New Year Business Assessment Tips
After the new year, reaccelerating company performance comes with obstacles from sales, accounting, HR, and virtually all other functions. To counteract these complex issues, we suggest assessing these five areas of your company today. In 2021, the pace of business will continue to move quickly. Our firms and companies must be ready to navigate the uncertain landscape.
Assess your HR programs as a contribution to bottom-line performance.
Most importantly, when assessing the value of HR programs, it starts with human capital management. First, how efficient and effective are our recruiters, then how do we develop and manage the talent in-house. Lastly, how is the company leveraging and empowering retained employees, and their developed skill sets to reflect bottom-line performance and shareholder value. The return on investment (ROI) of training programs and effective acquisition practices are critical to gauge performance.
Evaluate your progress in advancing digital marketing efforts.
In our "new" and current external environment, digital marketing is essential to compete. Firms must establish a social media presence, engage with their audience, and develop their brand as an authority in the field. Inbound marketing efforts are more critical in 2021 than out-bound. Leverage ad spend and your marketing budgeting accordingly to ensure your sales budget is met. Remember if you do not have the resources internally, then find a great firm to work with. How are you tracking KPI's and the results of your efforts?
Forecast receivables and cash flow to ensure Capex projects, new products, and other growth initiatives are not delayed.
As financial leaders, it is critical to ensure our capital structure goals are met with cash and reserves at adequate levels given planned expansion levels. Thus, forecasting receivables, measuring monthly cash burn, and accounting for purchases, help track money in and cash out to remain cash positive. The success of Capex projects helps build value into the organization and strengthen the balance sheet. Most importantly, customer retention comes first to maintain cash flow from loyal customer accounts.
How will performance be managed with a remote team?
Managing performance will be no different in a remote work environment than in traditional formats. It starts with setting clear expectations and standards for the staff, with concise reporting guidelines. If we trust individuals to the job they were hired for, it should not matter where they perform their work. However, we must hold everyone accountable to ensure the remote environment is positive and conducive for business success. Set-up regular check-ins, limit redundant meetings and phone calls, and create a positive employee recognition and reward program to cultivate team cohesiveness. Keep it simple in our new environment.
Set aside time each day, week, month, and a quarter to plan for the company and business needs.
In particular, as small business owners, or owner-operators, it can be hard to break away from the "weeds" each day. The needs at the frontline of our businesses are prevalent; however, the most influential leaders protect their time to plan and organize. Through planning and organizing, leaders are giving their companies a chance to improve bottom-line and company performance. Take time to assess the security of your systems, structures, and other resources to minimize potential risks to operations. This practice of planning needs to happen continuously and requires extreme discipline. Lastly, this discipline is ultimately reflected in the manager's ability to control resources and lead the organization.
As you work through this exercise in your own company, we hope it helps you carry out the four main functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Moreover, we stress the importance of taking your findings and daring your company to change!
Happy 2021! We look forward to your success this year.