“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis
You know what I love about the New Year? I get yet another opportunity to do more, be more, live more, and love more. I am blessed with opportunity to do better and live differently. Isn’t that awesome? Some may scoff at that, but I live for the opportunity to look to the future!
With that being said, what are you going to do this year to be better? How are you going to improve your business in 2019? How can you use the coming new year to push forward, to be more, do more, and accomplish more?
Here are 10 ways to start off the new business year with a bang!
- Do a deep dive on 2018. The first step in ensuring a great new year is to take a hard look at the previous year to see what worked and what didn’t. How else are you to determine where to invest your time and energy? This isn’t about beating yourself up, or being self-congratulatory, it’s about learning from your previous successes and failures. Do a deep dive. Involve others in this process to gain different perspectives. Educate yourself on your business!
- Review your current strategies, processes, and procedures. Ask yourself why you have certain processes and what could be done to make them better (simpler, more efficient, etc.). Too often in business we keep plans, processes, and procedures in place merely because it’s “what we’ve always done.” That isn’t good enough! Ask yourself why. Think back to when each process was put in place and what has changed since then that would enable you to improve and change that particular process. If nothing should be changed, so be it. Just be sure you actively review and reflect to ensure it’s what is best for your organization!
- Get others involved in goal setting, planning, and forecasting for 2019. You can’t do this alone. I don’t care who you are. You need outside perspective to help you weed through those items you are too close to. Our businesses and strategies are personal to us, and that sometimes blinds us to reality. Create a team of people…inside AND outside your company to “give it to you straight” and help you plan.
- Start scheduling your plan NOW. When will you review your progress? When are you meeting with others to determine how well the plan is working? When will you check actual numbers? If it’s not on your calendar, it won’t happen. And if you don’t consistently review your plan and review your progress, you will fall behind. Start right now by scheduling these check-ins. Set dates on your calendar, and invite others to these planning sessions for input and accountability.
- Start implementing your 2019 plan NOW. There is no time like the present to get things going. If you wait until January 1st to start implementing your goals, you could set yourself up for disappointment! Example: If one of your goals is to recruit in 10 great people during the next year, and it normally takes two months to find a great candidate, you need to start now in order to hit that goal. If you begin the first day of business in 2019, it could be March before you actually have the first few people, and that puts you behind your goal. Start implementation of the plan for 2019 in December.
- In 2019, delegate more than you ever have. If you really want to ensure success and crush those new goals, you can’t do it alone. Too many business owners and C-level executives embrace the old adage of “if you want it done right, you gotta do it yourself.” That is the WORST way to handle things! You only have the capacity to do so much at once. When you train others to handle some of those items, and when you give away your smaller, routine tasks, you make the organization become more efficient. Efficiency is key in today’s business world, so make this one of your top goals!
- Spend more time IN the business and less time ON the business. This may sound like the antithesis of what people tell you to do professionally…how long have we heard, “spend more time ON your business and less time IN it?” Well, that is out in 2019. Employee engagement (or a lack thereof) is one of the biggest issues companies face these days. A lack of connection between employees and upper level management is a gigantic factor in that. Instead, in 2019, spend more time IN your business. Engage your employees. Partner with them on projects that are important to you. Consult with them on how to improve items. When you get your people involved, they feel accountable, and care more about the success or failure of your business! Spend more time working IN your business this year.
- Learn how to automate more of your internal processes…and implement that change! Automation is your friend. Automation and consolidation of repetitive, time-consuming processes will make you and your organization more effective and efficient. It allows your business to focus on revenue generating items instead of boring and repetitive tasks that create a negative response from your employees. AUTOMATE in 2019!
- Take on the “one person a day philosophy” in 2019. I read about a man who spent every day getting to know one new person in his company. It wasn’t just stopping by and shaking their hand, nor was it just sending a mindless email out of the blue. No, the idea was that he would get to know one of his employees daily and create an actual relationship. Meeting with people, asking about their loves, likes, dislikes, career and personal ambitions, and everything in between. Was it easy? Did it take time? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely. He created a bond that was lasting with his employees. It allowed him to celebrate with them, have difficult conversations with them, and it allowed the employees to create a deep respect for the “person in charge.” How do you think it would affect employee morale at your company?
- Show gratitude to those around you who helped 2018 be a great year. By all means, look forward, and leave the past in the past. But before you do, remember the people who helped you in 2018. Those people deserve a high five. They deserve some recognition. They deserve a personal handshake, hug, mention, etc. Make sure you don’t leave 2018 without recognizing every single person in your organization. No, that Christmas party you are hosting for your employees doesn’t count. Make it personal. Let them know that they are more than a number and that you couldn’t have done it without them. It will matter.
2019 is almost upon us. Stop doing the “same old thing” and take charge of your future. If you would like help in planning, automating processes, or delegating those items that make you less efficient, get in touch with Staff One HR at 1.800.771.7823, or contact the author directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.