We’re back to work after a festive break and no doubt you’re brimming with energy to pioneer new business development strategies that will make 2019 a success.
You’ve got ideas, dreams and bags of motivation to make 2019 the year your business really takes off. Now, how do you set yourself up for further success in Q1 to continue to smash your goals throughout the year?
Let’s find out together…
New Year, New Goals!
To track your success throughout the year, you want to set goals that are both realistic and achievable. By all means, be ambitious but don’t demotivate yourself later in the year by pushing yourself to reach unrealistic heights.
Use Q1 to get a handle on where your business is going and then use the rest of the year to drive it there.
Look back at what you have achieved in recent years and use this as a basis for what you can expect in 2019. Be sure to consider significant events that will also impact your goals, like Brexit and new regulation in your industry.
How to Plan out Your Year in Q1
In previous years, you might have had a scattered approach to your business and simply gone with the flow. You might not have intended for this to be the case, but as the year went on your well laid plans went awry. Sound familiar?
As a business owner or part of the C-Suite, the best of intentions at the start of the year can quickly be pushed aside as time goes on.
No matter how much you prepare for the workload and challenges of the coming year, surprises will happen! This can be disheartening, but you have to be ready to adapt to the challenges when they come along.
All too often, we end the year by being reactive, instead of proactive. This is a natural progression as the year goes on and we need to change the way we work to prioritise new tasks.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should leave the plan behind! As you try to juggle the new elements, fit them into the overall plan for the year. This ensures that you don’t completely disregard your plan as you take the new issues in your stride.
In terms of logistics, you want to be able to share the relevant parts of the plan with the right people. You can use the likes of Google Docs or Trello to make sure that your teams are working in cohesion with one another.
Creating a visual timeline can also be a great way to show the importance of your plan. Presenting this information as a story with a beginning (launch), middle (tasks) and a successful end outcome will give context to your plan.
If staff understand why they’re undertaking new tasks, they’re more likely to care about the outcome and give their best.
Important Dates for 2019
Brexit is the word on everyone’s lips and the deadline for a deal to be reached is the 29th of March. We’ve been speculating for the last two years on what this means for the UK and this year we will have our answer.
Naturally, this will have a massive effect on the economy and the way we do business. In the run up to Deadline Day, business owners will naturally be cautious about the expenditures and the decisions they make in the coming months. This is a potential make or break time for many businesses!
You should also watch out for the following key dates in the coming year:
- 31st of January – Self-assessment electronic submission deadline for the 2017/2018 tax year.
- 1st of April – National Minimum and Living Wage bands increase.
- 5th of April – End of the 2018/2019 tax year.
- 6th of April – Start of the 2019/2020 tax year.
- 31st of July – Income tax payment due.
- 5th of October – Registration for self-assessment deadline.
Potential Economic Changes
Alongside these key dates, there are also some economic changes in the works that will impact a broad spectrum of businesses in the UK. These changes include:
- Higher thresholds on annual tax earnings.
- Changes to the apprenticeship levy system, including the option to pass levy funds to other employers.
- Apprenticeship levy funds begin to expire as of April.
- Fluctuating Sterling value through the course of the year.
- Increasing culture of mergers and acquisitions changing the landscape of UK industries.
- New government grants to take advantage of.
- Potential recruitment challenges as a result of Brexit.
- Fines from GDPR breaches becoming more serious and frequent.
Keeping your Business on Track
With all of these elements to keep your eye on in the coming year, you might feel a bit overwhelmed!
Don’t worry - there are strategies that you can use to make this more manageable…
- Remember to Delegate – Don’t fool yourself into trying to juggle everything at once; spread out the responsibility. For the big issues, assign tasks to groups and have a senior member of staff report back to you. This means that even when you’re swamped, you’re getting the information you need.
- Manage Your Expectations – Being ambitious is a great trait to have in business, but as the year progresses you might need to manage your expectations. For example, if Brexit has a negative impact on your business, you may no longer be able to meet your projections for the year. Be ready to take stock and reassess your options.
- Explore New Avenues – Through the course of the year, your most profitable services might become less so for many reasons. Be ready with alternative routes and options that you can use to bolster your earnings. Adaptability is key!
- Upskill Your Staff – Free up time in your busy schedule by upskilling staff to take on new responsibilities. Training current staff is often more cost-effective that hiring outside talent, and can even be covered by your apprenticeship levy. Plus, training doesn’t need to eat into their work time – flexible online courses allow staff to upgrade their skillset while shaping learning around their everyday tasks.
Q1 can define your entire year as a business. Make sure that you’re taking steps to create new business development strategies and you’ll stay on-track – and maybe even exceed your own expectations!
Looking to upskill your staff? Our range of flexible online courses will transform your talent and your year.