Five Easy Ways to Nail Your Company's New Year's Resolutions
January is the Perfect Time to Make a Strategic Business Plan for the Year Ahead
As the new year begins, it’s a great chance to take the time to plan your upcoming year. It’s important to start each year with a strategic outlook and approach, whether you normally plan monthly, quarterly, or annually.
We’ve rounded up our top tips on how to begin planning and setting goals for the new year that you can actually achieve.
1. Begin by Learning from Last Year
Good, bad, or ugly, there were probably lessons you took away from last year that you can roll into this coming year. Maybe you handed out agendas at the beginning of meetings that increased efficiency or ran a promotion that brought up sales toward the end of the month—account for those successes and see how they can be improved upon and replicated in the new year.
And on the flip side, if something didn’t do as well as you’d hoped, see where you can make improvements or scrap those initiatives altogether. Remember to come back to your past experiences as you brainstorm for the new year to give yourself a kick start.
2. Hold a Brainstorming Session with Your Team
Offer your team the space and time to come together and brainstorm new ideas on how your business can grow and improve. Your employees interact with clients and carry out day-to-day operations on behalf of your company; as such, they may offer often-overlooked insight into strategy and process improvement that can help you grow your business, increase efficiency, and avoid last year’s mistakes.
As a bonus, you’ll start the year by clearly signaling to your team that you’re listening to them—this may, in turn, improve engagement and company culture.
3. Set Realistic Goals
One of the key things we learn in business school is to develop “SMART” goals. SMART, in this case, is an acronym standing for “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.”
When deciding on goals for the year, it’s great to make sure each of them checks all of the SMART boxes. For example, if one of your goals is simply to “increase profits,” there’s a good chance you’ll fall short of this objective by the time next January rolls around. On the other hand, if you say “By the end of Q2, we will increase profits by 4%,” and this is a realistic target, you’re giving your team more structure and incentive to reach a very specific endpoint.
4. Establish a Budget and a Schedule
Planning ahead can be extremely helpful when going after your goals. Remember the “Achievable” part of SMART goals? Well, if you’re hoping to increase sales by 10% but aren’t equipping your team with new tools, hiring anyone, or allocating more money toward that website redesign you’ve been putting off (wink, wink), then you’re going to have a hard time staying focused on your objectives and getting the numbers you’re after.
Likewise, if you’re planning to boost your SEO efforts, hire another sales associate, or send your entire team to a conference in July, you’ll need to get realistic about those costs as early on as possible—aka NOW. Here’s where budgeting and scheduling go hand-in-hand: There are costs associated with each of these activities, so you’ll need to plan ahead to make sure you don’t have to account for all these expenses in the same quarter; in addition, allocating funds throughout the year will leave you with fewer surprises down the road. Your future self will thank you.
5. Start with Your Most Doable Goals
Does staring at your business to-do list seem daunting, with a year full of goals stacked so high you don’t even know where to begin? I know the feeling, but as with most things—start small!
By beginning with your most achievable goals, you’ll be able to check things off your list straightaway and get some momentum going. Have you been planning on creating a business Facebook page? Go ahead and sign up, get your profile picture uploaded, and input your key information. It’ll take an hour tops to fill everything out, after which you can spend some time actually connecting to customers and other local businesses.
By checking off some of the minor details straight out of the gate, you’ll feel excited about getting something done and that daunting list will shrink that much quicker.
Our Team Can Help You Establish an Online Marketing Plan for 2019
At efelle, we’d advocates for our clients. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your new goals this year—or don’t even know where to begin when it comes to your web presence—let one of our Digital Strategists help you out. Whether you’re looking to revamp your entire website or just want to ramp up your SEO game, we can offer some free advice to get you started.