A mistake companies can make is to go into a New Year expecting business to be the same as the previous. In fact, one guarantee we have is that there will be changes along with new challenges.
There are promises of tax reform, new laws that are taking affect and not to mention your incomplete projects. Each of these can easily take a business from its core strategy and cause it to stall early in the year. January can be a good time to set some time aside to review, reevaluate and plan your business goals. Dust off the business plan and see how you executed over the past year looking for improvement opportunities. Self-inspect with an honest Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis and develop appropriate initiatives and mitigation plans. To prime your thinking consider these two areas.
No matter what industry, how large or small your business, how can you provide better value and innovation? In their book Blue Ocean Strategy, Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne talk about value innovation, where “instead of focusing on beating the competition, you focus on making them irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space”. It is true that industries never stand still and they are continuously evolving. How about your industry? Think back a few years observing how it has changed. Hopefully you have come along with it. Do you offer new products or services? How are they delivered and marketed? Do you offer something that makes you the number one choice of customer’s?
A second wave of change making its way through industry is Digital Transformation. This is simply about turning technology into business transformation.
This might include flexible capacity capabilities or cloud and hybrid cloud usage. Both will be at an all-time implementation high this year. The questions to ask are, how do you use technology today and what better ways can you use it in the New Year? The use of tablets to bring point of sale to the customer or product information in the hands of the on-floor personnel are excellent examples. Is it time to upgrade some technology and implement a new style of IT? Lots of questions to ask in this area but be assured, your competition is looking at it. The best to you in 2018.