We may be just at the start of the New Year, but by now the majority of Americans are already close to breaking their New Year’s resolutions. In business this is the time of the year when companies also make their resolutions, except it’s called a business plan.
While people tend to laugh and shrug off their broken “promises” it’s one thing to do it in your personal life, but in business you need to stick to your plans—unless some major, unforeseen event happens.
Similar to resolutions, which generally revolve around the same things each year, such as “I’m going to lose ‘x’ amount of pounds,” “I’m going to exercise,” “I’m going to be more polite to people,” etc., business plans tend to follow the same well-worn path from year to year—“We’re going to grow by ‘x’ percent this year,” “We’re going to be the best flooring retailer/contractor in our market,” “We’re going to keep up to date on new products, trends, technology and offerings that can help up be more efficient, more professional and/or separate us from our competitors,” etc.
Unfortunately, like personal resolutions, most small businesses—and large ones, too—tend to quickly forget or push to the side some of these plans once the owners and managers get involved in the daily activities it takes to run a company. This is especially true if there are items like remodeling the store (or at least changing it up some), learning about the latest technologies and trends, and so on.
What most owners need to remember, especially in the area of wanting to grow the business, is don’t fret about things you can’t control, like hoping for a booming economy. Instead, figure out actionable items well within your control, like finding ways to educate your employees and other associates, upgrading your computer system to a flooring-specific management program, and other key things that are proven ways to have a healthy, growing and profitable business.
Also consider attending a trade show or two. This is the start of “market season” when some of the industry’s biggest trade shows are held, such as The International Surface Event (TISE), numerous manufacturers’ annual winter tours in various cities around the country, and the various conventions for those affiliated with either a buying group or a particular mill.
At the very least, you should attend the main industry shows, from TISE this month to Coverings in April and others in between. They not only feature wonderful educational programs for you and your staff to learn, these are also the events where you can pick up a truly unique product for your store—one you know your competitors will not have. Going to the national shows allows you to differentiate yourself.
So before your New Year’s plans start getting buried under this week’s paperwork, collecting dust in the filing cabinet or getting “lost” within your computer, break them out and start taking action. This is your chance to grow, so why not take it?