I can’t believe it’s almost 2016! There are a number of exciting new initiatives lined up for the various companies here at Wish Group and we’re rearing to get moving with the New Year around the corner.
With that said, the focus right now is on reflecting on the year passed-how else can we effectively decide how to proceed into the future? I find that this is a major issue for many entrepreneurs (who may be operating as solopreneurs) where go go go means no time to think, reflect, strategize and plan for the coming years.
Huge mistake! It can be cumbersome but if you can implement a process the following years will fall into place and more importantly, your strategies and operations will become more transparent to your teams allowing them to be more efficient and proactive as well.
For us there are a number of key areas to review aside from sales and the bottom line. The largest of these areas is of course, expenses. Where can we optimize, where was money spent, where are the opportunities for cross promotion and where do we need to invest in order to meet objectives.
My biggest piece of advice –be honest with yourselves as a team, department and organization. For example, if you wanted to collect 90% of receivables by quarter’s end and you’re at 60% because of lack of manpower it is a clear indication that you have to replace resources or add to your workforce because the workload may simply be too heavy. It is definitely the one area that small businesses want to spend the least amount of time and money on but without the right team in place the business will not operate at its max. If resources or time to source these resources are an issue our team at Peoplesource can help. Based on your budgets our agency can save time and reduce the hassle of hiring while finding the perfect match for part time, full time and contract opportunities.
Another key area to consider is technological advancements and how you fared over the past year as well as how you’re planning to deal with the affects or opportunities for your business in the coming years. Are there any tools that you didn’t utilize that would have helped increase overall business efficiency or reach goals? Here at Wish Group we finally implemented HootSuite for our internal businesses as well as for our Mike Agency clients. Using this application allowed the team to engage with various groups in an organized manner as well as create a manageable process in house.
Remember that although you may have started out with a plan for the business that change is inevitable. Direction, competition, the exchange rate and global business policies are not stagnant meaning neither is your business plan.
It is important to have your key executives and team members get together to reflect on what the business did in the past year compared against the original plan the year before and where you had to diverge. For example take a look at the ongoing issues that Chipotle is currently having with E. coli breakouts and the focus on building their food safety policies. Not something they banked on having to deal with and something that they need to now work to address with all of their locations. These areas of adaptation can help to dictate what may be coming up as well as shed light on pre planning for changes that occur in the year ahead.
In an entrepreneurial environment where there never seems to be an end in sight, consciously taking the time to sit down, lay it all out and plan for the coming years can seem cumbersome. If there is one thing I can say about this it is to find a way to build some momentum and motivate yourself and your teams to commit to doing this. It will be the most important thing you can do for your business all year. Like Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration!”