How are you doing on those 2016 New Year’s resolutions for your business?
As the second half of the year kicks off, business owners may feel a summer slump — or realize they aren’t on track to achieve the goals they established.
Now's a good time to reassess those goals and re-energize for the months ahead. Here are three important pieces of advice to keep in mind:
1. Are you properly managing risk?
For example, has your revenue changed so much from initial projections that you need to recalibrate your estimated tax payments? Have you made sure your office is safe by taking precautions, such as changing the batteries on the smoke alarms? Are you doing everything you can to protect your electronic data? Do you have processes in place to minimize the type of client dissatisfaction that can result in lawsuits?
Risk management is part of a successful revenue-growing strategy, Devine says. “After all, nothing drains a business’s assets faster than an unexpected catastrophe or disaster that demands large-scale repairs or a lawsuit that requires extensive time and money to defend.”
2. Are you improving your key areas?
Such principal aspects of your business to examine include things such as revenue, workers, customers and business plans, says Barbara Weltman, a Florida-based small business advocate.
When it comes to customers, most business owners start the year promising to themselves that they will communicate better — but then the day-to-day grind of running a business sets in. Midyear is a great time to finally get rolling on that new social media strategy or customer appreciation program.
If business is better than expected, it could also be time to invest in your employees and evaluate whether you should be enhancing benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.
The same goes for planning. “Don't wait until the end of the year to meet with your board of directors or advisors,” Weltman says. “Now is the time to brainstorm ideas that can move your business to the next level.”
3. Are you getting the right players involved?
Business owners and top managers all too often find themselves working at 150% to achieve strategic goals — risking burnout in the process, says Tom Emison, a strategic planning business consultant, in the StarTribune. Instead, it's important to “create” time to truly lead.
“The best of the best utilize the annual tactical plan implementation process to empower less experienced managers and supervisors to step up and work on those tactical plans,” he says.
You can accomplish this through a successful midyear review process, though Emison stresses that it should be done in person and not over the phone.
He adds: “We're talking about the annual tactical action plans that are linked back to your overall strategic direction — making this a very important gathering. … Get together and make your midyear review.”
About the Author
Kelly Spors is a freelance writer and editor based in Minneapolis. She previously worked as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering small business and entrepreneurship.