5 tips for a more successful business in 2014

business inspiration

Want a more successful business in 2014?

2014 is here and it’s now a great time to set out your plan to help you to achieve your business goals. As a business it’s easy to always be “busy” with your day-to-day activities and before you know it time slips by and you realise that you haven’t actually achieved what you wanted or your business isn’t where it should be. Most of the businesses I see spend so much time working on the $10 tasks that they don’t get a chance to step out of the business and focus on the $1000 tasks like strategy. This is a big problem and can significantly impact the success of your business. So here are some simple things that you can do this year to get you started in helping your business have a successful year.

1. Review your business purpose and vision

If you have a purpose and vision statement for your business, stick it up on a wall and review it with your team. Think about why you are in business, what is it that your business wants to achieve, where do you see yourself and the business in 5 or 10 years time. Is your existing purpose and vision still relevant? Are you on track to achieving it? If you don’t have a vision or purpose yet then it’s important to develop one. This will help your business to stay focused and achieve something.

2. Set your goals for 2014

Think about what you want your business to look like at the end of 2014. What will you see, feel, hear that is different and shows that your business is better. Get your team or friends and family involved to help you with your brainstorming. Identify 3-5 key goals that you want to achieve in 2014 that are aligned to your business purpose and will help you achieve your longer-term vision. This could be growing your business, increasing your customers, selling new products or services, increasing your team and so on.

3. Set some metrics and targets

Now that you have agreed your top goals for 2014, you will need to establish how you will measure the goals and what your target will be. If you don’t measure something and don’t have targets in place, it’s very hard to know how well you are going and if you have actually achieved your goals or not. You need to decide what will be good metrics for each goal and keep them simple. This can be the number of customers, the $ value of sales, or the number of people in your team. Next you need to know where you are today in relation to that metric and where you hope to be at the end of the year. This will help you to set a specific number as your target for each metric which you want to achieve. The old saying “if you don’t measure it you won’t get it” really is true. But also remember not to measure something for the sake of measuring – it must help you to achieve the goal otherwise don’t waste your time measuring it.

4. Establish an action plan

The hardest part will be to actually make your goals a reality. By setting some clear actions for each goal and allocating a specific person from your team to take ownership and responsibility for the action, you can spread the workload and are more likely to complete the actions. It will also optimise engagement in your team. Importantly you need to set a clear timeline, and have regular milestones in place. A good way to tackle a big challenging action is to break it down into small bite sized actions.

5. Monitor and manage progress

Don’t leave it until the end of the year to check if the actions have been completed and you have achieved your goals or not. It will be too late to do anything about it if you haven’t reached your targets. Set regular reviews such as monthly to monitor your progress against the target. If the numbers aren’t changing you can then re-look at your actions and decide if something needs to change or improve to achieve the target.

Jana Krizova Hocken

Jana is a Business Improvement and Lean specialist, trainer and coach with over 12 years of experience working in more than 20 countries and with some of the world’s leading companies, helping hundreds of people and their businesses to continuously improve and evolve. She founded Improve8 in 2012 to inspire, empower and support small businesses to achieve their potential.