3 Essential Strategies for Entrepreneurs to Triumph in 2024

1. Leverage Technology for Competitive Advantage In today’s fast-paced world, embracing digital transformation is not optional—it’s essential. Invest in technologies like AI, cloud computing, and data analytics to streamline operations and enhance decision-making. This technological edge will not only boost efficiency but also provide deeper insights into market trends and customer preferences.

2. Commit to Sustainability and Social Responsibility Sustainability is no longer a buzzword; it’s a business imperative. Consumers and partners are increasingly drawn to companies that prioritize environmental and social responsibility. Implement eco-friendly practices in your operations and supply chain, and consider how your business can make a positive impact on society. This approach will strengthen your brand and resonate with a growing segment of conscious consumers.

3. Cultivate a Culture of Agility and Continuous Learning The ability to adapt quickly to market changes is a key differentiator in the modern business landscape. Encourage a culture where learning and adaptability are at the forefront. Invest in ongoing training and professional development for your team, and stay open to pivoting strategies when necessary. An agile, well-informed team is your best asset in navigating the uncertainties of the business world.

Top Five Actions for Business Owners before Year End

As the year draws to a close, business owners should take strategic actions to wrap up effectively and set the stage for the coming year. Here are five essential steps to consider:

1. Comprehensive Financial and Tax Review: The end of the year is an ideal time for a thorough financial assessment. Analyze financial statements to identify growth areas, cost-saving opportunities, and patterns that may need attention. This review should go hand in hand with tax planning. Consult with your accountant to understand your tax liabilities and discuss strategies to maximize tax benefits, such as making year-end charitable contributions or deferring income.

2. Strategic Planning and Goal Setting: Reflect on the past year’s achievements and setbacks. Include your leadership team, at Intertech, each member of the leadership team completes a comprehensive survey that we use in our strategic planning. This insight is invaluable for setting realistic and ambitious goals for the upcoming year. Whether it’s expanding into new markets, increasing revenue, or enhancing customer satisfaction, clear goals provide direction and motivation. Align these goals with a revised budget, ensuring it supports your strategic objectives and includes contingencies for unexpected challenges.

3. Technology and Operational Audit: Questions around technology are included in our strategic planning session survey. Are systems and processes as efficient and secure as they can be? What technology upgrades are must haves or nice to haves.

4. Team Engagement and Development: Your team is your most valuable asset. End the year by acknowledging their hard work – a simple gesture of appreciation can boost morale significantly. Also, assess your team’s development needs. Investing in training and skill development not only enhances productivity but also fosters a culture of growth and learning. At Intertech, as team members are defining their goals for the upcoming year, one of the goals is a learning goal.

5. Networking and Personal Growth: Finally, focus on strengthening your business network. Solid relationships can lead to new opportunities and collaborations. Also, invest in your personal growth. Whether it’s a leadership seminar or a course in a new technology, enhancing your skills ensures you remain a dynamic and effective leader.

These steps are more than just year-end chores; they are investments in your business’s future. By taking these actions, you position your business for success in the new year and beyond.

Free Consult

For you that follow “The 100” or my past books, I’d be happy to provide a free hour of consulting on whatever area or need you may have in your business (as the joke goes, if it’s not valuable, I’ll give you 100% back).

Just send me a request on this site’s contact form and give me an idea of what you’d like to discuss.

Let’s hang in there together.

May You Live in Interesting Times

The exponential rate of change and response to the virus, or lack thereof on some fronts, has created an environment of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had many socially-distanced discussions on measures to keep business moving forward and employees informed. Here’s a re-cap.

  • If you don’t have a plan that addresses all aspects of the organization, from classifying top customers by risk level to cash flow projections to potential opportunities in the current environment (think acquisitions of competitors, hiring from distressed industries like travel, or targeting industries going up in the current environment like mortgage brokers), do so.
  • When you have a plan, communicate it with the organization. We’re all overwhelmed with the 24/7 news cycle. People are craving answers and direction.
  • If there are actions you’re considering down the road when some triggering event happens, do it now. From employees on the bubble who need to be humanely let go or the customer whose account is overdue and needs a call, act. Don’t wait.
  • There are tons of articles on how to effectively work-from-home along with how to live well, find some and share with your crew.
  • With teams working remotely and social distancing, remember we are social creatures. Encourage teams to be connected throughout the day with Microsoft Team, Skype, or other platforms.
  • Encourage employees to work through this together. For example, in our company weekly newsletter, we have a new section. In this section, everyone is free to contribute thoughts around dealing with the current situation. Ideas range from tips on staying healthy to Audible’s free offering for kids under 18 to using Target curbside pickup and Amazon Fresh to get household essentials without human interaction.

Stay safe and if I can help you, please let me know.

Top 2018 Posts, Articles, and Resources

Below are my top five resources and posts for 2018:

The 100 Downloads:  A set of 30 templates, checklists, and other tools that support ideas in my book The 100.

Software Development: Being Agile:  Written as a part of a series on software development, this piece covers the benefits of Agile and Scrum.

Father’s Day:  On Father’s Day this year, I wrote a testament to my dad as a father and man.

Getting Curious Gets Results:  Inspired by a Harvard Business Review article, here are thoughts on how curiosity can improve our business and our lives.

How CEOs Manage Time:  Also inspired by a Harvard Business Review article, I share my $0.02 on how to effectively manage time/life.

Below are my top five articles in other publications for 2018:

Strategic philanthropy: Giving back means paying it forward in ways that matter, Minnesota Business Magazine

How to cultivate a work culture that works for everyone, The Business Journals

How to cultivate winning client-consultant relationships, Upsize Magazine

5 ways to increase workplace flow — and happiness, The Business Journals

How to focus your resources on achieving your goals, The Business Journals