It’s the beginning of a new year. What better time to plan for a successful 12 months ahead?
All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions
What objectives should you be setting for the new year, and what's the key to achieving them? Focus on planning resources – that means getting the right staff and keeping them motivated, and implementing the systems and procedures that will keep your business running like tight ship.
Related: What major changes are currently evident in the HR industry?
1. Ditch the annual review
Focusing on high-impact priorities will yield results, but laser-like focus and consistent pace doesn’t happen on its own. Ditch the obligatory annual performance review and replace with it with regular, meaningful monthly check-ins.
Ensure every staff member has:
- An up-to-date job description
- Clearly documented Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- A list of high-impact priorities.
Set a monthly status meeting to check on progress and correct the course where necessary.
2. Double down on the sales effort
It’s a tough economy, so make sales a top priority.
- Identify your best opportunity to win by analysing the characteristics of the top 20% of your customer base, then identify a strategy to locate and sell to prospects that match that criteria
- If you have a team selling on your behalf, have face-time with prospective clients – as the owner of the business – to ensure your offering is relevant and speaks to their needs
- Boost your credibility by including customer case studies and testimonials in your sales collateral and on your website
- If you’re not using CRM, now is the time to start. There are many easy-to-use cloud hosted CRM systems, such as Zoho, Saleforce.com and SuagrCRM.
3. Make every day, client appreciation day
While you may be chasing new sales, ensure you nurture your existing customers.
- Build internal systems that institutionalize customer delight, like unexpected small rewards; add activities such as proactive service calls to your team’s KPIs.
Related: How to hit your sales targets
4. Keep a very close eye on your accounts
South Africa is facing a difficult 2016. It’s more important than ever to keep cash flowing.
- Payments: Subscribe to credit vetting services such as Experian or TransUnion, and vet new clients to ensure they are credit worthy
- Keep your collections department on the ball to ensure you’re first in line for payment with debtors.