Ensure you and your company are prepared for 2018

Ensure you and your company are prepared for 2018

new yearWelcome back. While the weeks after the holidays can be painful at times (we’re all missing the champagne, dessert and naps), this is a perfect time to reflect on 2017 and prepare for 2018 – it’s only just begun! Many make personal New Year’s resolutions – just as important is to make professional plans and goals. The start of a new year brings time to reevaluate, make changes and organize your ambitions.

Take a thorough review of 2017

Think about what you have accomplished throughout the year, and how this was (or was not) aligned with what you projected. Did most of your goals or plans work? What did not?

What about your company’s goals? Sit down with your team and understand what each individual thinks about these questions as well. Their insight is an important part of figuring out what works best, and most people are interested in helping both themselves and their company accomplish more and find the best way to do so.  They will also appreciate that you are letting them share what works best and brainstorm the company’s future strategy.

Make a plan for 2018

Be more digitally focused.

While this has likely been a goal before, every year you should evaluate the way your company is communicating both internally and externally, and see what you can do to improve. Digitally transforming your company is not an easy or quick process, or really one that ever ends, which is why it is so important to continually reassess.

Also ensure not to take on too much or try every new digital project or service made available to you. What works for others may not work for you, and using too many digital tools and strategies often overcomplicates what you are trying to accomplish. A strategy and assessment is needed in order to figure out what is best. Evaluate, research and think through each opportunity for a new digital tool or service, and give some of the best new ones a go.

Network more.

Research conferences, events and meetings for you and your team to attend related to your industry. Include a few that are not necessarily industry-related, but that inspire creativity, innovation and motivation. These kinds of events allow you to meet others, learn from them and potentially gain a new perspective. The best ideas likely are not going to always come from sitting at a computer, but from experiencing something new and speaking with others about their background and views.

Try something new.

This could be or mean just about anything – such as adding a new facet to your business plan, introducing a new product or service to your business model, finding a new way of promoting your company, or suggesting a new format for holding meetings in the office. Doing something new or different will not always work out, but if you do so based on research or after speaking with colleagues and customers, you will know that you tried something different. Nothing will ever evolve or become better if you do not try something new.

While it can be overwhelming to reassess both you and your company’s future strategy, taking on the new year with more focused goals and a clear plan sets you up for success. Make sure to follow through with your professional resolutions – to research and become more digital, to network more, and to try something new.