Time to think ahead, to 2023. That also means a clear focus on the strategies for your business, and no matter the type of business there are always key themes, some always there and others emerging for the times ahead.
Look back over the last 2 or 3 years. First thoughts: What worked for you? What didn’t? What are your major goals for next year? Have you a business strategy in mind (from ‘what worked?’)? Where will you focus, and why?
Lessons from Covid
Did your business do well during the Covid lockdowns, but is it now slowing down? There were valuable lessons from that time.
For any business wanting to change or grow, it is important to identify its core strengths. These are what make you the company you are and allow you to grow and seek more diverse opportunities.
The company also needs to be resilient, constantly training its team so that they can deliver even when conditions shift, and always on the hunt for new business opportunities. The pandemic, even though it had serious consequences, taught us how to solve complex problems under immense pressure.
Priorities for (Possible) Turbulent Times
You can’t do everything yourself, and if you have not built capacity you cannot scale and grow. Your team also suffers, they need to learn and grow, to have opportunities for advancement. They may make errors, but we all have to start somewhere.
Create Value; Hatch New Business
A valuable business relies not on a person but on good products, sound processes, a competent team, effective technology, and relevance in the market. It is about reaching new customers in new ways and achieving high-margin growth. The objective is to use people, processes, etc to complete the work, so the owner can focus on new activities and improve the value of the business.
Leverage Client Relationships
There may be significant potential inside your existing customer base. Consider if those customers may be in need of new or more of your services. Look at ways to obtain more leads and referrals from them to new customers, and don’t let this activity fall behind if you get super busy.
Understand how you need to present yourself in a digital world. That means having content to show you stand out from your competitors, and that the material reaches a clearly defined target customer. Traditional networking and referral programs will likely be even more valuable, but a digital strategy is increasingly important for those targeting high growth.
Leadership requires us to be prudent and bold. That means being prudent about managing the downside while aggressively pursuing the upside, rethinking opportunities, and developing a trategy for more volatile times. Prepare strategies to suit planned scenarios (faced with a crisis, the best case) and use predicting modelling and forecasts to test your profit and cash flow.
These are key strategies required for growth. There will of course be much more detail and tactics behind these ideas, individual firm priorities meaning more emphasis on some than others. Whatever the goals and business strategies, these priorities will underpin the strategies.