With the end of 2013 drawing near, it is the perfect time for businesses to reflect on their activities and make their resolutions for 2014. We try to chronicle what businesses must try to pursue in the coming year …
There is nothing more important for a business than looking back at the annual performance of its initiatives at the end of a calendar year and reflecting upon its successes and failures. But just as important as measuring performance is the ability to plan for the future.
Based on recent trends and developments, here are 5 resolutions that we believe will help businesses develop and grow in 2014.
Customers always come first
Rewarding customer loyalty and putting customer service at the forefront of any business’ operations has long been an important aspect of running any business, but remember that there we can always do more.
One of the best ways to ensure customer retention is by initiating a solid system for feedback; if your business hasn’t already jumped on this bandwagon, it is time you do so.
Balance micro-management with autonomy
With management, functioning perpetually extremities never bodes well for employee satisfaction. Remember that a good way to ensuring a good delivery with respect to customer service is by ensuring that your employees are eager to perform their tasks. Choose wisely on what you, as a manager, would like to watch over closely.
Learning to strike a balance between micro-managing your staff and granting a certain degree of autonomy to how your staff operates is the hallmark of a good manager. Teach your employees how to fly, don’t shove them off a tree. Putting faith in your employees will go a long way in helping your customer satisfaction rates improve.
Watch over your finances
Growth is always an important indicator of your company’s performance. But, then again, so is profitability. Business managers and owners must always stay updated on the cashflows of their operations. Being aware of your organisation’s financial well-being is key; it not only helps you understand what the status quo is, but also helps make more relevant accurate decisions pertaining to which direction your company should take in the future.
Speak to your banks, your financiers and all those involved in the day-to-day operations of your business. No matter how strong your businesses are faring financially, in these dark financial times, no one’s bound to be fully secure. Before you decide to make new acquisitions or hire new staff, ensure you understand what they would add to your existing structure and whether the return-on-investment they bring would be worth the sums you invest in them.
The future is now, the future is mobile
Some of us are old enough to remember that period a few decades back when we all came back from a holiday to figure out that our notepads had been replaced with computers. Those of us who didn’t have to undergo that transition often figured out later that our competitors had made that transition at the right time leaving us to play catch-up for the rest of the decade.
No business should make that mistake again. Understanding that the future of all businesses lay in embracing mobile technology is key to establishing a solid foundation for your companies to venture into in the future; it all lies in the rapidly growing world of providing services online to delivering customer service via apps, widgets, e-forms, you name it. Keeping in touch with the realities of how your partners and customers expect services delivered to them ensures that you never go out of style. If you haven’t ventured into mobile technology as yet, 2014 is your year to rectify that.
Green, greener, greenest …
Not only does a ‘green’ business operation show that you care about the world that we share, but also proves that your company is committed to promoting environmental sustainability. At a time where regulations demanding environmental-efficiency are being issued thick and fast, it is imperative on businesses to take the initiative and beat the competition to it.
If you’re thinking that the costs outweigh the benefits in the short-term with respect to initiating a ‘green’ policy, don’t forget that you will have to reform your operations sooner or later. And it will be a lot cheaper to reform now than be forced to turn back the clock later to catch up with market regulations.
Additionally, customers today are keen on being aware of carbon footprints, climate change impact, etc. Initiating environment-friendly practices would help build a strong sense of trust with your customer-base and work wonders for your brand. Remember the word ‘sustainability’. It is here to stay.
Are you a manager or business owner who has a strategy in place for 2014? Share your vision and business resolutions for 2014 with us.
Want to grow as a business manager and leader? We offer a 1-week intensive miniMBA Executive Development Week programme to help develop your insight into leadership and general management with case studies and examples being used to reflect the latest industry trends.
< Principal image, courtesy of ’666isMONEY ☮ ♥ & ☠’ on Flickr / Some rights reserved >
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