Business – A Yearly Refresh

Each year, many businesses large and small take some time to consider what they need to do next year.  

It can be as broad as revisiting your vision, mission, your key goals, staffing, performance, products, customer service and revenue and costs.  Or it can simply include only some of these elements.  The idiom, “horses for courses” fits nicely here.  In other words, we all have different ways of working, at different speeds for different types of decisions. 

But, every business (of any size) should consider and answer these three questions:

  1. What is your theme for the coming year?
  2. What would you like to do more of?
  3. What would you like to do less of?

Think of your theme in one sentence.  For example, this is the year of attracting customers.  Perhaps, it could be this is the year of exemplary customer experiences.  Or it could be, this is the year of taking risks to grow.   

This theme becomes your overarching guide – it inspires and challenges everything that you do in your business.  It helps prioritise your resources – people, time and money. 

Let’s use the theme, this is the year of exemplary customer service.  Or even more simply, make it “Great Customer Service”.  This is a good theme as many businesses would argue they already do this.  Do they know?  And, can they do better?  Why bother if we can easily get customers.  

Great customer service is about attracting and retaining customers.  I would think, it is also about feeling good with how you deal with your customers.  Great customer service can help to build a positive working environment – building a positive business brand and supporting and recognising staff.   

For our Great Customer Service theme, the answer to question 2. – do more of, could include the following:

  • checking in with your customers to ensure you know what they really want, and what they like and do not like about your business;
  • using the feedback in the first point to fine tune your internal processes and systems;
  • investigate a loyalty program to retain customers;
  • talk about it in the workplace and encouraging new ideas or bringing your “A Game” to work every day;
  • training or upskilling staff;
  • treating complaints as an opportunity it to improve, rather than laying blame.

For our Great Customer Service theme, the answer to question 3. – do less of, could include the following:

  • less multi-tasking, giving time to properly focus on only a few things;
  • less spending on stuff that does not align with your theme;
  • stopping the excuses and start taking actions to improve;
  • less being scared and holding back, try something new as it may just work (trial it and review);
  • less long meetings – have an agenda and stick to it;
  • less saying Yes when the answer should be No.

So, the conclusion is simply, pick a theme that works for your business and complete questions 2 and 3. Do this with your staff.  And have a great year. 

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