Well, it turns out that the fire, brimstone, and other catastrophes slated for December 21st were somewhat underwhelming. Whether that was because the Mayans messed up their calendar somewhere or because JELL-O truly is the snack of the gods, you can finally breathe easy and part with that bunker you bought. However, that doesn’t mean that now is the time to relax where your company is concerned – far from it! Now is the time to capitalize on the preparations you have made to ensure increased profitability so you can get a leg up on the competition in the New Year.
To begin, consider the overall climate of your industry. For many, the past few years have been pretty bleak. Fortunately, things are beginning to look up and new business ventures have a better chance to succeed since many big players are hesitant to take risks. That being said, you cannot simply take major risks while relying on luck to succeed. Doing so can lead to a business apocalypse of your very own. Move forward in a way that maximizes your odds while still including a margin of safety in case your initiative isn’t successful.
We’ve discussed the idea of cutting costs intelligently, so how do you reintroduce or expand upon business operations with the same level of strategy? To begin, examine your backlog of project data to determine which activities were most profitable, and what best practices can be applied to future endeavors. Barring one-off or highly specialized projects, the odds are that you can reuse many processes that led you to success in the past. This way, you can structure innovative new activities with a minimal amount of risk.
Once you have determined which activities were most successful, and what strategies you can apply to future projects, you can determine new projects. Consider this: when you speak with customers, what do you hear as recurring pain points? It is always better to create a product with a market already identified, and even more so when you already have the trust of a customer base.
Finally, build your team. While the holiday season will soon be over, employees may still take time off in the New Year, or may be swamped when they get back to work. That means that you will need to carefully review time data, as well as scheduled PTO and other activities, to put together a team that can deliver your new initiative. An effective resource management system will aid you greatly in this effort.
Obviously, the paranoia of the business world over the past few years had little to do with the fictional 2012 doomsday scenario, yet now is as good a time as any to push forward and prove once and for all that your business can do more than survive: it can thrive.