Coming to the close of 2013, like most of us, it’s a time for some downtime, fun with family and friends and a chance to reflect what was good, bad and the ugly of your businesses performance over the past year. For some of you, this may actually be the busiest time of the year!
It’s also a great time to start thinking about what will be install for you, your team and your business in 2014.
Most businesses will come back from a break around mid Jan and start some planning (hopefully you do some planning), but it may be a good opportunity to find some time before Christmas to sit down with your key team members or if you run a business by yourself, grab someone you trust, to help identify what the BIG priorities are in 2014.
To key is to keep your priorities and focus simple.
One of the first things you should look to do is to minimize the strategies and priorities in your business that you are focusing on. Research suggests that our minds can only remember no more than 7 things at a time, so there’s no point in having lot’s of strategies that will be forgotten. I myself can recall having a long list of things I wanted to achieve, only to get through the first handful.
So to help you, everything you do in your business affects its growth, profitability, and cash flow.
Below I have given you a guide to think about that I have used myself in my own businesses;
1. List your businesses top 3 strategies for growing
- E.g. Technology – new online accounting software.
- E.g. Develop a new product or service.
- E.g. Find a ‘blue ocean’ opportunity.
2. List your businesses top 3 strategies to increase profit
- E.g. Find out your profit centers' and stop products or services that are not making you money.
- E.g. Increase you pricing and value proposition.
- E.g. Find ways to make each team member more profitable. Why put more people on when you can find ways to help your existing employees perform at a higher level.
3. List your businesses top 3 strategies for improving cash flow
- E.g. Implement upfront payments from client
- E.g .Research fixed price packages and monthly direct debits
- E. g. Use your accounting software to automate sending out invoices and follow ups to outstanding payments
So, after you finalize your list, work through from the highest priority to lowest. Hopefully over the Christmas break, you can start the planning process around these priorities, which will help make 2014 a bigger and better year.
Remember, keep is simple stupid (KISS)!