By Stephen Tweed
What will your 2016 look like? What are you doing to get ready?
I don’t know about you, but I have found over the past 30 plus years in business that the holiday season is a great time for me to step back, review the past year, reflect on my business, and refocus for the coming year. It’s a time to review what is working for you, what frustrates you, and what you would like to do differently.
We close our offices from Christmas Eve to the day after New Years, depending on how the calendar falls. If I’m in town during that time, I usually come to the office in jeans and a sweat shirt. I use that time to clean out old files, throw things away, and sketch out new ideas for the coming year. Sometimes I just sit in the office staring at a white board and imagine what our company could be like and what I’d like to do in the coming year to get there.
If you are serious about taking your company to the next level in 2016, I’d encourage you to do that same thing. Carve out a day without interruption. Sit back and ask yourself some key strategic questions. Then turn the answers to those questions into a do-able action plan for the coming year.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you step back to reflect on your business. These questions fall into four categories; assessment, vision, strategy, talent.
- How do you feel right now about how your business is going?
- What are you most proud of?
- What frustrates you most?
- If you could wave your magic wand, what three things would you fix?
- What have been your greatest accomplishments in 2015?
- What is your vision for the company?
- What do you want your company to look like in five years?
- When will you want to exit your business, and what is your exit plan?
- Why do you do this business? What difference are you making?
- What makes you distinct? How do you differentiate your company from your competitors?
- What are you doing to refine your processes and systems?
- What is your marketing strategy? Is it working? Is your company adding new clients or new hours at the rate you would like?
- How is the performance of your company? How is your revenue growth? How are your gross margins? How is your net income?
- What is the culture of your company? What would you like the culture to be?
- What is your organization structure today? Do you have the very best person for the job in every position
- Do you have a key person who you can talk with, solve problems with, and who can run your business when you are gone?
- What is your caregiver turnover? What can you do to improve employee retention?
This year, I did my annual strategic refocusing early. In August, I had a couple of weeks at the beach in New Jersey to reflect on my business, have some conversations with other industry leaders, and make some decisions about the future.
Since then, we’ve been totally re-engineering Leading Home Care. We’re building a new web site, implementing a totally new CRM system, and getting rid of some parts of our business that were no longer working.
Come 2016, you’ll see a totally new Leading Home Care, and we’ll be introducing some exciting new services, and re-engineering existing services to bring new value to our clients, customers, members, and readers. I encourage you to do the same. There’s a season for everything, and this is a season to get ready for the future.
From all of us at Leading Home Care, we wish you a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a prosperous 2016.