The three months leading up to Christmas have been brutal. You’ve worked your bum off and pushed your team to the limit to meet the Christmas deadline. Congratulations, you got through it!
Now it’s time to take advantage of the quiet time to set your business goals. Here are some tips to help you set meaningful goals that will ensure you have your best year yet!
- Review last year
The first thing you need to do is take a good, hard look at last year. You need to ask yourself these questions so that you can plan 2021 with clarity. Identify:
• What work made you the biggest profit margin – why?
• What work cost you the most money – why?
• What type of jobs did you price, time and again, and not win – why?
• Where did your good clients come from?
• What advertising strategies worked?
• The staff who are working well for you and the staff who are costing you money.
• What parts of the business are costing money due to communication and lack of procedures?
• What practices you, yourself are doing that are jeopardising your business?
• Your company culture. Is it where you want it to be?
Take emotion out of it. Spend some time to run the numbers to answer these questions without bias, you may besurprised by the answers.
Now it is time to stop doing what is not working for you. Stop:
• Spending money on advertising that attracts the wrong clients.
• Pricing projects that you have very little chance of winning
• Giving work to staff who are costing you money. It is time to let them go.
• Doing ‘XYZ’ that is jeopardising your business.
It is time to double down on those things that are working for you. The more you focus on something the more results you will see from it.
• Scale up the advertising in the areas that you have identified as bringing in the clients and projects that make you good money.
• Prioritise the quotes that you have a bigger chance of winning. Put the high-profit jobs at the top of the list.
• Promote and encourage staff who are working well for you. Empower them to spread your company culture.
• Look for more staff who align with the company culture you want to have.
Now it’s time to start some new habits. Spend some time to identify new strategies that you think will have a positive impact on your business. This is a good time to think outside the box and set goals that are experimental, pushing the envelope may lead to a big breakthrough.
• Identify new revenue streams
o Clients – If there is a new type of client you want to work for, identify them and set a plan in place to start winning work from them. This new client could be builders, architects, or a specific type of residential client.
o Work – If you want a reputation for doing ‘XYZ’ work, then you need to actively set out to find and win that work. Put a plan in place to start winning more of that work and before long you’ll have a decent portfolio of it.
o Advertising – Identify new ways to advertise to attract the clients and work you want to attract. Don’t leave it up to chance, when you are proactive you are in control.
• Start new habits – It is time to implement new habits that will strengthen your business. Policies and procedures are a good way to clarify a new process. Pick one that you want to ‘fix’, write a policy and focus on making it a habit within the business.
- Map your milestones
There is no point spending a week working on your business goals if you don’t keep track of their success. Once your goals are in place you need to set deadlines for achieving them. Just like setting KPIs for staff, turn your business goals into your own KPIs. Assess these goals as required throughout the year. The best thing to do set targets for each goal and map them on a calendar.
- Get your house in order
Along with setting your business goals, January is a good time to take stock of the everyday resources to ensure they’re up to date and still valid:
o Update supplier price lists – Most suppliers increase their prices in January and July, so ensure you do too.
o Review the terms of trade – Shop around for better prices for bulk sales.
• Review wages
o Are they costing you more than last year?
o Are you meeting the award?
o Now is a good time to increase your charge out rate.
• Review your loans and interest rates – are you getting the best deals?
• Review your terms and conditions – are they still valid?
• Review your office expenditure –
o Is your office efficient? Do you need a bigger/different space?
o Is the printer subscription worth it now you have gone paperless?
o Is your software doing the job?
o Is your accountant still working well for you?
• Preview policies and procedures – do any need to change?
o Review employment contracts
o Conduct performance reviews and set KPIs for the year
• Do an inventory of your machinery, equipment and materials.
Conducting a full audit of your business and setting goals for the year ahead is not a 5-minute job, but it will set you up for a much more successful year. Spend the time to dive deep into the numbers and be honest with yourself about the results. 2021 has every chance to be a bigger and better year than 2020 (let’s face it, that wouldn’t actually be hard!), so don’t miss the opportunity to knock it out of the park!