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Grab the opportunities of a New Year with both hands!

What are you doing to give your business the best chance it has of succeeding and thriving in 2013? Let’s start with making an honest assessment of the health of your company right now:

Are there warning signs that all is not well?

  • How is your cash flow?
  • How are sales?
  • How is your ability to pay debts as they fall due?
  • Are you up to date with Inland Revenue payments?

If you are struggling, take a good hard look at the plans you made 12 months ago. The position your business is in today is a direct result of the decisions you made back then. Were they poor decisions that missed the mark or were they the rights ones but you lacked the will to implement them?

And if your business is doing great, then congratulate yourself on a year well spent, but what about the next 12 months? Now is not the time for complacency. What will it take to improve results, profits and prospects in 2013?

Do you foresee additional threats and weaknesses that weren’t there before?

Ask yourself a direct question – how accountable are you? Do you have your own targets to meet or are you relying on everyone else to deliver? It’s a harsh question I know, but in my experience, those at the top don’t always set the standard for everyone else to follow – and that’s their downfall.

Plans are no good unless they are implemented, they are measurable, and the people responsible for delivering them are held accountable.

So it’s helpful to enlist the services of an independent business consultant; someone to hold a mirror up to the management and ask serious, searching questions.

Here are some ideas that will make a difference, to get you thinking:

What strategies can you implement now to get money into the business?

Look for some quick wins:

  • Can you cross sell or up sell to your existing customers?
  • Can you change your product offering, your pricing, your marketing message?
  • How about introducing a referral scheme to reward existing customers for passing you new business?
  • Who should be responsible for implementing these strategies?

Your staff need to understand what your expectations of them are – have you told them, set them targets and reviewed their progress? If you could improve their performance by 10%, what impact would this have on your bottom line?

Times are tough, so it’s time to get tough. Be clear about your objectives, stay focused, review regularly, and communicate with your teams – having them on board pays dividends that help increase profits.

Above all, everyone should be held accountable – from the top to the bottom – adopt this as your mantra, keep referring to it, and see what a difference it makes.

If you’d like an honest, no nonsense assessment of where you are now, and what you need to do to make a tangible difference to your future prospects, talk to us at Blaze Ahead – we’ll help you see it as it is and take the right action!

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