Happy New Year! As we greet 2016 and get back to work, it’s a great time to reflect on the past year and refocus our business priorities to take advantage of new opportunities. This is especially true when evaluating the successes and struggles of your past advertising and marketing campaigns and how they hit – or missed the mark for your business. Much like personal resolutions we make, often our business goals go by the wayside after a month or two into the New Year. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Think about having a New Year Review kickoff breakfast with your staff. Let them tell you what worked, what didn’t and solicit their ideas for top strategies they feel could better your business processes. Think of this as a fun goal setting session with measurable targets and awards. By working with your team to clearly define goals for yourself and your business this year, your staff becomes part of the strategy team – and not just the implementers. Working with your staff to create “hit lists” of desired achievements and breaking them down into digestible actions will encourage each member to have a sense of ownership and accountability for the success of the business. Scheduling quarterly milestones to work toward (and celebrating them when met) will help empower your team, increase buy-in, and will enhance your credibility as a caring manager. Best of all, reporting in to each other will help you and your staff stay on track and keep the momentum building throughout the year.
We all know the cost to our businesses of human capital. Employees who feel understood and appreciated tend to have more loyalty than those who are looked upon as just “doing a job.” Retaining your best people is a key objective that will increase in value over time. Look for ways to create better relationships with your employees, implementing an open door policy for continuous improvement suggestions on business processes, and clearly defining roles and responsibilities and opportunities for career advancement.
Similar to the New Year Review meeting for your staff, take time to listen to your clients by implementing a New Year Preview meeting. Here you can evaluate past work, and both client and consultant can address past performance, while addressing expectations for enhanced services for the coming year. Ask your clients how you could improve your service. Make sure to follow-up with a brief yet clear needs assessment document and ideas for ways to measure progress. A weekly status report or face-to-face check-in meeting, with a short and meaningful agenda will do wonders in ensuring your communication flow is constant. Take advantage of technology to help set up reminders, send out invites and notifications and plan workflow. Work with your technology department to streamline and automate your business processes to carve out more quality time you can devote to your clients vs. buried in administrative burdens.
Focus this year on communicating with your clients and building a process for connecting with them on a regular basis. And, make sure those communications are not just about the work. Share e-blasts, newsletters, and blogs to offer ideas and updates about your company as a whole. Set up an online feedback form to ask for input on other value added services your clients would like to see.
The start of 2016 is a fantastic time to evaluate the past, initiative new ideas, and to communicate your successes and challenges, which can result in generating more goodwill toward your employees and customers during the coming year.