It’s that time of year again; January has rolled around and everyone is talking about their personal resolutions for 2015…but what about resolutions for your business? Make time this week to reflect on your business successes and failures and consider ways to gain perspective and focus to improve your business this year.

 1. Give your company goals an MOT

Take a look at your 2014 business plan and decide what worked and what didn’t – be brutally honest. Talk to your management team, partners and team members to develop new objectives for 2015 based on your learnings. Ensure your goals are measurable – yes, metrics are important!

Here at Gradwell, we have adopted an annual plan for the entire year that is mapped against activities across all departments, and we ensure that all performance goals are in support of the overall plan. Monitoring objectives regularly is key, so set aside time at least once a month to make sure your teams are on track. Some high volume departments may require weekly, if not daily, checks.

2. Get to know your customers

This is a given; however, some companies think that everything is under control because they asked their customers five years ago what loyalty meant to them or why they initially purchased services from their company. Business needs can and will evolve over time, especially if your customers are retailers or technology types that have to keep up with rapidly changing trends.

It is important to always communicate with and research your own customers, firstly to better serve your existing clients and ensure repeat business, but secondly to understand how to better attract new customers. You must find out what matters to their business.

Surveys, account management reviews and visits to clients are a few easy ways to stay connected and gain key insight at the same time. Aside from great relationship building, you can find out which services really work for them so that you can be sure to deliver just that. This is particularly important in today’s digital world when moving to a new company can be as simple as one click on a competitor’s website.

3. Find out more about your own business industry

Don’t suffer the trap of the ‘I’ve been in this industry for many years so I know everything there is to know’ logic (or lack thereof), as we all know this is never 100% true. There is always something to learn and one of the easiest ways to get involved is to attend conferences or exhibitions. Conferences are a fantastic way to hear speakers discuss everything from legislative changes and industry advancements, to managing team members. It’s a very valuable way to connect with colleagues and experts in your market and to promote your business. You may even walk away from a conference feeling inspired!

If attending conferences isn’t possible you can still get involved in your industry by participating in webinars, online forums and social chatter to find out the hot topics that are currently being discussed.

Trade or chartered associations, as well as national and regional business groups, often outline events on their websites throughout the year so watch website news or events sections for upcoming gatherings. Last, but not least, watch what your competitors are doing. Where are they exhibiting and why? Getting information from them directly during events or from their online event promotion is often easier than you think.

In closing, we could have written many more helpful hints for your business this year, but like personal resolutions, having a few to start the year off right is often better than having too many right away. We’ll blog about various tips and tricks throughout this year so have a great 2015 and watch this space for more conversations with Gradwell. Our next blog will be all about technology for 2015 so you won’t want to miss it!

Curious about Gradwell? Go to www.gradwell.com for more information about business phone services, broadband and cloud solutions.


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