It might be hard to believe, but 2017 is nearing an end. With the New Year coming fast, there’s an opportunity for your business to finish the year strong. You can kick off 2018 even stronger.But what’s the recipe for success? How do you close out 2017 with the momentum you need to reach new levels of success in the upcoming year?Here are three things to focus on in the last quarter of 2017 to set yourself up for success in 2018 (and beyond):
Schedule one-on-one time with your team
The biggest ingredient in the recipe for business success is people. If you want your business to end 2017 with a bang – and head into 2018 ready to succeed in the New Year – it’s all about your team.Your team members are the people directly responsible for the success of your business, and so if you want your business as a whole to succeed, you need to make sure you’re giving them the attention and resources they need to succeed individually. You need to help your employees battle stress.Before the end of the year, schedule a one-on-one meeting with every member of your team. If you have a larger team, arrange personal one-on-one’s with your department heads and have them meet with each of their team members individually. These meetings should be more than a performance review; they should be an opportunity to learn how you can help each individual team member be more successful.Ask your team what kind of support they need to be more successful in Q4 and the New Year. Are there training opportunities for them to better their skills? Would more one-on-one time be helpful? Is there a new software you could invest in to help streamline their tasks? Figure out what you can do (within reason) to support them and then make it happen. The more you support your team, the better they’ll perform – and the better your business will perform.
Review your growth opportunities
The key to success is learning from your mistakes. And the end of the year is the perfect time to review your past mistakes – and keep them from holding you back in the New Year.Take a look at your business operations for the past year. Were there any missteps? Were there things you might have done differently? Where are the growth opportunities for you in the New Year?The key here is to be honest. Don’t try to sugarcoat anything or gloss over any major mishaps in an effort to make your business (or yourself) look better. The more honestly you can look at your mistakes, the better chance you have of avoiding them in the future.Entrepreneurs have to make difficult decisions all the time, but knowing the areas that need improvement and the growth opportunities within your business will help you determine where you should put your focus and efforts in 2018 – and will keep you from carrying 2017 mistakes with you into the New Year.
Develop a plan for the upcoming year
As the old saying goes, “failure to plan is planning to fail.” If you want to end the year strong – and start the New Year even stronger – you need a plan to get you there.The end of the year is the perfect opportunity to create a roadmap of how you plan to take your business from where you are to where you want to be.Think about your long-term goals for the upcoming year. Do you want to hit a million dollars in sales? Grow your team? Do you want to speak at an industry conference? Whatever your goals are, write them down.Then, take those larger goals and break them down into smaller, more manageable goals. So, for example, if you wanted to hit a million dollars in sales for the year, you’d need to hit $250,000 each quarter – how are you going to get there?If you want to grow your team by 12 people in the next year, you need to hire someone new every month. How are you going to find the top talent and get them on board? If you want to speak at an industry conference at the end of the year, you need to start connecting with conferences at the beginning of the year. How are you going to get on their radar?
Moving Forward into 2018
Work on setting smaller, more manageable goals to work on each quarter. You can break them down into weekly and daily action plans that help you get closer to your goals. So, using the industry conference example, your daily goal might be to research three new conferences every day; your weekly goal might be to reach out to three conference directors each week to set up exploratory calls.Building a blueprint like this will ensure that you have the direction you need to take your business from where it is now in 2017 to where you want it to be in 2018.There are only a few more months left in 2017. So decide now what you’re going to do to finish the year strong, and start 2018 even stronger.