With 2018 quickly drawing to a close, now is the perfect time to be thinking about how to set yourself up for the new year. Planning for 2019 can be easy, if you take the time to consider a few key areas.
Creating business success in 2019
1. Take the time to reflect on 2018
What did 2018 bring for you and your business? It can be easy to overlook the importance of taking the time to reflect on the year that has been. But by considering all your achievements, the difficult times and the celebrations, you have the chance to really assess what 2018 meant to you. Whether it was moving into a new office, working with new clients or putting on a new employee, you will be sure to remember some big moments that happened during the year. Equally, you may have experienced some major (or minor) difficulties which you would rather not have to go through again. While you may have only first thought about your business successes and failures, it is equally important to consider your personal wins and losses throughout the year. Balancing the two is never easy, but by becoming more aware of all areas of your life, you can work to improve both, over time. Taking the time to reflect on the highs and lows throughout the year, will give you more clarity and allow you to be better prepared for all that 2019 has to bring.
2. Recognise and reward your staff
After you have reflected on the last year for your business, take the time to recognise and reward your staff for the contribution they have made. This is one area that can really help to set your business up for the year ahead. At the end of the year your staff may have done the same thing as you – reflecting on the year that they have had, and if they aren’t feeling valued and supported, they may look at other opportunities. The end of year/new year can be a common time for employees to seek out new and challenging opportunities, so by ensuring that they are feeling recognised, valued and supported, you will limit the possibility of this happening. Whether it is a hand-written card to say thank you, a voucher or a bonus, or simply a few kind words to thank them for their hard work, don’t underestimate the power of simply showing that you appreciate everything that they do for you and your business.
3. Set goals for 2019
Do you ever feel like you get so focused on what you are doing right now, that you forget about where you are headed? It’s just like going on a road trip. Sometimes it is fun to just drive and see where you end up. But having a destination that you are aiming for can give you more direction. Sure, there might be many different roads that lead there (and that is often half the fun), but setting goals can help you to get there faster, without as much effort and will ensure that you arrive at a desirable destination. Setting yourself goals should not just be for your business, but personally as well. We recommend setting yourself 3 goals for your business, and 3 separate personal goals, to help you plan ahead for 2019. When setting your goals, it is important to remember to make them S.M.A.R.T. That is, they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Once you have set your goals, write them down and at the start of 2019 sit down with your team and create a plan or strategy to help you reach your goals. Breaking your strategy down into bite-sized priorities and actions, is a really effective way of keeping everyone accountable.
4. Run your own race
It is so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to other businesses. Everyone is guilty of doing this from time to time. But please, try to stop as your business is unique. Most businesses are at a completely different stage of their life cycle, which means you are not comparing ‘apples with apples’. It is much more effective for you to focus on the areas of your business that you could improve upon, rather than worrying about what someone else is doing. There are many areas that you could look to improve upon. From reviewing your overall business strategy, improving your systems and processes, considering how you are marketing your business, empowering your staff, through to looking at your cashflow. So, focus on running your own race and achieving the goals and priorities that you have set for yourself and the team.