Post by Amy Blais, contributing Women On Business writer
As the holidays approach and the New Year is upon us, it is natural to seek a fresh start and a need for rejuvenation going into 2009. While some will make resolutions and set goals for their personal lives, I would urge all of you to apply this motivation to your professional lives as well. This is an opportunity to set goals for your business for a whole new year.
There is no question that 2008 has been a rollercoaster of a year in politics, economics, business and beyond. The following are ideas on how to use this time to proactively take control of what next year will bring for your business.
1. Take a Pulse and Be Realistic
Take a pulse of where your business stands. Evaluate the current conditions of your business, employees, clients, prospects, operations and critically assess your financials. Only then will you be able to understand where you can cut and where you need to expand.
2. Prepare Yourself
Try to anticipate the best and the worst scenarios for your business. While the unexpected is always bound to happen, having a strategy to deal with the good and the bad will leave you better prepared for what occurs outside of your control.
3. Set Goals and Priorities
Determine what your goals are for your business next year and prioritize what you want to achieve and what you need to achieve.
- Want to achieve: Attain 10 new clients and secure $10M worth of contracts
- Need to achieve: In order to keep my company alive, I need to gain 2 new clients at the $1M contract level.
4. Develop a Strategy
- If your goal is to increase revenue-what is your plan? Will you increase prices and gain new clients? Come up with a few possibilities so you have choices.
- If your goal is to reduce expenses – what is your plan? Will you reduce staff, decrease salaries, and bring down overhead expense by having employees work from home?
Having a strategy is the only way you will accomplish the goals you have set.
2009 is bound to have challenges but will also be filled with opportunity. Plan ahead and be in control of your company’s future. Learn to navigate the current conditions and leverage your experience to make it a successful year. Wish you a happy holiday season and a successful New Year!