “busyness” (a synonym for your business? hmmm) and looked at these things:
What are your company’s strengths?
What are your company’s weaknesses?
Where are your opportunities?
Where do the threats exist?
You need to do this. Things change, sometimes very quickly, but definitely in a year’s time. Take the time to conduct this SWOT analysis of your business. Also, take a look at your Mission Statement – is it what you’re truly about and doing? If not, which needs to change: what you’re doing or editing your Mission Statement? Either is fine as long as is reflects what is true of your business and for what it stands!
Next, you need to develop specific goals and strategies to help you reach what you’d like to have happen in your business, e.g. more sales, customers or clients, etc. Look out into the next three years and five years – where would you like your business to be…specifically; how many sales, clients, customers, etc. Do you want to expand your market share or provide new products? Take this time and let your desires and dreams materialize!!
Then compare where you’d like to be to where you are now…what is that gap? That gap is the thing you need to develop S.M.A.R.T. goals and specific strategies (action items) around! Those are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound goals. The strategies are the specific steps and action items you’re going to use to reach the S.M.A.R.T. goals. An example of that could look like this:
S.M.A.R.T. Goal: Add 10 new customers a month starting June 1, 20xx
Strategy #1: Using research and survey data, develop monthly, multi-media, targeted product marketing campaign starting April 1, 20xx.
Conduct market research during January 20xx regarding the types of product lines we carry. Make adjustments as needed.
Conduct Customer Satisfaction Survey to determine what they like and what they would like more of by January 31, 20xx
Strategy #2: Utilize and advertise vendor promotional programs each month, starting in January 20xx
Send weekly emails to contact and customer lists using the marketing campaign materials provided by vendor and track responses.
To help fortify your success – make sure your employees’ efforts and goals are tied to your S.M.A.R.T. Goals! For example: you could have a goal for the employee who helps with marketing (or assign someone) to conduct the research and provide a detailed report back to you with recommendations/options by January 25, 20xx.
With a clearly-defined path, specific action items and all your employees connected and working together on the business’ goals, your success will be much better than you “hoped”. Here's more information about how to set strategic goals and strategies.