With 2007 fading fast its about time we focused on what should be important in 2008. Taking the lessons that we learned from the business stories of 2007 – here is strategysqaured.com’s new year resolutions for 2008 – got some of your own? Use the comments section below!
1/ Love your customer
The customer is still king – There were a large number of news stories in 2007 with companies getting significant fines for showing disregard for their customers – check out BA’s huge fine for price fixing or £20M fine for Southern Water for more info. Remember that the customer keeps your company afloat and they can be a Fickle bunch
Resolution: Customer satisfaction as key business goal
2/ Grow a social conscience
2007 has also been the year where the customer is finding it’s social conscience and some firms have struggled to keep up – remember that you don’t just need policies and procedures to be ethically sound but they need to be religiously adhered to – the slightest slip could have dire social consequences and also be a PR disaster!
Resolution: Create ethical policies and procedures that are known by employees and adhered to.
3/Remember that financial markets go up and go down.
2007 was the year of sub prime (was that even a term in 2006?!?!) and financial markets that were turbulent to say the least – people lost their jobs as a result – the dollar took a battering, will 2008 be any better? Housing worries, inflation, oil prices going through the roof – could be more of the same we think!
Resolution: Ensure that the business plan takes account of different financial scenarios.
4/ Become a technology ninja
Resolution: Don’t just spend $ on IT – make sure you understand it and exploit it
5/ Go Green
Business are finding that going green is not only good for the planet but is also becoming a differentiator in customers eyes. We’ve got Green cars, Green airlines, Supermarkets against shopping bags and many many more. Let’s face it environmental consumer issues are here to stay – businesses need to deal with it.
Resolution: Contribute positively to this consumer issue and leverage initiatives where appropriate.
6/ Secure your data!
2007 seems to have been the year for losing customer data. In January we had TJ Max and this was followed throughout the year by further stories – perhaps being topped in the UK with the loss of 25 Million peoples personal data and the data for 3 Million learner drivers
Resolution: Keep data safe and secure!
7/ Big companies keep growing…and growing
2007 has seen big companies get bigger and bigger – merger and acquisition has never been so popular or so sexy! It seemed everyone was getting in on it from Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, to GM, Shell and BAE. It’s hard to find a big company that didn’t gobble up a competitor last year.
Resolution: Look for acquisition targets
8/ Employees still have power
The role of the worker has been under considerable review over the last few years, with increased levels of automation and outsourcing to “cheaper” labor markets. In 2007 we saw the worker fight back through strikes, more strikes, and yet more strikes. With growing financial uncertainty in many markets workers were quick to assert their strength the best way they know how.
Resolution: Keep on the right side of workers!
9/ New Gadgets galore
Ahhhh innovation – you can’t beat it – economies are founded on it and 2007 was no exception – we had the iphone, Airbus A380, Audi R8 and a whole host more killer new products aimed at wowing customers and capturing market share.
Resolution: Encourage innovation
10/ Never too old to learn new tricks
Businesses never stand still and today’s demand for management consultancy supports this – developing business capability is one tried and tested way of enhancing value and facilitating business growth – whether from innovative takes on traditional improvement methods, to exploiting training to instilling Common sense business practice there are loads of ways to develop your business.
Resolution: Expand Training budget, encourage new capabilities