Don’t Delay, Pivot, Implement
January 24, 2023
January brings all kinds of new thoughts, resolutions, and ideas. It is a fresh start. The slate has been wiped clean and the canvas is ready to be repainted. For individuals, there are new dreams and aspirations to be achieved. For business, it’s the same. While individuals might travel down the same paths without much change, it is different for businesses. They must change. Customers don’t want to see the same products or services. They want innovation, something more practical or efficient, something new and exciting.
Yes, customers not only desire the “latest” of whatever that might be. They demand it. If one business cannot satisfy what customers seek, a rival business is sure to take its place. Business is not about what happened yesterday, but it is about what happens today and what will happen tomorrow. This is where the future of a business is...looking ahead rather than in the past where it has been. When there is a demand for change, a business must meet that demand now, it cannot delay because procrastination for a business can be deadly.
If the pandemic taught businesses anything, it clarified that change is inevitable if a business is to survive the onslaught of daily threats...lack of customers, weak economy, staffing problems, supply chain disruptions, or inflation. So, with January and the fresh start that comes with it, businesses must plan what changes must take place and are most needed that will enable the business to attract additional customers, operate more efficiently, and increase net profits.
Although the planning process and potential changes should theoretically be started long before January 1st, the following are areas that need to be discussed and diagnosed for change regardless of the date.
Marketing - Marketing cannot remain the same. Customers and prospects have to know what the most current products or services are that a business has to offer. Obviously not every product or service will change that a business sells, but customers can lose interest quickly when the marketing message remains the same. Just as products or services need to be refreshed, so does marketing. Plan now for new marketing campaigns that will spark interest in the target market.
Efficiency - There is almost something in every business that can be made more efficient. Whether it is time saved, expenses reduced, errors decreased, or more satisfied customers, these items and many others all equate to dollars in the bank. Every aspect in a business should be reviewed...processes, procedures, sales, ordering, distribution, hiring, customer service, communications, shipping, etc. If it’s in the business, it needs to be reviewed and analyzed. Even a small inefficiency that is found and improved upon will still yield significant results when combined with other improvements. It is the accumulation of all improvements that helps drive a business forward.
Innovation – Whatever a business has to sell, it must always be thinking about how to remain one step ahead of the competition. What is the latest in the industry? What is it that customers and prospects seek most when making a purchase from a particular business? A business must understand the makeup of its primary target market and how to satisfy the current and future needs of that market. With this knowledge, then a business can be innovative in its offerings. Tech companies, auto manufacturers, and medical suppliers continuously innovate on what they offer. Small businesses and SMEs can do the same for their target markets.
After a business makes plans taking into consideration what can and needs to be changed in a business, the next and final stage is implementation. The very best plans of any business must be implemented; otherwise, there is no difference than having no plans at all. Plans and implementation go hand-in-hand. One cannot work without the other.
January gives businesses an opportunity for a fresh start, but that fresh start is not automatic. Consequently, businesses cannot delay in decision making. A business must pivot and change operations as needed, so it is ready to satisfy the needs of the marketplace. It can then move forward into the future by implementing what has been planned.