As we enter the final quarter of 2023, it’s natural to reflect on the first three quarters and assess if we’re still on track to achieve our goals. For most of us, the past year has been anything but predictable. We have faced several unforeseeable challenges, from lingering pandemic impacts and festering economic uncertainty, to supply chain disruptions. However, as we prepare to face the next year, we must conduct a gut check to ensure we’re heading in the right direction.
Are Your 'A players' Actually 'B Players?'
Your team is one of the most important aspects to consider at this time. Are they still the right fit for your business? Have you given them opportunities to grow and develop their skills in alignment with your long-term goals? How does their current role align with their own personal vision? Having A players on your team is essential, but it's also necessary to ensure they are in the right positions and continuously striving for excellence. I find all too often that as shop owners, the love for our people inspires us to push into leadership those folks who do not meet the minimum skillset and operational knowledge requirements for our specific needs. We must identify whether or not our key players are influencing the company from growth or a fixed-minded mentality. More importantly, are their actions intentional or just along for the ride?
Assess Your Financial Health
2023 may have been a rollercoaster ride for your business, but assessing your financial health and making necessary adjustments for the next year is essential. Are you tracking your expenses and revenue accurately? Are there areas where you can cut costs without compromising on quality? It's crucial to clearly understand your financials to make informed decisions for your business. I recommend you begin this assessment by asking a simple yet incredibly impactful question to those responsible for driving the company's finances — “Is it happening to us or because of us?"
Review Your Customer Base
Customer retention and satisfaction are vital for the success of any business. However, as we make tweaks and changes throughout the year, it is important to communicate to our team that not all customers are our customers. As we move into 2024, it's essential to review your customer base and identify areas for improvement. Are you meeting their needs and expectations? Are there ways to enhance the customer experience? Taking the time to identify who are our intended targets and spend energy on improving our value proposition to them specifically, all while defining clear standards for guiding our nontargeted consumers toward other providers without slamming the door in their faces.
As we approach the end of the year, it can be tempting to put off making critical decisions for our businesses until the new year. However, this procrastination can hinder our growth and progress. Having a sense of urgency and taking action now is essential, so we are well-positioned for success in 2024. Whether pulling the trigger on a team member you know is the wrong fit, reviewing your marketing strategies, or implementing new training programs for your team, don’t delay taking the necessary steps toward achieving your original goals.
The road to 2024 and beyond may not be clear, but continuously evaluating our goals and making necessary adjustments can pave the way for a successful future. So, let’s take this opportunity to reflect, assess, and make any necessary changes to ensure we are still on track. Let's finish strong in 2023 and set ourselves up for an even better year ahead! Remember, embracing transformation and growth may not be easy, but the industry will evolve, whether we like it or not. Let this be a year of change that will set us up for a successful future.