We’re now five days in to 2017 and any business leader worth their weight in salt will have plans in place for the next 12 months. Whether you’re looking to boost sales, have a schedule to expand into new areas or want to find a way to deal with problems, this is the best time of the year to look ahead.
Here are some plans shared from some of the best business leaders, profiled in 2016 BBC’s The Boss.
Charlotte Roach, boss of fitness firm ‘Rabble’
It shouldn’t be forgotten that your employees are your most important asset, and wellness at work – ensuring that your workforce is well looked after – has become a hot topic.
Include a regular slot in the working day or week for staff to work out together or alone, followed by a healthy communal lunch. This is a great way of bringing staff together socially, whilst improving their physical and mental health. This leads to a happier, more productive and collaborative workforce.
William Chase, founder of Chase Distillery
If you get to the end of the year without achieving any or all of them, the things you identified at the start of the year were either not important, or you failed to deliver them.
If they weren’t important after all, you called it wrong at the start of the year, which can be just as bad for your business as failing to achieve them.
Always be alive to what is going on with your competition, and with the market uncertainty we’ll experience over the next couple of years this will be even more critical.
Too many people are too insular within their business, and they don’t see who’s in front and, even more importantly, they don’t see who’s coming up from behind.
Lee Biggins, founder of jobseekers website CV Library
Build a team you can rely on. Over the last couple of years, I’ve built up a strong senior management team who I am heavily reliant on for the day-to-day running of the business.
This has helped to give me space to breathe and focus on taking my business to new heights.
Also, take time off occasionally. I think it’s extremely important to completely switch off from work every now and again.
I spent Christmas in Sri Lanka, turned off my emails and focused on me. It means that I come back to work in January – one of the busiest months in our industry – refreshed, focused and ready to tackle the year ahead.
Sarah Wood, chief executive of video ad tech firm Unruly
These are uncertain, challenging times, so businesses need to be brave and not be paralysed by fear of the unknown. At Unruly, for example, we haven’t let Brexit brouhaha put the brakes on our growth – on the contrary, our foot is flat on the pedal, and we’ve accelerated international expansion into India.
It’s also important that you nurture the wellbeing of the team. Make sure your team understands the value they bring to your organisation, and mentor them so they are prepared for the challenges ahead.
Over the long term, the only strategy for an uncertain future is to keep and feed an open mind.
Keep listening, keep learning, keep reading, keep evolving, keep experimenting, keep questioning, keep agile. Only then can you can keep on being at the cutting edge of trends that are reshaping the world we live in.
I’m an optimist at heart and believe that if we build purposeful businesses with collaborative cultures, then rather than worrying about the future, we can help to shape it.