It’s that time of year again. New years resolutions have been made … and some have likely already been broken!
So what are your 2018 business resolutions?
While many of us will have resolved to be healthier, to spend more time with our loved ones, to travel, learn a language or any number of other personal goals … have you made any business resolutions? The new year is a great time to consider what you are going to do differently (that is, better) in your business! Here are some ideas …
Develop a business owner plan
The age old adage that “failing to plan is planning to fail” holds true for all businesses, of all sizes, across all industries. This is perhaps even truer today, given the speed of change and development in many markets. It may be advances in technology that are impacting the way you do business, or incoming competitors like Amazon that are fundamentally changing the way you go to market. Regardless, businesses need to be prepared to meet and actively embrace change. The only effective way of doing so is to develop a strategic plan, with clear actions, responsibilities, and timeframes for delivery. Too many people plan, and then put their plan on the shelf, hoping that it will take care of itself.
Establish a board
Being a private business owner can be a lonely job. There are very few people who can relate to what you go through on a day to day basis. It can be difficult to gain perspective on issues and to inject new ideas into your business. Establishing an effective Statutory or Advisory Board can provide any business with a formal structure to raise ideas and issues, encourage solutions, and drive accountability and outcomes.
Create a succession plan Every business faces succession considerations at some stage, whether the owners are ready or not. It may be an orderly transition to the next generation, handover to key management, a surprise knock on the door from an interested party (or even a competitor), or a trade sale process. For many private business owners, their business is their largest asset, and is often viewed as their retirement nest egg. But all too few know what their business is actually worth, and what the key drivers are that can impact that value.
Work smarter, not harder
Private business owners often fall into the trap of doing what worked well for them last time. Seems logical? Think again. Given the speed of change currently occuring all around us, what worked well yesterday may now be at best ineffective … or at worst obsolete. Working smarter can involve implementing a variety of changes:
– Finding, hiring and keeping the right people, and delegating to them accordingly
– Structuring work processes to cut out wastage
– Identifying new ways to produce and/or bring your product to market
– Leveraging technology to gain you more time
Structure employee remuneration to attract, incentivise and retain
One of the largest problems in any business is attracting – and retaining – key personnel. These are the people you can rely on to treat your business like their own and be completely aligned to your strategy. These key employees are few and far between; once you have them, you need to make sure that you keep them. By ensuring their remuneration is an effective mix of short term incentives (salary, cash bonuses) and long term incentives (profit sharing, phantom/real equity), you can help drive their performance and ensure their long term commitment to your business.
Get back to basics
When times are tough, do what you do best. Take a step back from your business then look at it with fresh eyes. Concentrate on the things you can improve to make a real difference to your bottom line through focus, efficiencies and reduction of wastage. There are many simple things that can be adjusted that can make a substantial difference.
If you think that some these resolutions may be of interest to you, or you need a fresh perspective on working out “where to” for 2018, please contact your Fordham Partner to learn where we can help you add real value to your business, and your life.