With 2023 coming to an end and 2024 right around the corner, it’s important for your team to access where they are and set their goals for the upcoming year. Below are some tips to help your team create a business plan and know what is necessary in 2024 for maximum business growth.
What is your vision & long-term goals?
We have an annual team meeting to create a vision statement to identify our goals and aspirations for the upcoming year. We also go back to look at our goals for the previous year to see what we achieved and what we can do to improve. We highly recommend having a team meeting to access and create your vision statement.
If you haven’t made a vision statement yet, don’t let that get in the way of creating a plan for 2024. Have a meeting with all your team leaders and stakeholders to develop goals for 2024 and include the resources you will need to achieve these goals. We learned that it may take more than one meeting to set all our goals.
Begin with a SWOT Analysis
A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats) analysis is commonly used by business to find necessary information that team leaders may not notice in their day-to-day work. It allows your team to evaluate the business without bias and identify what might need to be improved upon or addressed. Here are some more tips on making your SWOT Analysis, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/swot-analysis.
Brainstorm goals based on the SWOT Analysis
Bring your team together and identify your goals by brainstorming. Say any idea that you can think of and write it on a whiteboard or a document that your team can view and edit. It’s important to be open to any idea that someone may throw out. Encourage your team to be as creative as possible, as creative thinking and problem solving is what leads to the most successful ideas.
Set Goals and priorities
After you and your team have brainstormed enough goals for 2024, look through each one and identify which goals should be prioritized. If you aren’t sure which goals should be prioritized, start with those that will help most in the following areas:
- Business growth
- Employee retention and well-being
- Cost Reduction
- Risk mitigation
Once your list of goals is done, 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.). Compare your goals to your current benchmarks and identify achievable yet aspirational goals for 2024
Assign Next Steps & Plan Future Reviews
Once you have your 2024 goals prioritized, start planning for success. Assign your team with tasks and due dates to obtain the objectives aligned with your goals. If you don’t already have a task/project management tool, you can try HubSpot, or simply use a spreadsheet or OneNote document to track tasks, assignees, and due dates. We recommend assigning a leader to track KPI’s and report them occasionally or at the very least at the next meeting.
Before ending your planning session, mark the dates for the upcoming meetings in the calendar so that everyone on your team knows when to be ready. This will add accountability that is necessary for everyone to be fully prepared. You should also ask your team to add reminders in their calendars to check on their tasks periodically. We recommend a monthly planning meeting, although if that is not possible, a bi-monthly or quarterly meeting to review is a must.
Here’s how some Tech 2 Success clients are planning for 2024
By going through your credit card bill, you can likely find subscriptions that you don’t even realize you are paying for. This is an easy place to start cutting your company’s costs.
Here at Tech 2 Success, our clients are going through the following to reduce costs for their business.
- User lists in Office 365, G-Suite/Google Workspace or any other platform your business uses for productivity and e-mails. Businesses who aren’t in the IT space often don’t have a good process for decommissioning users who are no longer with the company. This can lead to hundreds of dollars in monthly savings.
- Inflation has caused insurance rates to rise. This has heavily impacted cyber security insurance for many of our clients. As rates continue to grow, companies should start to carry out strategies, firewall equipment, and services that will help them become in compliance with CIS (Center for Internet Security) Critical Security Controls. By doing this, insurance providers can underwrite a cyber security policy for a small business.
There are three key areas to mitigate risk in your business for 2024. These consist of 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 having service KPI’s in your business, you’ll be able to see triggers that have historically caused issues with clients and proactively communicate with your clients about how you’ve identified the problem 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 are rapidly increasing and primarily attack small to mid-sized businesses, improving and maintaining a company’s cyber security should always align with annual goals. Implementing a proactive cyber awareness training program will not only help create habits that help employees spot and avoid phishing emails (which are the primary method hackers use to gain access to your systems), but will also implement practices in firewalls, multi-factor authentication and endpoint protection.
We’d like to be a part of your 2024 success.
The Tech 2 Success team is available to help you with your 2024 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.