How can you get your business in shape for 2018? Our managing Director, Claire Kinloch, speaking with over 25 years of experience in marketing and business strategy, gives her top tips for setting up your business for a successful year.

Make sure you understand your business

Many companies excel and grow organically through customer relationship development, listening to customer needs and working with them to develop their offering. However, as businesses grow, they change, and this change can often be subconscious. After a while with more clients, a bigger infrastructure and a bigger team there is often a lack of internal and external clarity about what the business is about, what its offering is, how it is differentiated in the market vis a vis competitors and how it really adds value to its clients. Make sure you understand your business as that is key to helping you develop a clear customer value proposition, brand positioning in the market and succinct messages that can help you communicate with ease, speed and relevant impact. All of which help you build a strong brand that is understood and valued and a business that is sustainable and efficient.

Involve your team

The golden nuggets of any positioning exercise often come from the most unlikely sources. Yes, senior leadership and management teams may have well been responsible for the driving force, creation and building of the business, but often it’s the back office, coal face team who actually understand the intricacies of what makes the business tick and have discreet customer insight that can make a ground breaking difference to your differentiation. Don’t leave them out, bring them all in. As inefficient and time consuming as this may sound, your team and their knowledge is worth its weight in gold and well worth involving in the long term.

Communicate strategy every day

As businesses and team structures become more virtual, dual roles and responsibilities often being necessary to take plans forward, keeping everyone on track and informed is critical. Employees might be working for your company mainly in terms of earning a living, but they are human and they have emotional needs. The most important one in the workplace in my experience is that they feel valued and an easy way of doing this is just to let them know what is happening. Of course, some things cannot be shared if sensitive or confidential, however the more you communicate strategy, the more your team will understand what you are trying to achieve and the more they can then offer ideas and themselves add value and help you achieve your vision.

The start of the year is always full of good intentions, make sure you act on them to set your business up for a breakthrough year.


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