5 Key Steps to Business Success

Most thriving business owners embrace the notion that there is always a better way. There is always room for improvement. These successful leaders are not complacent. In fact, they are proactive and forward thinking. They also follow these 5 key steps to business success.

Step 1: Plan and Prepare

Set aside time to plan and prepare for the year. Conduct an annual, mid-year and end-of-year business plan review. Fall may be the start of your fiscal year if you are primarily engaged in government business. It may also be the start of your third quarter if you follow a calendar fiscal year. Either way, prepare. Reviews should be planned. Schedule time to thoroughly conduct your review. Give everyone who needs to be involved in the process ample notice to prepare. Preparation includes gathering pertinent documentation, such as financial records, business plans and marketing plans.

Step 2: Assess Your Goals

Did you set goals for the year? How close are you to achieving them? What are you willing to do to accomplish them? Are your current goals what you really want? Assessinggoal achievement is an important part of any review. Examine your annual targets and set new goals as necessary. Growth may be slower than expected and goals will have to be modified. On the other hand,it could be a stellar year and you need to set higher targets to encourage momentum. As you implement these 5 key steps to business success, be sure to create a business plan and assess your goals as you go.

Step 3: Evaluate Employee Performance

As you conduct your business review, take time to evaluate employee performance. Be sure that individual goals and objectives align with company targets. Be careful with the F word: Feedback. Be thoughtful and thorough, and provide sensitive feedback to your staff that motivates them to work with you toward attaining your goals. You can use this time to collect feedback on your performance as well. 360° of insight always helps a business succeed.

Step 4: Review Customer Relationships

Are your clients happy? Could you do more or anything differently to meet their needs? What can you do to grow your client base? Take this time to think of new ways to steward your customer relationships. Send out a short survey or make a quick call. Whatever you do, be sure to ask your clients for open and honest insight.

Step 5: Communicate with Your Staff

Once you’ve completed your business review, communicate the findings with your team. Clue everyone in on the company’s health –the outlook for the next three to six months. Your staff may need to make performance improvements, implement new initiatives, or pursue different goals. This is also a great time to offer praise for the good work that was done since the last review.

Follow these 5 keys steps to business success when conducting your annual, mid-year and year-end reviews. Regular reviews of your business provide important information that prompts you to stay the course or course correct.

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