The New Year may be well under way by now, but many of us are still in the mindset of setting realistic goals we can meet for our businesses as we look at the fresh slate that’s in front of us for 2014.
Goals, however, fall under several different categories, and some are easier to set and meet than others. For instance, it’s a lot simpler to say you’d like to make a slight change in your managerial approach than it is to promise yourself another million in sales by a certain date, and it’s a lot easier to meet the former than the latter.
This being a Monday morning, we’d like to avoid the stressful topic of aiming for a major sales increase or huge new client this early in the week. Instead, let’s start with a topic that’s a little easier to digest – and one that comes with the potential to make a huge difference in the way your business is run.
There’s an article at the Intuit Small Business Blog entitled 7 Small-Business Management Goals to Set This Year, which offers some small but effective tips that business owners – or anyone in a management position – can implement in order to make some improvements to the day-to-day operations of their companies.
Here’s a look at one:
Ask your staff for input. Employees can offer invaluable insights into how to improve your day-to-day operations and customer experience. However, don’t ask for feedback and then ignore it. Really listen, and when you hear good ideas, put them into action. If you can’t use an idea, explain why. For example, “I love that promotional idea. Unfortunately, we didn’t include the cost in the budget, so we just don’t have the extra cash flow this month to cover the expense. I will revisit it when we have the money.”
This is definitely something we think should be implemented as part of a company’s culture, and the good news is it’s probably quite a bit easier for small businesses to do it. For our part, we here at AIS consistently seek and value the input of our team on any issues that could have an impact of any aspect of our day-to-day operations. The key, as the article states, is to sincerely listen to what your staff has to say, and utilize good ideas when they appear. This can have the effect of making improvements to your business and the value your employees can add to it.
The article also mentions providing feedback to staff, setting clearer objectives, the important of delegating meaningful work, giving employees autonomy, recognizing hard work, and meeting with employees one-on-one. We’d say to give it a read if you’d like to take a break from long-term business planning and focus on internal goals – the small changes that can make a big difference.
What do you think? Have you set any goals like the ones in this article this year? Do you plan on starting? Your thoughts are always welcome, so let us know!