Here we are again. Yes, it’s that time of the year. It’s time to start getting ready for 2023.
If your company has been doing great this year, then this is an opportunity to review what worked, why you have been succeeding in 2022 and build on that, do more of the same and maybe adjust your strategy and add a few more tactics to make sure next year is as good as this one has been.
If things have not gone so great for you, then this is a great opportunity to recalibrate. To turn the page and have a fresh start. Figuring out and discarding what did not work…after learning from it of course. Remember there is no such thing as failure as long as you make it a learning experience. Figure out the things that did work and then develop a new strategy with a new direction and new tactics and go to work on implementing those things on your way to a new and successful 2023.
This is also a great time for you as a company leader to energize the troops and get them excited about a new year and all the great opportunities that it will bring.
But whatever you do, no matter what shape your company is in today, you have to plan. You have to review what happened this year and what you are going to do next year. And then you have to make sure you have some good, clear, easy to use measuring tools to see how you’re doing along the way.
To help make this all-important endeavor as easy as possible for you, here are the steps you need to take right now, to start planning for a great 2023.
- Review where you have been. This means looking back at 2022 to see how you did. What worked, what did not and what needs to be improved.
- Get your operations folks, your Manufacturing, Engineering and Quality leaders to report on their performance for the past year.
- Your operations leader has to report on delivery performance. What were your delivery stats? What is your on time delivery status? What is your current headcount and how many more people is she going to need to meet the forecast numbers that the sales manager is going to predict?
- Have your Quality folks report on your Quality stats: How many rejects did you have and why? How many customer returns did you have and why? What qualifications are up to date, and which ones are going to need to be updated. And which new qualifications are you going to have to earn in 2023 to match the sales departments slate of target accounts?
- The Engineering department needs to report on their technology. They have to review your technology capabilities today and develop your three year technology roadmap to let the rest of the company – especially the sales team – know what capabilities you are going to be able to offer in the future.
- The sales department, particularly the sales manager, has the most to do during this time of planning. The sales manager has to start working with his salespeople to review all of the target accounts from last year. What worked, and what did not? Which accounts grew and which lessened, and which were lost? Then the team has to develop this year’s list of target accounts including account plans for the larger ones. This account plan has to include: What you did with them last year. What their technology is and what it will take to grow them this year. The sales people also have to develop their forecast for this year and give this to the sales manager so that she can create the overall month by month company forecast. This will be given to all of the other departments because their plans for 2023 are completely dependent on what the sales team predicts.
- And finally, the entire company has to work on the company’s strategic direction for 2023. As a team base and based on all the accumulated data they have to decide the direction of the company including what services they are going to offer, what markets they are going to focus on and how they are going to do that.
- Once that is done, once the strategic direction of the company has been developed and agreed upon by the entire management team, it has to be communicated to the entire company. It is important that every single person at every level knows what the company strategy is for 2023.
- Then the company has to develop their marketing plan. They have to decide how they are going to get the word out about the company. How are they going to reach their target audience? How are they going to become well-known? How are people going to know who they are, what they do and how they can be reached? This means developing a good marketing plan including one that uses both analog and digital marketing, from print ads to search engine optimization, from Linkedin to Constant Contact, to a good transactional web site.
- The last step is setting up a system to measure your activity and your results. I recommend a daily dashboard that covers all pertinent activity, and a monthly meeting to review how things are going and to measure actual results to the plan.
If you do all of these things and you do them with serious intentions…you will have a successful 2023. It’s only common sense.