As Jon Halleen shared in his companion post of this date – What Are Your 2017 Business Resolutions? – the start of a New Year is historically the time that most of us as individuals reflect on the prior year’s successes and failures, creating a short or long list of resolutions. I created a short list, and although I won’t share it here, I am already struggling with one and making headway on the other two.

The discipline and resolve for an individual to effectively change is difficult, but it can be even more challenging inside a business. It is far more complicated, with many moving parts that need to work together to achieve a given set of objectives. It isn’t called a resolution in that context. Rather, it is generally referred to as the year’s Strategic Plan or its Business Goals.

Be it as an individual with a list of resolutions, or a business with a set of objectives, the ability to realize significant measures of desired progress over a time is enhanced by NOT WINGING IT. That entails planning and planning requires a commitment to process, especially inside a business.

Reflecting on the past year, businesses typically engage in some variation of a S.W.O.T. Analysis – identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. From that analysis, strategies and tactical plans are proposed, refined and a short list of actionable initiatives are set in motion. I won’t address all of this in detail. I shall focus on weaknesses and the actionable initiatives.

Through each of these processes – analysis, planning, implementation, and others – it is important to include the expertise and experiences of all necessary resources (internal and external) and to communicate well and openly, focusing on actionable initiatives that resolve gaps, are measurable and lines of accountability are clearly defined. The list of “important things” is almost endless, but these are a great start. Approach each process and initiative with a clearly defined process to achieve specific goals.

Given that our company name is GAPWORX, it can’t be a surprise that we focus on weaknesses, or gaps. We believe that most businesses will achieve the most substantial R.O.I. by mitigating or resolving their most obvious gaps, in company processes or how employees interact with fellow employees, their managers, vendors, or most importantly, their customers.

If those gaps are in customer creation, customer retention, and/or delivering outstanding customer experiences, we can help you enhance what you are already doing well, and fix a troubling customer-facing performance-robbing gap or two. It is what we do best.