Many businesses take advantage of a new calendar year as an opportunity to achieve growth. For many, especially in manufacturing and retail, even though they run July to June financially, all of their targets, objectives and incentives are set against the standard calendar year. That means that as the sun comes up on the first of January 2017 the board is wiped clean, no matter if 2016 was the year to celebrate or the year to forget the scoreboard is reset back to zero and you can again have the excitement of the chase, face challenges head on and grab those opportunities for success.
Whether you are just starting a new business, looking to re-brand your current business or product, or perhaps implementing a new strategy or direction, January is a great time to make sure you, your team and your business is in a great position to welcome new clients. Some ideas for getting the first moves on the board:
- Sleep – Research shows that consistently getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night is beneficial. Any more or less can increase your risk for serious conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and even death. Getting enough quality sleep is also key to a healthy lifestyle. Sleep boosts your immune system, manages weight loss, and retains memory. Whether it’s setting an alarm or getting a new mattress, you can take simple steps to help you get seven to eight hours. It’s never too late to practice good sleep hygiene. The Sleep Health Foundation has a great guide to developing good sleep habits http://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/pdfs/Good-Sleep-Habits.pdf
- Eat – By eating little and often your metabolism keeps ticking over all day and you will minimise peaks and troughs in energy levels. Eat breakfast, even though you may not feel hungry or believe you do not have enough time. Eating breakfast helps to kick start your metabolism for the day and also helps to stabilise your blood sugar level. Make sure you eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day and consider focusing on foods containing Vitamins B and C, and Magnesium. You should also try to minimise Caffeine, Alcohol, Sugar, Salt and Nicotine, the consumption of which are all known to strip the body of essential nutrients. https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/
- Move – The benefits of exercise extend far beyond weight management. Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily tasks. Research shows that regular physical activity can also help reduce your risk for several diseases and health conditions and improve your overall quality of life.
- Mind – Studies have shown that picking up a book and reading has health effects that extend beyond the immediate pleasure and relaxation it brings. Reading can improve memory & concentration levels, reduce depression, give you better analytical skills and make you more empathetic.
A great way to dust off the glitter and refocus and energise your team is a New Year Strategic Meeting or as my teams have always called it “The Annual KPI Meeting”. Usually a full day off site meeting (restaurants with a private dining room work well) with direct reports and support leaders. Prior to the meeting, all attendees are provided with a copy of the clearly-defined organisational KPI’s and department KPI’s. I have also endeavoured to include a note (less than a page) on the strategic direction for the next 3 years for the organisation (What the organisation will look like in three years, what products/services it offers, how many customers it services, what the financial performance looks like.)
Each team member completes and returns prior to the meeting a template of what they believe their priority KPI’s are for the year and how much weight those priorities should have. This template is categorised into Customer Results (Customers), People [Learning and Development] Results (Employees), Volume Results (Stakeholders) and Financial Results (Shareholders). There should be no more than 4 core KPI’s and 6 Secondary KPI’s (10 in total) for each team member as any more will lose focus or become unmanageable. An example for the GM Sales could be something like:
Customer Satisfaction score over 85% – 20%
Succession Plan – Build and Develop 2nd Tier Management Structure – 10%
100% of 2017 retail target – 40%
Market share increase to 40% – 10%
Achieve Monthly Mystery Shopping Bonus – 10%
Achieve Budgeted Profit for 2017 – 10%
At the off-site, each team member comes prepared with two presentations: a review of the successes and failures of the prior year (an opportunity to celebrate wins and learn from mistakes) and, their proposed priority KPI’s and what weighting they suggest for each. Each team member presents the first presentation in the morning session followed by a wrap up of the prior year’s results. Then the fun begins. Each team member puts forward their KPI’s and the reasoning for the selection as well as the basis behind the focus weighting. The group as a whole discusses these and suggests changes to targets, KPI’s, omissions and refocusing. By the end of it the manager agrees to the targets and the entire group know what is needed to support that manager to make those agreed targets.
- Clean out the office and ditch outdated files both physical and on computers. Get your whole business to spring clean. Target data storage and especially email. Put up prizes for the cleanest inbox. In the long run this time spent will allow you to decrease delays, increase project productivity, reduce stress in the workplace and may even save you money.
- Also don’t forget that you have current clients to worry about. This is a perfect time to schedule an in-person meeting with current clients and see where they are in terms of New Year goals. These meetings are a great way to keep solid relationships, talk about contracts that may be coming to an end soon, look at opportunities to do more business or collaborate on a joint project. Retention is so important at the start of the year, as it allows you to start the year off strongly and gives you confidence to be hunting for new business.
Happy New Year and THE COMMERCIAL REALITY wishes you, your teams and your business a very successful and prosperous 2017.