After a fairly turmultuous 2016, a year which was surprising and sometimes shocking, what will the new year bring? If 2016 has taught us anything it is that it pays to expect the unexpected!
In the next couple of years we will see some big changes – perhaps – in the environment in which we do business – or not! We just don’t know.
But whatever happens it is likely that any changes will be difficult to predict and to plan for robustly. This is because many of the decisions our suppliers, customers and staff will be making are likely to be based on their gut feelings rather than facts. Surely the EU Referendum has shown us that!
So what can we do to make sure we ride any storm?
Well, of course, this time of year is the time when many of us make New Year’s Resolutions and promises about what we are going to change in the coming year. Some of us want to be fitter and/or more flexible so our bodies are better able to meet our needs as we get older (I myself have a big birthday this year – 21 is a great age!!). Some of us want to lose the excess weight that seems to have crept onto our bodies over the years without us particularly noticing.
And some of us want to take control of our finances and to strip out unnecessary spend so we are better able to afford the things that are most important to us.
All of these goals are ones we can apply to making our businesses better able to cope with the change which is coming.
Make your business fitter and more flexible by reviewing how you and your team work. Ensure everyone is motivated to work effectively as part of a well oiled machine.
Strip out any surplus fat. Businesses which has been around for any length of time are likely to have areas which need to be slimmed down or stripped out altogether.
Take control of your finances. Look at what you spend your money on and make sure in the future you don’t waste your hard earned cash. A great place to start is to look at your bills to see where easy money can be saved – in particular utilities, rates, insurances, and IT costs.
And, of course, have a clear contingency plan detailing how you will reduce the risks in your business model. Although you may not know how the business environment will change in 2017 you can fortify your business against failure.