Soon it will be time to close the books on 2017 and your thoughts are shifting to 2018. Likely, there are some things that went quite well, but if you had a do-over, there are things that you may have done differently. To stimulate your thinking towards next year, here are 4 critical things to consider:
People issues: Do you have the right people on the bus and do you have them in the right seats? If you’re growing, it’s difficult to find top talent. Corporate culture and talent management/development are critical as well as retention. To get the top people, you have to be able to attract the right people.
Execution issues: When it comes to execution, there are 3 questions: What do you want to start doing? What do you want to stop doing? And what do you want to keep doing? The devil is always in the details. Execution is critical in all areas of your business, not just sales, but operations and finance too.
Cash issues: Your ability to increase the flow of cash in your business covers 3 cycles: sales, delivery and billing and payment. Your focus on improving in each of these areas can be on 1) shortening cycle times, 2) eliminating mistakes and 3) improving your business model.
Strategy issues: Businesses are either following a low cost provider strategy or a differentiation strategy. Which of those fit for you business? Most want to follow a differentiation strategy. So, you and your sales people must be able to articulate 3-5 activities that truly differentiate you from your competitors in the marketplace. Do you have a well-crafted elevator pitch? Who are your core customers and where do you find them?
Focusing on these 4 areas will make a significant impact in your business for 2018 and beyond. Start slow and focus on 1-2 areas and best wishes for a record year in 2018!