How to Prepare Yourself, and Your Team, for a Great 2015

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Some printers are finding things tough at the moment.
There are certainly some good reasons for this.  Profit margins are being squeezed.  Volumes are declining. Buyers seem to be more and more price focused.
But there’s an alternative view of the industry as well.  It bucks the typical view of our market.

There are plenty of companies that are doing very well

They have found the right sort of customers.  They are making good profits. The future looks bright for them.
How do these companies achieve these results?  Naturally, there is a lot of planning, plenty of creative vision and sometimes a bit of luck. These printers also typically use some careful planning processes as well.
Here are three strategies that I have seen used by successful companies.  They will help you map out where you want to take your company over the next 12 months and beyond.  The first of these does not immediately seem to have anything to do with planning at all.

Be positive

This may seem like a simple thing to say.  It may also seem hard in today’s business environment.  However, the language used in day-to-day communication can make a big difference to the way your colleagues and clients view you.  It’s worth focusing on what you want to happen as opposed to what you don’t want to happen.
There’s one person with whom I have been asked to work on one project.  This person always seems to focus on what is wrong with the project.  I have never heard him contribute positive feedback about anything.
This has the effect of bringing the whole team down. It’s hard to summon up enthusiasm.  If I were a customer of his I would have found an alternative supplier a long time ago.  Positivity is important – especially when planning.  Planning is what we’ll concentrate on in the next strategy.

Focus on key strategies

Write down the three key things you would like to achieve this year.  Make sure they are specific, measurable goals.
For each of these goals, set out 12 stages that need to be completed in order to achieve these strategies.  These become monthly mini-targets.  They ensure that you are progressing steadily towards achieving your year-end goals.
There’s one more thing worth doing to make sure you achieve your goals.

Write down your three goals for the year

You could print out a set of written goals.  Alternatively, you may prefer a mind map or to set out a visual representation of the goals. The important thing is that by writing them out you are committing psychologically to them.
Remember, to share your goals with your team.  You are making a public commitment.  Your team members will help you to achieve these goals.  And, if these are company goals, it’s important that everybody knows about them and starts committing to them.

These three strategies are your roadmap to success

If you put them into practice you have a much better chance of really moving your company forward in 2015. It’s your opportunity to become one of the companies that are making the most of the opportunities out there.

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