At the time I wrote this one, so many similar articles started to pop up, I decided not to follow herd instinct and postpone it until later and instead make an article with commentary for no particular reason.
New Year is the best time for business, or a person to review objectives and start fresh. Not only for the individuals working in a company but as a company itself. I would like to share my own New Year’s resolution; I do not want to say anything negative about anyone. At the moment I discovered Foursquare and promised not to leave any negative comments. Most of their time I am lucky I get good service, but by talking negatively about someone does not bring you any value (unless you are the critic).
God, I was so close to leaving negative feedback on Foursquare a few times, but where I have really fallen short was about criticizing others. It wasn’t as easy as it seems. But I can always improve next year.
Let’s discover what new resolutions you could have or did actually set in your business.
While some might say that if something is not broken, there is no need to be fixing it. Revising and perfecting your products and services will bear fruit. I personally have met people spending considerable amounts of revenue and entering larger markets like U.S. and China, these are constantly working on their products by adding something; editing and perfecting.
Consumers these days are educated and empowered by easily accessible information, and will find the needle in a haystack. If your product is not of / higher than the standard set by your competition they will find out, and will be probably complaining to their natural networks.
Now biggest worry for all is moving properly to digital, and I mean proper social media management; properly set up websites, properly done email Newsletter; In house populated mailing lists. So few use CRM and many still rely on old methods for everything.
2. Generate more sales and fewer ideas
Cash is King. In order for business to succeed and grow it needs money. I am guilty for having way too many ideas, with few of them actually going beyond my imagination or talking with my fellow dreamers. It does not matter at which stage of development your company is at, sales are imperative and these sales need to be growing. Nothing frustrates people more than having many ideas and plans, meetings with nothing being implemented. Talk is cheap. If you’re an idea person like me, choose one which you are passionate about, is it the first thought you have when you wake up and last one before you go to sleep? Then stick to it until it’s at least MVP.
Yey, here I actually managed to achieve some progress, finally demand started to form my product offering, and finally I have an actual service package to offer.
3. Define your culture
Every single company has a culture, its values its mission. Your business should define what it is the stand for, and it has to be more than providing exceptional customer service. If a business does not provide good customer service they would not be in business in the first place, you have to be more creative. A clear mission is what makes the ‘best talent’ want to join your company; it’s what brings your brand to the minds of consumers to the extent that they want to part with their hard earned cash.
Sadly it seems that company culture does not stand on priority list for many businesses. And everyone want to jump a queue in this one to advertising if there is money to spend and all this talk about branding and mission is treated like a mild colouring department fever.
4. Take your social media seriously
There is plenty research done that proves the importance of social media, and nowadays it is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. But don’t mistakenly trust the management of your company brand to a spotty teenager intern, it is your company’s image I am talking about and poor execution will be seen from mile away, iterate as per step one. Also if you’re not sure how well your social media accounts are managed, contact professionals, they will always be able to tell you at least the mistakes that are being made. But if you can afford it, hire someone who is doing it for a living.
Here it is sort of changing, but there is still too little dedicated staff and a lot of poor execution. No intention to train staff on best practices, and lists of copyright violations to top it off.
5. Get to know your colleagues
Lately I was reading Sunzu “Art of War”. I always thought that Easter management style would be ruthless and senseless. But in reality there was so much emphasis put on care for its soldiers. Knowledge of your colleagues or employees will go a long way, it can mean the difference between waking up in the morning and rushing to work or feeling trapped in the corporate machine. Maybe getting to know your colleagues might even lead you to a different career choice, better sooner than later
Now I want you to do something for me, lean back on you chair and look at the left of your table, what can you say about the person who is sitting next to you? Now do same to your right. If you know nothing:
Option 1: Learn more
Option 2: Move desk where the cool kids are.
Now we all know what happens when plans are postponed. But let’s try to sum up what was said. Perfecting something in manufacturing is a widely used practice. However in services it seemed to struggle. Now for those in early development stages, start selling, even know-how which can be replicated will be beneficial to your organisation. Please use CRM from the start, if will make your life so much easier. Have you wondered why start-ups get the best interns and brightest graduates? Because they start from company culture first, young people buy into idea more than just a pay packet. Take your digital estate, and do it correctly. Having poorly maintained account will give an impression your business is short for cash. Foster internal relationships in your organisation. If only one thing it is not fair to strip human relationship out of 40+ hours of your or your staff life.
Plans, New Year’s resolutions, are only representation of what you want for yourself and your business. Worst you can do is to become comfortable. Staying stagnant expose business to a risk, that one day you wake up and find all painfully becoming obsolete. I know this company in B2B their main account was bringing 80% of the business. Now after wild acquisition all manufacturing is moved to central monster plant in Dublin. I guess I don’t need to say more. There is no need to wait for some calendar event to make changes.