By Christine Stevenson, Business Manager
That's all well and good but, the question now looking forward is, how do we continue on the journey? How do we continue to remain relevant, competitive and successful not only in 2016 but for the next decade?
Here's a few of my thoughts…
I recently heard the saying "Culture eats Strategy for Lunch" and I have to agree with it. Don't get me wrong….strategic planning is very important but without people to work on the plan it's just words on paper. Your people must come first; they are just as important as your clients and you must continue to encourage them to be the best they can be so they want to continue on the journey with you. They are your investment for the future.
As a team it is most important that you live your values every day. Your culture is anchored in your values, the 'beating heart 'of your business. A positive culture is the life blood of the business and this in turn breeds success.
You need to keep 'growing' and engaging with your team by working with them to formulate a learning and career development plan, which will harness a nurturing and educational workplace. This in turn will allow you to offer an even broader range of services or products to your clients and keep you ahead of your competition.
Be diverse. Allow people from all generations, genders and ethnicity to have opportunities for growth in your business, they are your future leaders and will connect with your future clients.
To remain relevant it is essential for you to continue to embrace and invest in technology and systems. Never think that you will ever be up to date, there is always something better the day after you have bought it and your competitors may already have it! Stay one step ahead and learn how best to connect to your clients using technology.
You need to continue to strengthen your client and business partner relationships. Never take them for granted. Work in partnership for the benefit of each other as referrals are the easiest route of attracting new business that you will ever get.
Look for ways to protect the environment that you live in sustainably. This means not just recycling waste products or turning out the lights but by looking after your 'people'. A business that adheres to good practices of engaging and looking after its people is a sustainable one.
And finally …yes you do need a working strategic plan. It might be just as simple as list of 'to dos' but at least it is a plan of some form or fashion. Without it you are looking in the rear vision mirror while others are passing you in the outside lane.
All the best with your business looking forward to 2016 and beyond