If you’re determined to be more productive and successful this year, you’re not alone. A new year is the most popular time for goal-setting for both individuals and companies. However, only 8% of people who set New Year’s resolutions achieve them, and companies similarly struggle to meet sales and revenue goals during the year. The good news is, with a solid annual strategy, you can buck the trend, double your sales, and meet your other business goals.
Articulate Your Purpose and Mission for the Year
Every year, your annual strategy starts with your company’s purpose and mission. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day grind and forget why you went into business in the first place. Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, take some time to review your purpose and mission and set some goals for the current year. Set aside a few hours at least, or a day or more if possible. This quiet time is essential if you want to set goals that matter.
Review Last Year’s Annual Strategy
Every great annual plan begins with a review of the previous year. As George Santayana said, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” By reviewing what went right and what went wrong with last year’s annual strategy, you can start this year with your best foot forward.
When you look at last year’s results, be sure to include both external and internal influences. The following process is a helpful way to evaluate your previous goals:
- What was the goal?
- Did we meet it?
- What internal, organizational factors helped or hindered the process?
- What external, environmental factors helped or hindered the process?
Don’t fall into the trap of blaming one event or person and moving on. Every goal, whether achieved or not, was influenced by a variety of factors. If you focus on one over everything else, you’ll miss valuable lessons.
Once you’ve reviewed the data from last year, identify any gaps in execution that you can fix or mitigate this time around.
Generate Innovative Ideas
Innovation is an important part of successful, ongoing growth. There are three primary types of innovation:
- Core. Core innovations are efforts focused on making small changes to existing products or making gradual inroads into new markets.
- Adjacent. Adjacent innovations involve leveraging something the company does well in a new space. Proctor & Gamble’s Swiffer product took the idea of a long-handled mop and used a novel technology to change it for a new customer base.
- Transformational. These types of innovations get all the press. They involve creating entirely new offers or new businesses that shake up an entire industry. For instance, Uber and Air B&B are transformational innovations.
Transformational innovations are the most impactful, and they have the biggest chance of helping you double your sales. Work on testing and implementing new and out of the box ideas this year.
Find Champions & Budget for New Ideas
If you plan to innovate, you need to make sure you can implement the new ideas that you find over the long term. Too many companies create a budget for an innovation project without ever setting aside funds to implement the new idea permanently.
To avoid this common mistake, assign someone to be the champion of innovation for the coming year. In addition, make sure that your key leaders and department heads align with the idea of innovation and willing to help with the budgeting of money and personnel to make it happen.
Obviously, an idea isn’t good simply because it’s different. New Coke was a terrible mistake that cost Coca-Cola millions of dollars. After you’ve implemented a new idea, you have to measure results to ensure that you’re getting the success you were shooting for.
Depending on the goal of the particular new process, you’ll have different key indicators that are important to you. Some common ones are new customers, reduced customer complaints, efficiency, increased revenue, and increased profit.
Your champion should report regularly on the results of new ideas so that you can know if your ideas have been successful or not. These reports then become part of next year’s look-back review process. Consider setting up a dashboard that everyone can easily reference.
Review Goals Regularly
Once you’ve set your goals in the annual strategy, you’ll need to revisit them regularly to make sure you’re on track to meet your objectives. Depending on your company and leadership, this could be weekly, monthly, or even quarterly.
The key is to get into a rhythm that works for you and your organization. When you’re regularly reviewing your objectives, you can catch problems before you drift too far off course. You may also find that internal or external changes require you to adjust or even completely rework some of your goals.
Using regular reviews and tweaking your goals as needed will help you recognize and overcome challenges before they derail your entire year. You’ll also be holding yourself and your team accountable to the objectives you set, which significantly increases your chance of success.
You need a winning environment to execute to your annual sales strategy. Don’t settle for slow, incremental gains in this economy. To double your sales with a solid annual strategy, you need a coach to come alongside you. After years of growing a multi-million dollar company, I have what it takes to help you move the needle in your business.
If you’re ready to make 2017 your best year so far, contact me today for a free consultation!