As businesses prepare to close out 2022 and begin 2023 with a head of steam, its helps for management to evaluate where they are and identify some goals and objectives for 2023. Here are some tips for setting goals for business growth, creating a plan to execute and identify resources required.
What are your vision & long term goals?
In 2021, we had a great team session to create a company vision statement that we use to begin our goal setting and tie back any goals we create so that we stay the course to achieve our vision rather than develop a bunch of short term goals that are not necessarily in alignment with where we are heading. If your company does not have a vision statement, I highly recommend having a team session to develop a mission statement that is aspirational as well as short and easy to remember.
If you don’t have a mission statement, don’t let that get in the way of creating a plan for 2023. Gather key team leaders and stakeholders and have a session to develop goals for the 2023 and put action items in place to achieve these goals. We learned that one meeting was not enough and needed a second session to effectively wrap up our goal setting meeting.
Begin with a SWOT Analysis
A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats) analysis is a common tactic used by businesses to reveal essential information that leaders may not see in their day-to-day work. It gives the team an opportunity to objectively self-evaluate the business and identify some key items to double down on or some risks that need to be addressed in the planning session. Here is more on SWOT Analysis, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/swot-analysis.
If your company feels like it is constantly “putting out fires” or reacting to everyday issues, a SWOT analysis will help you identify those issues that need to be solved at root cause and create a plan to turn some threats that prevent daily progress into strengths that support achieving goals.
Brainstorm goals based on the SWOT Analysis
By having multiple team members in a meeting, start identifying goals by having a brainstorm session. Throw out any idea that comes to mind and put on a whiteboard or in a OneNote document. Its key to accept every idea and encourage creative thinking. Creative problem solving is what leads to most successful growth concepts and turn arounds in efficiencies.
Set Goals and priorities
Once you’ve brainstormed all your ideas for goals in 2023, identify which goals should be prioritized. If you struggle to identify which goals should be prioritized, simply start with those that will move the needle the most in the following areas.
- Business growth
- Employee retention and well being
- Cost reduction
- Risk mitigation
Once you create your list of goals, identify some KPI (key performance indicators) that are readily available via a simple report or dashboard in one of your systems and simple, meaning easy to understand and read in English. (i.e. New customers signed in month or Top line sales, etc.). Match up your goals to your current benchmarks and establish achievable yet aspirational goals for 2023.
Assign Next Steps & Plan Future Reviews
Once you’ve prioritized and set goals for 2023, start planning for success. Assign some key tasks and due dates to obtain the objectives aligned with your goals. If you don’t have a task management or project management tool, simply use a spreadsheet or OneNote document to track tasks, assignees, and due dates. I recommend assigning a scorekeeper who can keep track of the KPI’s and report them periodically or at least report them at the next scheduled meeting.
Before adjourning your planning session, put the follow up meeting dates in the calendar for everyone to show up with their status vs. their tasks to achieve the company goals. This will add a necessary layer of accountability and even ask the team to add reminders in their calendars to check the goal tasks periodically to keep themselves on track. I recommend having a planning update meeting monthly however if that is unattainable, a bi-monthly or quarterly meeting to review is a must.
Here’s how some Tech 2 Success clients are planning for 2023.
- Office Coffee Service operators are implementing Tech 2 Success’ Integrated OCS E-Commerce platform to grow top line sales. A recent study indicated that by leveraging the E-Commerce platform, operators saw a 30% year over year same store sales improvement hedged for inflation and 68% of customers regularly using the online ordering system to place their orders.
- Companies of all sizes are for the first time having a marketing planning meeting, which includes the same steps for their business planning meetings. They are identifying key resources for improving their company’s marketing strategy.
- Updated website designed for lead generation and search engine optimization
- HubSpot’s CRM (Customer relationship management) platform has everything you need to organize, track, and build better relationships with leads and customers.
- E-mail marketing campaigns to create more positive touch points with the company brand.
Employee retention and well being
- Businesses who work to improve their service staff’s work day will have better retention rates than those who simply use the systems in place to create work schedules and orders. Read this blog post from 2018 written for refreshment services operators that is still extremely relevant on finishing today today and focusing on tomorrow to reduce the amount of issues your managers and service staff need to solve each day. https://www.tech2success.com/2018/02/14/finish-today-today-focus-tomorrow/
- Implementing collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams allows team members to effectively communicate with each other and collaborate with team members on projects.
By going through a credit card bill, you can likely identify items that are being blindly paid for without change and that seems to be an easy place to start with improving your company’s cost to do business.
We have recently seen major increases in all aspects of the supply chain and business services that potentially can be consolidated or right sized to reduce costs.
Tech 2 Success clients are reviewing the following items to reduce costs in their business.
- Review user lists in Office 365, G-Suite/Google Workspace or whatever productivity and e-mail platform you are using to run your business. Very often, businesses who are not in the IT space do not have a good process for decommissioning users who leave the company. This can sometimes lead to hundreds of dollars in monthly savings.
- Insurance rates have risen and since prices have increased due to inflation, so has insurance premiums that are typically measure by top line revenue. This has especially impacted cyber security insurance for many of our clients. As cyber insurance rates continue to grow rapidly, it makes sense for companies to implement certain strategies, firewall equipment and services that will help companies become in compliance with CIS (Center for Internet Security) Critical Security Controls. By complying with the applicable controls and safeguards standardized by CIS, insurance providers can favorably underwrite a cyber security policy for a small business.
Three key areas to mitigate risk in your business for 2023 are supply chain, customer retention and cyber security.
- Supply Chain
- Goals that are indicative of increasing inventory on hand or SKU’s available to purchase have been an ongoing battle since the pandemic began however may be able to be handled more strategically if planned accordingly.
- Customer retention
- By creating service KPI’s in your business, you can identify triggers that have historically caused issues with clients and proactively communicate with your clients about how you identified an issue and how you will solve it rather than wait for an angry call from a client letting you know about data that is already in your system but not being looked at as a daily procedure.
- Cyber Security
- As cyber-attacks continue to increase and primarily target small to mid-sized businesses, improving and maintaining a company’s cyber security should always align with annual goals. In addition to implementing best practices in firewalls, multi-factor authentication and endpoint protection, implementing a proactive cyber awareness training program will help create habits that help employees spot & avoid phishing emails which are the primary method hackers use to gain access to your systems.
We’d like to be a part of your 2023 success.
The Tech 2 Success team is available to help you with your 2023 business planning from a general business, operations, sales and marketing, and technology perspective. Please let us know if you have questions about how to leverage systems and processes to grow your business, improve employee retention, reduce risks and costs in your business.