January is the month of fresh starts. It’s a time when we evaluate the previous year and make plans, set goals and commit to improve our personal lives and businesses.
As a business mentor, I’ve found that it’s not enough just to write down some goals or tweak a business strategy. It’s not enough just to make big plans. To really be successful this year, you need to prepare your team to take on new challenges, do more and reach higher levels of success.
Consider Individual Goals and Needs
Your team is made up of individuals who each have their own personal goals and needs. Everyone also has her own idea of what success will look like, and that’s not a bad thing.
Consider what your team members want to accomplish this year. You can do this yourself, have a group meeting or email everyone an anonymous survey, asking what their idea of success for the new year is.
Then, as you formulate your plan for 2016, keep this feedback in mind. A strong, successful and undefeatable team is one that is made up of individuals who feel fulfilled in their own career and life goals.
Get Everyone on Board
You know unity is important, but before you can even work to build this, everyone needs to be on board with your new plan. This means you need to take the time to let your team in on what your hopes for the new year are and what your strategy for success is.
I’ve found that it’s most effective to come to the table with a plan, and then openly take feedback from team members and flesh out a business strategy, or the details for execution, together. This way, everyone takes ownership and is on board.
However, keep in mind that your strategy shouldn’t be made by committee. As the team leader, it’s your job to take initiative, make crucial decisions and guide your team to success.
Delegate Responsibilities Now
Don’t wait until plans start to unfold or until it becomes clear that you aren’t meeting your goals to start delegating responsibilities. This is a sure-fire way to sabotage your own efforts and make things harder for your entire team.
Instead, keep the momentum going after your team gets on board with the new plan by assigning responsibilities. As everyone buys into your plan, they will want to be involved and volunteer for tasks they feel they can succeed at.
Delegate jobs strategically, playing to your team members’ strengths and doing things that let you work less and earn more. Don’t spin your wheels without getting anywhere just because you failed to delegate tasks strategically.
Of course, there are some tasks that are better left to be addressed when other things are completed first, or as they arise. The idea here is to start making plans now and to encourage team members to start taking responsibility and taking steps from day one.
Provide Resources your Team Needs
Part of getting a fresh start includes taking stock of what you have and what you need to be successful. Look at your plan and make sure you have the resources you need to follow through with it.
This is a good time to get feedback from team members who can tell you where they feel they are lacking in resources and what they believe they will need to follow through with their assignments.
Go beyond resources like time and money and consider things like level of expertise, manpower, software tools, connections with key influencers in your industry and knowledge.
In many cases, you’ll need to build acquisition of these kinds of resources into your business plan to ensure you and your team will have what you need as your vision starts to come to life.
There’s nothing like a fresh start, renewed ambition and a team that’s fired up and ready to reach new heights. Taking some time to prepare for a successful year means that you won’t find yourself scrambling to accomplish goals or even worse, unable to execute a solid business plan.
Get in touch with me if you would like help preparing to take on a new business plan, updating your plan or learning how you can set goals that will bring your business to a whole new level this year.