Start the new year strong

It doesn’t matter whether you are a small business or a larger business, you will be wanting to start the New Year strong.

So what does it take to get off to a great start?

Does your organisation have a performance or success culture?

For any business the starting point is the Strategic plan. You need to review how things went last year. Did you execute well on your plan? If not why not? You may have a very good reason for the deviation, or it might just be that you were sidetracked. The actual reason is not as important as understanding why it happened. Once you understand the reason you can use that information for this year’s plan. Do you bring some of the unfinished goals forward to this year, or have things changed such that they are no longer relevant?

Once you have reviewed last years plan, you should be looking at your short term and long-term goals to see if they still make sense to you and a review of your SWAT analysis, especially the opportunities and threats. Are there any opportunities such as grants or other funding?

Does your Elevator pitch still ring true, or does it need updating? Is your BHAG still realistic, do your Vision, Mission, Values, Brand Promise, Purpose, Culture, and Market / Customer profile still ring true? Review your X Factor and make sure that this really is your market differentiator or are other vendors now making the same offerings? Check out the competition and see if there are new ways that you can stand out from them.

It is time to use all this information to formulate your plan for the coming year.

What are your financial goals, your marketing goals such as social media or printed collateral, paper, radio etc. Do you have operational goals such as process improvement, partnerships, new software or hardware, new line of merchandise or new services?

What is that one big goal for this year? The goal that is the one goal you want to achieve even if you not achieve any other goals?

Okay, now you have figured out your goals for the year you will need to figure out how to track them and create some plans to achieve them. Split the year into quarters and plan out what you need to achieve each quarter to be on track, and then plan Quarter one in detail. Part of this plan will be how to track your progress weekly and monthly.

One final piece, to set your year off right, is a review of your employee handbook.

Is it up to date with procedures such as your policy on vaccinations or working from home, face masks or face coverings, what to do if you are felling unwell etc.? Are all your other policies still relevant and up to date? Are there any policies missing?