The challenge for any organization is to build momentum as a New Year starts off. Remember, whatever is behind us is history – we all start back at “zero” and need to build from there – every month, and every year. So it has been encouraging for me to look at the first two months of 2012 with some solid, positive results!
There are several critical elements to any organizational plan. A solid understanding of your current status is important – your strengths and weaknesses along with knowledge of the competition. Of course you need realistic goals with a strategy to obtain them, then the details of the process you will follow. Sharing this plan with those in your organization is a key element, and then of course the follow through.
Beyond this though, there are several other factors that come in to play. You and your team need to be mentally prepared and excited to begin. The physical pieces need to be put into position, which could mean the addition of equipment, software or even new personnel – or at the least a plan to put them in place as the new growth demands. You will also need the commitment to stay focused even as outside forces challenge the plan.
What are some of the forces that can create challenges? Key changes within your client base, technology changes, personnel changes, your competition, economic crisis, and even weather related catastrophes! Many of these we cannot predict, although it is pretty safe to say you will experience at least a couple of these – even in a good year!
So far in 2012 though, I am pleased to look back on a good start. Our new sales effort has been robust – both Ginny and I are actively presenting to new prospects and sharing our expertise in the market. Our marketing efforts have been strong, as I have focused on within recent posts. Our staff has been engaged in seeking out improvements within production processes and equipment maintenance – as well as planning for investment in new equipment updates. I am also happy to talk with clients that are looking to make a concentrated effort to expand their marketing efforts – after several years of “holding steady” it is now time to become proactive!
In addition to all of this though, there is also a more positive trend to the general business climate. Of course we still hear of the up and down changes to the Greek debt load, but on the whole we have positive job growth, corporate profits and stock market gains. I am a firm believer in good news becoming contagious just as the same can be said of doom and gloom building on itself. Then you factor in a pretty nice, mild winter for much of the country, and 2012 is looking pretty good so far!
What is the key to continued success? Remaining true to your plan and not resting on your past success. Let’s all stick to it…