The New Year is just around the corner, and while many businesses may be scurrying to wrap up the books for end-of-year, now is the perfect time for leaders to strategize about projects that will boost business prosperity. Here are four ideas that can get business owners thinking about new beginnings in 2018.
- Learn New Technology.
Every year, tens of thousands of new online software applications are invented that save time and money. Smart business owners keep up with new hardware and apps to make their lives easier and allow them to get more done. There are many to choose from, and one way to narrow it down is to find one that will help the business deliver its services or products faster or more efficiently.
For example, some businesses that require a lot of travel or have a fleet of vehicles might find a mileage tracking app helpful, like MileIQ, which automatically tracks and records drivers’ mileage in the background while driving. The average MileIQ user saves $6,900 per year. Bill.com (paperless invoicing), TSheets (time sheets), and Expensify (tracking expenses) all sync with Quickbooks, and are popular with many of our clients. Lucrum also uses Tsheets and MileIQ.
- Develop Your 2018 Prosperity Plan.
The word “budget” has somewhat of a negative connotation, but a prosperity plan sounds like fun. They are the same, of course, and the idea is to determine what goals the business wants to reach so that leadership has a clear path to making the desired prosperity a reality.
Lucrum encourages all our clients to develop and regularly update both a cash flow and profitability forecast. But the foundation of this document is typically the current year budget, which is updated regularly to be a living document that quickly allows management to spot trends and predict results. Without the budget, creating a forecast is a lot more work.
- Create a Theme or Mantra.
Want to stay more focused in 2018? A theme or mantra can remind leaders and employees alike to stay on track with a particular project or goal. Brainstorm a phrase that will guide the business in 2018. It should reflect the collective goal and demonstrate a focus on a specific area or portion of the business to be improved in the coming year.
Ford Motor Company used “The Way Forward” to describe their restructuring plan in 2006. Mottos could encompass overall goals for the company. Adidas’s motto is “Impossible is Nothing,” while IBM’s is simply “Think.” Here are some some other more generic examples:
- Customer Service Excellence
- Enthusiastic, Engaged Employees
- Expanding Digital Presence
- Going Green in 2018
Mottos can even play an integral part in your advertising. For instance, the “Got Milk?” campaign was launched by the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) in 2003 and ran through 2014 to combat the rapid increase in soft drinks sales and to make a “boring” product more appealing.
- Delegate for Future Business Growth.
One way to feel amazingly rejuvenated and re-energized about the business is to give someone an item that’s been on the to-do list for far too long. The owner gains a sense of relief and employees cross-train which increases their own value to the company while gaining skills that help the business be more agile and responsive to client needs.
There is no doubt that delegating is a skill that can be learned. For ideas on how to improve delegation skills, consider consulting Fast Company’s “6 Steps to More Effective Delegation.”
Freeing up time allows most business owners to be more strategic and that is where they can typically add the most value. Many of us judge our week on how many appointments we had or how many hours we billed, but the smart business owners schedule blocks of time to reflect on their business operations and seek out improvements. Delegating can help make those blocks of time easier to find.
Try using these 4 tips to make 2018 the best year ever.