The beginning of the year offers a fresh start. A feeling of renewal inspires many people to establish goals around the things they’ve been wanting to do or struggling to accomplish. But New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for individuals.
Businesses can also benefit greatly from a set of resolutions — a supplement to quarterly and annual goals. Even if you’re not a fan of the tradition for yourself, consider what it might bring about for your team and clients. Resolutions support goals and values, providing another layer of focus for your team and opening up opportunities to connect more frequently with the people you serve.
The great thing about a resolution is that it’s flexible: You can make one about anything that matters to you, or in this case, your business.
If you don’t know where to begin, we’re offering five suggestions for what your client-based business could aim to achieve in the new year:
Keeping accurate records that your team can easily update in one central location is key to consistent client interactions, so it should be high on your list of goals for the upcoming year. Most business owners achieve this with a CRM. No doubt, it’s an essential software for professional services businesses.
However, it’s a mistake to think that a basic storage platform for client data is sufficient. Your team needs to know much more than demographics and sale history. At any time, they should be able to access the full picture of what’s going on with a client’s account. This will save everyone time and ensure that your clients feel continuity in meetings and communication.
How to check off this resolution: Use the first quarter of the year to get your business set up with a client work management platform like Accelo, rather than a limited CRM that doesn’t connect your sales, projects, tasks, tickets and more to a client record.
The marginal gains theory says that tiny improvements across many areas can help you achieve greater overall success than taking on massive changes in one area. One of the best examples of a group successfully applying marginal gains is the story of the British Cycling team. Between 2002 and 2008, they made incremental improvements to everything from the weight of their bikes to the comfort of the seats on their bus. By becoming 1% better than the competition at a lot of things, they won Olympic gold.
You may not be coaching an athletic team, but your job is similar. Managing a business means being responsible for uniting each department and person’s goals with your larger business strategy. This year, why not get your team involved in identifying ways they can do things just 1% better? Not only does this approach feel achievable, but it creates what Sir Dave Brailsford, the decorated cycling team’s coach, noted as “contagious enthusiasm.”
How to check off this resolution: To support your team in going after small changes, give them a way to measure the results. With Accelo, they’ll be able to track important data such as billable vs. non-billable time and employee utilization.
Especially if you’re confident in the abilities of each individual employee, it’s far too easy to allow them to work in silos. Aligning with coworkers may be last on their list when they’re each busy checking off endless task lists. And if you have a remote team working across various time zones, collaboration can be difficult.
If this sounds familiar, your business could benefit from a visibility-related New Year’s resolution. Inspiring your team can be as simple as providing them with a single source of vital information about client work, tasks and communication history. Investing in a solution to improve visibility sends your team the message that your company values transparency and sets your business up for more streamlined processes.
How to check off this resolution: The easiest way to give your team a single source of truth is to use a platform that generates everything they need automatically. Accelo users love being able to see a client’s entire history via the Activity Stream because it eliminates unnecessary internal emails and frees up time for important client work.
Work won’t always be exciting, but having too many repetitive tasks is more than just boring — it’s costly. Your team’s productivity can suffer when there’s excess mundane work and not enough seamless connection between workflows.
The solution is to take those tasks off their plate with smart automation. A 2020 report by WorkMarket revealed that 31% of business leaders agree that automation reduces labor costs. This year, your business could reach its next level of profitability if you aim to replace tasks and increase the efficiency of your project work using automation as a business partner.
How to check off this resolution: Set up custom trigger automations in Accelo! One UK tax consultancy nearly doubled its profits and cut costs by 36% by automating tasks with the platform.
Your team no doubt puts clients first already, but doubling down on client retention strategies in the new year could help you win more client work. The most significant of those strategies is universal in human relationships: listening.
When you’re more attuned to what your existing clients want, you’re better equipped to talk to prospects. In turn, you may attract more leads and close more deals. You might even discover that some of your clients aren’t a great fit and focus on the ones who benefit the most from your services and generate the greatest profits.
How to check off this resolution: Gather feedback regularly via automated email surveys, focus groups or forums and individual conversations. Then, be sure to facilitate easy contact via a client portal that features a request form.
As popular as New Year’s resolutions are as a goal-setting tool, they’re just as notorious for being neglected or forgotten about.
When they apply to your business, resolutions need to be upheld. Think of them as promises you make to your entire staff, and find straightforward and repeatable ways to follow through on these worthy ambitions.
Accelo is one of the most powerful tools to have on your side. With its robust suite of products built for sales, projects, ticketing, retainers, billing and reports, the platform simplifies your entire client journey.
Try it out today with a free trial or schedule a demo.