By Amanda Loveday
For many of us, our day-to-day activities are dictated by the services we provide to our customers – so much so, that we too often forget to think about our own companies. No matter your industry, we all tend to make our customers, clients, board members, or other stakeholder groups our first priority. In doing so, we overlook the most important stakeholder – yourself.
I know this may sound selfish, but it’s true: If you don’t invest in yourself or your company, how do you expect others to invest in you? And how do you expect to provide the best services possible? It’s easy to talk about ‘securing your own mask first’, but it’s harder to actually implement.
So what do these personal investments look like?
Our team members are our greatest asset. If we fail to invest in their continued growth, we won’t retain them, and will lag behind the rest of the booming job market. This can be realized in different ways; from team building exercises, skills building training opportunities, or trade association memberships. While team members will find interest and value in different opportunities, you need to be willing to offer the opportunities that will allow them to flourish.
Unless you are a B2C business, you are probably not thinking about the best ways to communicate with the outside world. You may be communicating to other businesses or your clients, but even those relationships need to be marketed. Do you maintain an active social media presence? Do you have a functioning website? These things are critical when trying to build and tell your business’ story. You could answer, “Yes,” to all of those questions but still need to do more. Every level of involvement has an improvement opportunity. If you aren’t finding a way to be a better steward of your business’s efforts, you can’t expect to grow and succeed. If you’re starting from scratch, it’s ok to start slowly. I always recommend our clients pick one or two platforms to focus on, and get those right before adding to your plate.
Strategic plans sometimes have the reputation of being cumbersome and expensive but they are critical for any successful organization. These plans can help determine the best approach to building your business, launching into a new market or growing your employee pool. It gives you a blueprint for being proactive – rather than reactive – within your organization by setting long-term goals that can guide your short-term decisions. It also allows you to set a sense of direction and efficiency to make your business more resilient. It may not seem like something you need, but trust me, it will make your business more directionally focused.
These investments aren’t easy (and sometimes aren’t cheap, either) – they demand you take the time to do serious reflection and planning, then also see them through to execution. But they ARE effective and necessary to begin the path toward a successful 2020 (and beyond!).
Amanda Loveday, recently named Associate Director of NP Strategy, has a passion for meeting new people and building relationships. It is what has made her a powerhouse in politics and communications. A decade of experience taught her the importance of getting to know the community and how to interact with people, especially those with different personalities and backgrounds. Get in touch with Amanda at (803) 540-2190 or [email protected].