Simplify the planning process by focusing on these three questions. This will help refine your efforts and concentrate on the highest potential initiatives. Follow these steps to set the table for a profitable new year.
- What were my biggest successes of the last year? Identify the three best things that happened last year and why they worked, strategically (what consumer problem did it solve, for example). Take this learning and develop the idea further. Quite simply, we want to do more of the best tactics and find ways to improve them next year to make them even more successful. A company can stray from its core by losing focus on what makes them great. We have seen past results when a brand forgets its “reason for being”. A quick review of your promotional calendar with financial performance can be a great launching point to analyze your past results. Successes may be revenue driven, increased profitability or customer satisfaction. Don’t ignore simple tweaks, sometimes they bring the greatest reward.
- What were my biggest challenges last year? It could be competition, staffing, pricing or even your own unsuccessful initiative. Find the three biggest obstacles and ways to either attack them, or avoid them. It could be ending something you currently do solves a challenge. Concentrate on the successes, erase the challenges—simplify the process and focus on building excellence.
- Set three goals that will build your brand and profitability. It could be revenue growth (be specific), improving your margins, building a new profit center or staff training. Executing three goals well is more impactful than a long list of goals which have limited impact. It’s just three goals, not a list, so be sure they will bring solid results to your bottom line.
Set targeted goals for success, define strategies that will propel the needed results, then execute tactics that reinforce the strategies. Don’t get “lost in the woods”, focus on excellence in the programs you pursue. Fewer, Bigger, Better should be your mantra. Have a Great New Year! firstname.lastname@example.org