3 Tips to Start the New Year on the Right Foot

January 02, 2019 By Dave Chase

It’s day two of a new year and the perfect opportunity to plan for the year. Here are 3 tips to start your business on the right foot in 2019.

Throughout the holiday season, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about 2018 and how to make 2019 even better. I’ve never been one to actually sit down and write down a whole bunch of goals and a huge action plan, but I have enjoyed spending time thinking and reflecting on the year. As 2019 begins, I’ve been able to come up with a few things to change in the new year that will hopefully positively impact my happiness and well-being in 2019. Being the sister of a life coach and the daughter of a management consultant, planning and goal setting are not new to me, nor are the benefits unfamiliar to me. Just as in our personal lives, a little bit of reflection and planning for your business can do a lot of good. Here are 3 things to do sooner rather than later to make 2019 the best year yet.

Reflecting on the past year

Learn from the Past

2018 may have been the best year yet for your business, or it may have been the worst. Regardless of how you would rank the year, you now have at your disposal a wealth of learnings from your experience. Take some time to reflect and record what went wrong, what went right, and what could be improved. Beyond the results of the actions and decisions, dig into processes and procedures that generated them. Make a list of things that failed and need to be changed, as well as things that worked well and can be implemented in other areas of the business. If you set goals for last year, take a hard look into those as well. Did you accomplish all that you set out to? What bolstered or inhibited your success? Take all of this into consideration as you plan for this year.

Take Aim at your goals

Set Specific Goals

As with any planning, setting ambiguous goals with no course of action is a recipe for failure. Set a few “main goals” and then set “sub goals” to accomplish them. For example, if your main goal is to increase profitability in 2019, you might set a sub goal to retain 5% more existing customers each month. Sub goals create specific, actionable items for your company to accomplish. Try setting SMART goals to hold your team, department, and company accountable. The more specific your goals, the more readily you can check progress and ensure accountability.

Align Your Focus

Lastly, take a look at your business as a whole. What is your focus for this year? Does your business plan and strategy reflect that focus? Like rowing a boat, all the oars need to be moving in sync, working together. Check to see if there are levers in your business that may be slowing you down. Once you’ve determined the focus for the year, communicate this to your team and continue to remind them of this focus for the remainder of the year. For example, a company I worked for had a goal of 10 million dollars in revenue for the year. The executive team clearly communicated that to managers and front-line employees alike, and worked with them to set achievable goals to work towards it. Management incentivized the entire company to work towards this goal and brought it up regularly to ensure that it was our focus throughout the year.

Think about what you want to accomplish this year. Learn from the past, set specific goals, and align your focus with your team’s and you’re on your way to the best year yet.

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