Making 2017 more focussed and profitable – 3x Tips for Christmas-New Year

Dec 22, 2016
Posted on Dec 22, 2016

We’re in the Final Countdown – 2 sleeps to go to Christmas!

Now we start the classic Christmas-New Year challenge. This time of year can either be relaxing and rejuvenating, or painful and frustrating.

However, one thing is for certain. It can be one of the most valuable times of the year from a business point of view. Christmas-New Year provides an opportunity to reflect on what has worked well throughout the year – and what hasn’t. It’s a time for quiet reflection with other key business decision makers. It allows us to collectively consider what is most important to us.

If you want to make the most out of this period, and set yourself up so 2017 can be more focused and profitable, here are 3x simple things you can do.

1. Force yourself to Undertake a Stocktake

The team at ABDI have just completed a major review of our programs and operations. We have identified several areas for improvement and fine tuning – and have put plans in place.

The benefit of doing so now is that we can reflect on the finer detail over the break then implement the changes early in 2017 while we have a fresh perspective.

We highly recommend that you take some time out for a forensic review of your own business. What areas have you needed to deal with for some time, but have been in the “too hard basket”? Are there problem staff/personnel issues that require attention? Are there areas around your overall profitability that require refocus? Do your budgets and forecasts badly need to be reviewed and updated?

At the bigger picture level, are there ways in which you can set yourself up to be a leaner, more focussed and efficient operation in 2017 – by identifying areas that are not performing – and trimming the fat?  We suggest doing your stock take around the – by asking yourself how you’re performing around each Pillar.

2. Set specific Goals for 2017

This is not “having a general think about what 2017 will bring”! This is specifically about writing things down that will guide your thoughts and actions in 2017. Also, they can and should be used to look back on at the end of next year – so you can measure progress.

These can be across whatever areas are important to you, but we recommend having some set areas so you can structure your goal setting. These may include:

  • Business
  • Financial
  • Health / Fitness
  • Family
  • Personal

Start with your “Stretch” goal (an ultimate outcome) typically to be achieved over the medium to long term (1-5 years), then develop some SMART (Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Bound) goals that can get you there, over the short to medium term (weekly, monthly, 1 year, 3 years).

3. Have some time off

This sounds obvious, but in agriculture, where work, personal, family, recreation and hobbies all have a tendency to blend together, it’s critical that you take time out from the work side of things. After you’re undertaken the Stocktake, made some decisions about what needs to Change for 2017, and set your Goals and To-Do List, turn the work “switch” off.

What happens is more often than not, when we take time out, the subconscious bubbles away, puzzling out some of the more complex issues in the business, and then we are gifted with the lightbulb moment, where suddenly, it all falls into place.

Personally, I know that when I don’t take time out, it becomes evident that my performance is suffering. The knock-on effect is to my team’s performance, as they all struggle to pick up the slack, and fix up mistakes that should never have been made. That’s human nature – and affects us all!

So … A Big Thank-you!

As 2016 comes to a close, I wanted to say a big THANKS for being part for the journey as we work to empower people to make positive changes in their agribusiness – that will benefit the business owners themselves, their families and their clients.

In 2017, our webinar series and mentoring programs will continue, with more thought provoking topics and specialist business guest presenters.

Looking forward to working together again in 2017.

Gordon Stone
Director – ABDI

Image source: Ben’s Christmas Tree Farm