In the midst of all the holiday festivities as 2013 draws to a close, it's important to take time out to ensure 2014 will start on the right track. We share some questions you should be asking now to lay the groundwork for success in 2014:
- What do we need to have in place now to ensure the first two weeks of 2014 get off to a quick start?
- Who will be our ten largest customers in 2014? What are we doing now to capture that business? Do we know what they are planning to purchase, what their funding sources are, what challenges they face and who makes their purchase decisions? If we lost our sales VP or a key sales rep tomorrow, do we have the knowledge in place through the company to keep these sales?
- What is our cash flow between now and July 15? What precautions are in place for April, May and June?
- What are we doing to optimize our tax and investment strategy for this year and next?
- Do our sales people already have appointments set at their next trade shows or are they just planning to stand at their booth and hope people walk by?
- How do we know customers will write a check for the products we are building during the next 6 months? In other words, what are we doing to avoid inertia and instead insure our product offering is evolving to build on the lifetime value of our relationships with customers?
- Do we have the right team in place that will make the numbers we need to give to our board, or is it time to consider contractors, advisors or even new people?
- For pilots happening now, do we have a good understanding of how the product is being used, and how much? How are product pilots being implemented and accepted? And have we identified product champions in each school district, along with a plan to survive any of them losing or changing jobs? Will the results from the pilot be communicated to the decision makers in time to influence this year's budget planning process?
We hope these questions will help guide you into a successful 2014. As you assess your upcoming year, don't hesitate to contact Arc at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance on moving your company to the next level, bolstering your government relations presence, or any of our other services.
(Photo Credit Bart Heird on Flickr)