2017 is upon us already and like the start of every new year, we make a list of the things we want to achieve (actually most of us make a mental list and never get to write it down – did you know you are 6 times more likely to achieve something if you write it down….)

As a business owner there are 5 key pillars that you should set actions around for your business, they are:

  1. Finance
  2. Customer
  3. Market,
  4. Efficiency
  5. People & Organisation

 Finance:

Be granular in knowing the exact breakdown of your revenue sources, analyse your last 12 months and note the revenue levels from each source, then set your expected levels of income not just for the year coming but for multiple years…. This way you get a sense of what is going to be a stable income generator for you, what you feel is going to fall off and more importantly what revenue source is going to grow for you. If you want to grow your business in the double digits, the most proven method is to have an area of specialisation on a vertical (sector / niche) or the horizontal (product/service specialisation across multiple sectors). Knowing where your growth is going to come from helps concentrate your marketing efforts, your sales targets and the type of people you need to drive your business forward, not bad insights to have just by setting financial targets.

 Customer:

If you want up to 10% growth, put your prices up! It’s probably been a long time since you did it and most of your clients will be expected it. Want more than 20% growth, then start proper Account Management. Tier your clients according their revenue spend and strategic importance, label them in your CRM and assign each client an Account Manager. See your Tier 1 accounts at least 3 times a year and make sure you consolidate their existing business and take the opportunity to upsell your other products / services.

Want more than 30% growth, then use the profile of your existing Tier 1 and 2 clients to target more of the same. Write down the names of the companies that you want to win and then start working your sales process to get them(write one down if you don’t have one).

 Market:

Knowing the product/service you want to drive your revenue growth and knowing the clients you want to target, pick 3 or 4 proven marketing channels and work them hard, make sure you can track the business won back to the marketing channel you used.

 Efficiency:

A euro saved is a euro earned, set a target to reduce your costs by 3-5%, get someone in your organisation to champion. What IT system can you introduce to make your operation more efficient? The new account management and sales process will definitely give you sales efficiencies!

 People and Organisation:

Note the key tasks that make each department successful, put the names of you and your staff against them, ensure the right people are doing the key tasks, reallocate tasks that are more suited to staff members and assign tasks that have no owners. Only set metrics for staff in relation to the tasks they are assigned, give them affirmation when they get it right and support when needed to get it right.

Celebrate the successes!

Use 2017 to set the right tone for your company, take some of the pillars above and take action. And by the way, Have Fun!