Reassess your Business Priorities for the New Year

Mon, 07 Jan 2013

It’s the beginning of a new year and a great time to reflect upon what was successful and what could use improvement. Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for your business in 2013? A good topic to reflect upon is your business priorities. There’s a lot of truth to the old adage that when you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. Here are some suggestions for reassessing your business priorities this New Year.  


Define your Business Priorities

To define your business priorities it’s good to take a step back and assess where you’re investing your time and energy, then figure out where to focus your attention. Are you engaged in an activity because you enjoy it, or because it serves an important purpose? Many times we do things just because we have always done them that way, or because we haven’t made time to give them a second thought. Too often we’re consumed with getting through the day that we don’t make time to prioritize. Make sure to take the time to define your business priorities.  


Spend your Time & Money Wisely

To get started, think about why you are doing what you are doing. Good business planning must involve setting priorities and working on the most important things first. In business, some of your most precious resources are time and money, and you need to spend them wisely. How you decide to spend these assets is a clear indication of your business’s priorities. Think about ways you can improve on how you spend your time and money, and make sure they align with your overall strategy. Can you delegate something to someone else to free up some of your time? Or are you spending too much money on frivolous things that aren’t fostering growth?  


Too Many Company Priorities Leads to Declining Revenue

According to a recent survey of 2,800 global executives by Booz & Company, most executives (64%) report their biggest frustration is having too many conflicting priorities. The Harvard Business Review’s research shows that “as an executive team's priority list grows, the company's revenue growth declines relative to its peers. Executives with the most focused set of strategic priorities (one to three priorities) were the most likely to say they had achieved above-average revenue growth.” How can you pare down your priority list to ensure that you’re spending your time wisely?  


Figure out Your Competitive Advantage

Think about why you got into business in the first place and what makes people choose your company over the competition. A good place to start is by determining your company’s competitive advantage. This article written by Michael Smith for small business owners can help you figure out whether your company has a competitive advantage. Once you figure that out, realign your priorities to focus on only the activities that  contribute to a sustainable competitive advantage. No business can be good at everything, so list the activities that set you apart from your competition and help your company  to grow. Jettison everything else, be disciplined in following through on your priorities, and you’ll greatly increase your chances of having a successful outcome. What advice can you give other business owners on setting priorities?