Is It Time to Start Planning for 2019?

October 15, 2018 by

Are you ready? 2019 is right around the corner. A new year is a good time to introduce change and new goals at your company, because it feels like a fresh start for employees. Regardless of what was accomplished in 2018, you can always set higher goals for you and your business. Here’s how to introduce effective change and set goals for your business and employees:

Open your doors to communication. Talk with your customers about upcoming company changes that may affect them, consider ideas and suggestions from your employees and ask how you can improve the health of your business. As it’s been said before, communication is key. It makes your customers satisfied, employees happy and business successful.

Create SMART goals. Make sure all goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound objectives you wish to achieve.

Break it down by tasks and accomplishments. It’s hard for an employee to meet goals when they aren’t sure how to get there. Communicate specific tasks that need to be completed and what it will look like when these tasks are accomplished. Also, check-in regularly and make sure benchmarks are being met.

Align employee goals with company goals. While personal development is great, goals should align with company goals. Goals should develop employees for mutual continued success.

Find out whom and what is succeeding. Is your competition ahead of you in your market? Are you getting a return on your investments, campaigns and strategies? Take the time to find out what is working and consider altering your approach.

Get in tune with the economy. The status of our economy is important, but it’s also important to look ahead and listen to economic professionals who predict changes. This allows you to prepare as much ahead of time as possible. Spend time focusing on changes in government regulations, taxes and health care.

Be open to opportunities and more ways of thinking. When faced with a challenge, ask your employees for their input. You may hear things you hadn’t thought of yourself, and quite possibly the perfect solution. Also, if someone brings a new idea or concern to your attention, be willing to make changes. The more you listen to your employees and customers, the more positive and productive your work environment will become.

Get your finances in check. Use the new year as an opportunity for a fresh start. Meet with your tax advisor and financial consultants to learn how to best organize your money. This is the best time of year to focus on a less financially stressful year.

Check and verify company data. A successful and stress-free new year relies on having accurate data. So, between now and the end of the year, your payroll department should be checking employee and employer data for accuracy such as Social Security numbers and employee benefits information. Good practices throughout the year guarantee that none of the data you will need to process year-end paperwork is missing.

Keep learning. Educational workshops, webinars and publications will keep you up-to-date on all the modern technology, advertising techniques, focus groups and products. It’s also important to pay attention to the news and ever-changing economy. When you understand what is going on around you and what may affect your business, you can better prepare for changes and challenges. The key to keeping up with your competitors, technology, and customers’ expectations is to grow and learn.

A new year offers an opportunity to evaluate the past year. Look back on what has happened and adjust your company’s course. Did you learn any lessons? How have your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats evolved within the past year? How does your strategy need to adjust in 2019? The turn of the year offers the perfect opportunity to set the company’s course for the next 12 months. Applying these tips will help you achieve your vision and mission.