It’s the dawn of a new year… what do you plan to do differently?
A New Year is here, so what now? It really depends on how well last year went. If the last year was the best year possible and you did everything just right, keep it up. No need to change anything. If, on the other hand, it wasn’t perfect, now is the time to ask yourself what you’re going to change, so you can make the coming year better.
Look Back to Look Forward
If you’re looking to improve on last year’s results, a great way to get started is to look back on where you were 1 year ago and compare that to today’s reality. This exercise likely puts you in one of two positions.
- If you have good record-keeping and a culture of documentation, this should be easy.
- If you don’t keep good records, it might be a great time to start building a culture of documentation, so you’ll have better insights this time next year.
Even if your only records come from a quick review of your phone calls or email outbox, try to think of where you were and what you were planning this time last year.
Spend a few minutes getting back in touch with the “You” of last January and where you were headed. Once you’ve refreshed your ‘Last Year” mindset, ask yourself:
- What did we plan?
- How well did it work?
- What should we have done differently?
And, for anything that didn’t work out, there’s one aspect that’s often overlooked… In addition to thinking about “What” didn’t work and “Why” it didn’t work, you should also be asking two important “Process” questions:
- When did we decide to make a change?
- When should that decision have been made?
More of the Same? or New Goals?
Now, as you think about how your year went, where should you focus your efforts to improve? Are last year’s goals still in play, or is it time to move on to other things?
If you want to think strategically and you’re ready to take big steps to align your business for long-term growth, we highly recommend Thinking Of Your Business As A System.
Need a Quick Win? Try this 3-Step Process…
If, on the other hand, you’re just looking for a quick win and need to decide what to work on first, we recommend a simple 3-level prioritization to help you decide which immediate objectives to work on first.
- Start with… What’s “Broken”? These are the things that simply must be changed for your company to have a successful year.
- With luck, you may not have any of these, and hopefully nobody has more than one or two.
- Next up… What has the greatest potential to positively change your bottom line? You might want to work on all these, but we recommend prioritizing one thing as the Most important, which ‘wins’ when two goals come into conflict. An example prioritization:
- Increasing top-line revenue
- Becoming more efficient and cutting costs
- Focusing your business to do the most-lucrative work
- Thirdly… What sets you up to grow in the future? Again, prioritize by which has the most potential impact. For example:
- Offering new services
- On-boarding long-term clients
- Investing in facilities and equipment
- Training your workforce
As the year unfolds, continue to think about how your company is structured and ask yourself what is your biggest opportunity to enact positive change.
Hope you have a Great New Year!