5 Guiding Questions to Ensure a Successful Business in 2024
Most business leaders have already reviewed their 2023 numbers and evaluated whether they reached their goals or not. Most businesses, by now, have also set their 2024 goals and identified what needs to improve. I’ll volunteer myself as an example: My company, Cazarin Interactive, did not meet its 2023 sales goals. However, we have our eyes on the target and are making foundational strides to get there. I’m confident that this fact puts us ahead of many businesses and on the track to success in 2024.
As you enter a fresh start with the new year, it is important to know where your destination is. What does success look like for your business? That question isn’t always so simple to answer. However, it is key to achieve SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals. Define goals with this criteria in mind and you will more clearly understand if you have achieved them or not.
Here’s a hard truth: Unless you know where your destination is, you won’t get there this year. As a business owner or a marketer, you have to set goals and objectives, otherwise there is no direction toward success. To help set those goals for a successful 2024, here are five factors you need to consider:
GROWTH DEFINED: What kind of growth do I want to have in the next 12 months?
There are many potential answers to this question and yours will set the bar for the year. The steps required to make tremendous growth look different than the steps needed to make a 5% increase in profit, for example. Here are some ideas to choose from:
Perhaps you want 2024’s revenue to increase by 20% from 2023.
You may want to expand your customer base to 20 new clients in a specific industry or a new market.
Perhaps you want to launch a new product and break even on its sales by the end of the year.
You may want profit to increase by 30%, which likely involves reducing expenses and increasing productivity.
You may want the value of your existing assets to grow, whether by developing intellectual property or buying/selling the facility you operate from.
It’s easy to say you want all of the above, however, it is important to choose one definition of growth for your company this year and direct your focus on that part of the puzzle. If you do that, trust that all those other goals will begin to fall into place and progress will be made.
RESOURCES TALLY: Do I have the people, talent and/or equipment to achieve the goals I set up?
The growth goal that you’ve set for yourself has to be obtainable, of course. Consider first if you currently have the resources for that growth. A business is typically very lucky if it can answer yes to this question, and it is definitely possible. Sometimes, it’s a matter of maximizing talents that are already seeking more fulfillment from their jobs. Or, you may have equipment that you have not been fully utilizing.
If you do not have the resources or people for that growth, it is time to take some action. Sometimes, eliminating talent that does not fit the growth goal you have established is the difficult, yet necessary step to help you get there. This can often be especially true when increasing profit is the goal.
IMPLICATIONS: What will be the implications of this growth?
Growth isn’t meant to be easy. It can result in a new level of responsibilities, new problems that may arise, more expenses, and more conflict than you used to have. One should expect these implications, whether they happen or not, and be prepared. Some good questions to follow this one up with are:
- Do we need more staff?
- Will there be a shift in business and a higher demand for everyone’s time?
- Do we have the capacity to add more services or products?
If you are acquiring a company, expect there to be some conflict and disagreement from existing staff about your assessments of the financial, operation, and legal aspects. Aligning business processes, cultures, and technologies is not always a seamless transition. Stakeholder communication is paramount, as employees, customers, and partners need to be informed and engaged throughout the process to maintain trust and support. Challenges may arise and flexibility is key in adapting to unforeseen circumstances. All implications of the growth need to be accounted for in advance so that when the growth happens, it doesn’t result in a collapse.
PLAN B: What would be the consequences if I don’t reach that goal?
All great goals have skin in the game, right? What would be the result of a year of untapped potential going by for you? What does it mean for your personal life? Your family? Factoring these details in works as a serious motivation boost.
It’s easy to think about how this growth affects ourselves, but what about your employees? How would your stakeholders respond if you did not reach the goal you set? When presenting your annual report to your employees and/or stakeholders, how do you want that presentation to go?
CONFIDENTIAL: Do you have goals that can’t be shared with others?
Goals such as retirement, selling the company, succession, and exit strategies, tend to be kept private to avoid stirring up fears, resentment, or negative emotions around the company. But as a business owner, consider how these goals play a role or are affected by the growth goals you set. Your growth goals may be what contributes to an earlier retirement, or serve to attract key investors in your company. Keep track of these personal goals separately and compare them with your business goals on a quarterly basis to ensure the work you’re doing is aligned with your overall purpose. After all, your happiness will contribute to the overall happiness and success of your company, so it is important, not selfish, to consider these needs.
My company, Cazarin Interactive, can execute the marketing required to help you achieve your goals. However, if you don’t have plans lined up and your goals set, we cannot achieve that together. Here’s to a successful 2024 ahead with clear goals and objectives set!