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What will you do to improve your business in 2017?

It is so much easier to ignore change and keep the status quo. Many people find it difficult to even consider changing old habits. Why bother improving? How can I improve? What’s in it for me? Our minds get swamped with all of the negative stuff and it dampens the positive. If we do nothing, then what happens?

The end of the year is always a good time to reflect on just about everything that happened in 2016 and contemplate what you will do better in 2017. It’s a time to consider the future and your place in it.

Why should I improve my business practices?

Improving your business practices is not just about saving costs or making more money. It also helps your employees to do their jobs easier and become more productive on many levels. It can also improve the overall company moral and happiness of employees. It can make your company a better place to work. It can even attract more customers and help you improve supplier partnerships!

“When your business runs on best business practices, it can have amazing positive consequences.”

It can secure the jobs of your employees and livelihoods of their families. Better run businesses will also allow you to better support your customers to become stronger by leveraging technology and your knowledge of best business practices. In return, that also helps to secure the jobs of your customers’ employees and the livelihoods of their families. Everything is connected in obvious, yet subtle ways! Best business practices are truly important!

So how do you do it?

Here are 10 steps for VARs and MSPs to improve their business practices:

  1. Business Assessment: A good starting point is to know, what you do not know. Take an assessment at www.bestmanageditcompanies.com. The system will automatically provide you with a basic indication of your strengths and weaknesses. If you go through the entire process and complete every section, your test will move into the second phase, where it will be reviewed by actual business coaches. They may contact you for further clarifications in order to complete your report card. The third and final phase will review your public image, web site and social networks to complete your final score. It’s probably the most comprehensive online business assessment exclusively developed for VARs, MSPs and ITSPs. It’s also Free! Gather your team to do the assessment together. (If you prefer not to do our business assessment test online, you can hire a good business consultant to help you do a proper assessment. We can recommend one in your area)
  2. Brainstorm: There are roughly 12 important areas of best business practices. With your free assessment report in hand, brainstorm with your team to explore how you could improve. Remember that brainstorming is a process, whereby you get input from everyone to discuss. All ideas can be relevant! Assign one person (or an independent expert) to document the sessions and develop proper action plans. Assign group leaders who will be responsible for the results. Also, you must have a written action plan with follow up dates and the commitments from your team leaders to get the results you are looking for.
  3. Support: Provide your team leaders with the necessary resources for them to make the improvements and get the job done successfully. You may need to hire professional business coaches to help or you may need to invest in better tools. Monitor interim progress to ensure everything is on target. Ask them what they need to get the job done right. Keep on encouraging and motivating them!
  4. Review: Each team leader will need to present their work and interim results in their area at predetermined dates (monthly to quarterly). Try not to expect or do too much at once. Small steps will eventually lead to giant leaps! Plan to make incremental improvements throughout the year. Gear up for the big review at year’s end!
  5. Feedback: Providing constructive criticism is important. You want to support and encourage the right results. You want to find out why the expected results were not achieved and provide guidance. It takes time to make all the changes so do not expect immediate perfection. Measured improvements, one step after the other, is a good sign that you are making progress.
  6. Team: All parts and roles, small or large are important to the overall success. It takes a team effort to improve a business. When everyone works as part of a team the results can be amplified. It’s not about proving who is a better team leader (that said, it is a good opportunity for management to take notes). Assign various tasks to everyone on your team. Get everyone involved!
  7. Reward: “Thanks for doing a great job” is nice as people love to be praised. But, rewards in the form of monetary compensation is also a good thing! People want to be rewarded for achieving success. You can also do team rewards by going out for dinner to celebrate achievements or some sort of team building fun experience. Competition can also be a good thing so why not hand out actual trophies for best performance?
  8. Practice: Falling back into old habits is an obvious failure. Creating new bad habits is just as destructive. With better business practices in place your team must play their part to exploit its full potential. New employees must be indoctrinated properly into your business practice and culture. You do not want your new found improvements to become rusty.
  9. Nurture: Improving your business is not a single act. It is something that is ongoing. As the times change, you must also adapt. Continue to nurture a culture of best practices, embracing change and team spirit. Nurture your business culture and make it your own. Your best asset is your people. Best business practices is like the “grease” in the moving parts of an engine – it makes everything work more efficiently with less friction.
  10. Embrace Change. Best business practices will not remain best forever. You must monitor and keep adjusting as the situation changes. Embracing change and having a hunger to learn is a good thing. If you are always open, you will stay ahead of the curve and your competition. Develop an attitude of being proactive instead of reactive. It’s also more fun!

What are you planning to improve for the New Year? Take the business assessment test www.bestmanageditcompanies.com as a first step towards having a better run business in 2017! You may get a happier new year!