Ringing in the new year is about fun and merrymaking with family and friends. But it’s also a time to reflect on the past, look toward the future, and figure out how to make the coming year better.
Personally, you might set goals to improve your health, prioritize relationships, or take up a new hobby. But the new year is also a good time to consider setting resolutions to take your business to the next level. To make 2024 its shiniest year yet, your business should resolve to:
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1. Achieve Strategy Alignment
Being strategically aligned means understanding what your company’s objectives are and how the work each employee does — or doesn’t — advance them. It keeps everyone working toward common goals and makes clear what resources you need to get there. Instead of various team members pursuing individual agendas, everyone on your team is on the same page.
It’s hard to overstate how critical strategy alignment is to your company’s success. So resolve to establish strategic objectives and show each team member how their work contributes to them. In doing so, you give them a sense of purpose, which boosts motivation and productivity. And when priorities are clear, you also reduce conflict and the potential for wasteful rework.
2. Set Intermediate Goals
With a clear strategy in place, you can turn your attention to setting SMART goals. Establishing intermediate goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound allows you to make progress toward larger company-wide objectives. You have concrete steps to follow when tackling a project or task and can blaze a clear path toward achieving it. Start by asking, “What do we want to achieve?” and “When do we want to achieve it?” Then work to identify the exact steps you need to take.
For example, “Increase our online presence” is a good goal, but it’s vague. Your company’s goal should be more specific than that. You might choose something like “Grow our social media following by 20% within six months.” By breaking down the goal into smaller chunks and setting deadlines for each step, you can stay on track throughout the year.
3. Invest in Your Employees
Your employees are the backbone of your company. Your business couldn’t function without them. So resolve to provide them with the tools and resources they need to deliver the most value they can. To make your employees a priority in 2024, resolve to offer at least one training and development opportunity per month. Or start holding weekly one-on-one meetings with employees to check in on their progress and career goals.
You could also resolve to put in place a monthly employee awards program to recognize your exemplary staff for jobs well done. This might include tangible rewards like gift cards or bonuses that you present in a public recognition ceremony.
4. Embrace Change
Change is inevitable, so embrace it and learn to make the necessary adjustments. In the new year, resolve to keep an open mind and stay attuned to new ideas and opportunities that may come your way.
For example, resolve to finally adopt that new software platform you’ve been curious about, or try out a new sales technique everyone’s been recommending. Or you could investigate a new market that has potential for growth. The more adaptable your business is, the better equipped you’ll be to weather any challenges that come your way in the new year.
5. Identify Opportunities for Growth
Like most businesses, most of your time and energy likely goes into what you already do well. But you also know you need to be constantly growing and expanding. However, this goal often gets pushed aside in favor of day-to-day concerns.
The new year is a perfect opportunity to expand your customer base. Make a point to add at least one new item to your product or service line. Increase your marketing reach by posting high-quality content several times a week to social media or other channels. You could even set a goal to conduct market research for a possible entry into foreign markets. Try to identify at least two or three areas with growth opportunities you could capitalize on.
6. Zero In On Customer Satisfaction
To keep your customers happy, you first need to understand what your customers want and need. In the new year, you could resolve to start gathering feedback from customers after every interaction. Make it a priority to respond to any issues or complaints they bring up within a specific timeframe.
Alternatively, you could conduct customer service training to teach employees active listening skills and how to handle difficult customers with empathy. You might also create a loyalty program to reward repeat customers or offer personalized experiences to make each customer feel valued and appreciated.
7. Evaluate Your Performance
Do you know how far you’ve come toward achieving your goals? You may have made more progress than you think, but you won’t know if you don’t check. So resolve to set aside time to evaluate your performance each month and identify areas for improvement. Review any changes that you’ve made to your strategy and assess whether they paid off.
For example, if you set a goal to increase your customer satisfaction rating, track how it’s been trending. Did the steps you took to move the needle? Set aside time every week or month to analyze data and pinpoint what’s working and what isn’t. Take into account different metrics like sales performance, customer feedback, and employee satisfaction.
When you sit down to make your resolutions for 2024, don’t neglect your business. Take a step back, evaluate what you need to do, and be honest with yourself about where your business is heading. Put effort into getting these right now, and prepare to reap dividends by the time next year’s resolution-making season rolls around.
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