There are only a few weeks left that will define how your business performed this year. Are you happy with the anticipated results? If the answer is yes, are you prepared to deliver the same performance next year or go to the next level? If the answer is no, are you prepared to deal with the obstacles and challenges that prevented you from achieving your goals this year?
There may be little time to change the results of 2012. There is plenty of time to prepare for changes in 2013, if you start now. Pivoting from your current trajectory requires strong leadership and preparing a detailed plan to execute starting the first day of the new year.
Reviewing the past several months, is your business foundation strong enough to build the next phase of your expansion? Your foundation needs to be durable, providing the necessary support to accelerate current business practices that will generate more revenues and improve overall performance. A business that is built from repeatable practices for product development, sales, operations, marketing and service, is a business that is ready for sustainable growth.
In your evaluation of the past year, if you are not convinced your business is running at maximum capacity or operating efficiently, it is well advised to spend the final weeks of the year to identify the primary obstacles and demands your business require to get on track for better performance in the coming year. In other words, now is the time to invest in your business to get it on track for growth. Do you need to invest in people, products or infrastructure? What will it require in time and finances to build a strong foundation for future growth?
One of the biggest challenges for small business owners is to look outside the day-to-day operations to see the threats and opportunities for growth. If you do not have an advisor, seek help from peers who can give you an objective assessment. You want to have a comprehensive plan with orientation toward your business goals and tactics that can be executed upon by your committed team members at the start of the year. Your plan needs to be opportunistic and realistic.
Now is the time to plan for the coming year. How much do you need to invest? Will you need to pivot from plans that have not provided expected results in the prior months? Your team is waiting for your definitive plan of action. They want to know where they are headed so they can meet your expectations. Take the steps necessary to get ready for the best possible outcomes in the coming new year. The action you take today, will impact where you end up next year.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” ― Yogi Berra
By Jamie Glass, CMO & President of Artful Thinkers and Managing Director of Sales & Marketing Practice at CKS Advisors.
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