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3 BUSINESS INITIATIVES TO PROPEL YOU TOWARD YOUR BEST YEAR EVER
It’s the time of year when business owners and their leadership teams sit down to draft up their plans and goals for the coming year. Some businesses use this exercise as a chance to nail down their trajectory, while others engage in the process simply because they feel they have to. If you fall in the latter camp, you could stand to devote a little more time and energy to determine how the coming year will look. After all, it’s hard to guide your teams forward when you don’t have a destination in mind. As a business owner, it’s up to you to set the tone for how the next 12 months will look for your organization. While every company’s goals will be unique, there are a few universal aims that will affect nearly every business in 2019. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three New Year’s resolutions that you should consider adopting. RESOLVE TO RETAIN EMPLOYEES According to benefits-consulting company Hodges-Mace, millennial employee turnover costs the American economy upward of $30 billion per year. The number is so big because recruiting, hiring, and training new team members is an expensive and time-intensive process. Holding onto your talent matters regardless of the economic climate, but it’s especially crucial when the job market is strong. When good people walk out your doors during a talent shortage, you’ll struggle to replace them with candidates of equal caliber. Don’t assume that your staff’s eyes will never wander. According to Fortune magazine, 86 percent of currently employed workers are actively looking for better opportunities. To help keep valued staff in place, you need to provide them with competitive pay, appealing benefits, and a sense of career and personal development. Focus on creating programs that reward tenure and make employees feel acknowledged and appreciated. Otherwise, you can expect to spend large chunks of the year rehiring for roles that have been left vacant. RESOLVE TO DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF In today’s marketplace, it’s almost impossible for your company to offer something your customers can’t get anywhere else. Every product in the world is just a few clicks away, so articulating what makes your company different is a matter of defining your values. If you haven’t already formulated a unique selling proposition (USP), now is the time to start.
A USP provides customers with a brief, compelling snapshot of what makes your business different than your competitors. “Think of a USP as your secret sauce — the special ingredient your business uses to prevent becoming a ‘me too’ company,” says Brad Sugars, founder of ActionCoach. “It’s something that’s truly unique. It grabs people’s attention. It can’t be easily copied. And it offers a clear- cut, marketable benefit to your customer.” Understanding and communicating your USP will increase your chances of attracting new customers this year. RESOLVE TO LOOK FOR WEAKNESSES This one is especially important for businesses that are doing well. If you’re struggling, you already know to look for problem areas and attack them before they cause too much damage. But if you can analyze those weaknesses while you’re growing, you could stop a downturn before it starts. Too many business owners use growth as validation that they’re doing everything correctly. The truth is that no business — not Amazon, not Google, nobody — is firing on all cylinders all of the time. Taking the time to assess where you’re weak when you’re feeling strong is what separates the companies that rise and fall with the market from those that excel no matter the broader economic climate. Here’s a word of caution: When looking for weaknesses, don’t let them overwhelm you or turn you into a pessimist. If your company is doing well, you can fix inefficiencies without making them life-or-death issues. That’s the advantage of proactively solving these problems rather than waiting for them to metastasize. AND THESE ARE JUST THE START There are countless resolutions that will help spur your business to greater heights in 2019. While these are excellent starting points, they’re by no means a black- and-white guide to the best resolutions. You know better than anyone else what will help your business this year, but you have to take the time to think about it and express it throughout your company if you want maximum results.
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