With the end of 2013 fast approaching, many business owners are either fervently preparing for the festive season or for the annual business shut down. In this time, which is known for being the busiest period of the year, the process of planning ahead and preparing for the new year can be easily underestimated. Managing Director of Sandwich Baron, Sally J’Arlette-Joy, shares some tips below on the important New Year’s resolutions that business owners, particularly those in franchising, need to make before 2014’s imminent arrival.
Before anyone can really make a New Year’s resolution, and perhaps change the direction in which they were headed, it is vital to firstly review what was accomplished in the year that was. Upon reflection, it is important for a business owner to firstly determine which goals and targets were achieved in the past year and which were not. Whether it was to increase sales by 20% or grow the staff compliment, a business owner needs to conduct an honest ‘stock take’ of the current business situation in order to determine the course of future plans.
Should some goals not have been achieved, it is important revisit and re-clarify these goals and prioritise what actions need to be taken to reach them within a stipulated time frame. The business owner also needs to gain an understanding of the reason why these weren’t achieved so as to set corrective measures in place.
Once the current situation is defined, the next steps can be taken to move forward. An entrepreneur does not have the time or resources at their disposal to simply stagnate in their present state. In order to progress, a business needs to keep growing and making bigger plans to expand.
For the business owner who wants to improve their business and prosper in the New Year, here are a view pointers:
1) Review the progress of your employees – and do something about it
Every business has its top performing employees, those team members who always work hard no matter the circumstances. In the same instance, most businesses also have a fair share of employees who seem to really struggle to make a meaningful impact. In 2014, make a point of reviewing employees’ progress more often to identify those who hold the company name high and those who are battling to do so. While it is important to praise the ‘good’ employees for their efforts, it is also vital to work with those who may be struggling in an effort to build them up. On the other hand, upon examining staff, it might also be necessary to take corrective measures should an employee be holding the business back.
2) Be a better boss
Once you know what your employees need to do to progress, make an effort to earn their dedication. This is done by showing them that you are invested not only in the work that they deliver, but in them as individuals as well. Encourage staff to grow, both within and outside the business, and assist them in reaching these growth points as best you can. The only way to ensure a return on investment when it comes to employees is by investing in them to begin with.
3) Re-connect with customers
The customer is king in any business. The fact of the matter is, you need your customer to make your business thrive. In 2014, make it your mission to reconnect with your customers on a deeper level than in the past year. Whether it’s a smile or simply greeting them (by name is always best), personal connections will always go a long way in business. Start by choosing a handful of customers at random each day, week, or month (depending upon your schedule) and make a point to connect with them. Strike up a conversation – even the weather is a useful one – and use the time to really make an effort. They will be back for more.
Opinion piece shared by PR Worx.