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How to plan for 2024

Control what you CAN – whilst hedging your bets against what you can’t!

By Andy Hofmeyr – ActionCOACH Business Coach

We’re heading towards the end of the first quarter of 2024 and can be forgiven for feeling like it’s all ‘more of the same’. Ongoing corruption, economic volatility and a never-ending loadshedding schedule, coupled with uncertainty around this year’s national elections and the usual knock-on effects. Add to this the continuing geopolitical tensions that further drive costs and exacerbate uncertainties.

It would be understandable if we all threw our hands up in the air in despondency. But that is not going to get us anywhere. ‘Wait and see’ is not a great strategy.

We can all control certain things around us. As business owners, some of the practices that are listed below, partnered with a positive mindset, can see us continuing to build, grow and sustain generational businesses, despite external circumstances.

Where do you want your business to be by the end of 2024?

Determine your goals – right down to your turnover, profit and required resources. And remember, goals by their very nature, are intended to stretch you and have you aim higher than where you currently find yourself. Goals provide direction – helping to ‘steer’ in the right direction, particularly in the face of unexpected crises.

Market. Market. Market.

When the ‘going gets tough’ – the need is often to cut expenses and the temptation is often to cut marketing. NO is the simple answer. Please remember that there is always a delay between activating a new marketing campaign and the resultant effect on sales. So, whilst cutting marketing may not yield an immediate downside … down the line it will! However, ‘market’ smartly. Be sure to test and measure every marketing initiative to allow for constant assessment of what works, or what doesn’t.

Have a plan. Keep the lights on.

Sadly, power outages are a way of life – both now and into the foreseeable future. Make sure you have a plan on how to manage this disruption to avoid unnecessary downtime and the resulting decrease in productivity. Be committed to finding a solution that fits your business and financial resources.

Power to the People

Efficient and effective resources are the lifeblood of any organisation. What can you do over the coming months to ensure that you have the most productive, passionate and competent team players on board?

  • Hire slowly, fire fast!. Give yourself sufficient time to ensure – as far as humanly possible, the most suitable fit for your organisation across multiple spheres. Conversely, do not be afraid to act should an existing employee not be meeting standards. As hard as this can be, the drain on an organisation’s (and team’s) time, productivity and energy is always far harder.
  • How flexible are you? And, how flexible do you allow your employees to be? Are you open to alternate work hours or locations?
  • We live in a richly diverse nation. Are you harnessing the advantages of this within your business? Similarly, is your organisation and culture equally attractive to all genders?
  • It has been a tough few years but your business is not a therapist’s office. However, we should all acknowledge what everyone has gone through and factor this awareness into how we engage and interact with our employees.

Network and Support

As business owners the road can feel lonely. Reach out to other business owners. Network, share experiences and create the opportunity to learn from each other – what worked, what didn’t? We are all in this together and can be a valuable source of support to one another. Leverage any other resources that may be available – from thought leadership articles to books written by business owners detailing their experiences across several areas.

The buck stops with YOU!

As the business owner, the buck stops with you. Always. Not only with the setting of goals but also the communication of these goals to your team. It is up to you to ensure that your team is efficient, productive and know exactly the direction in which they all need to head. And it is up to you to hold those who may stumble along the way accountable – including yourself.

Uncertainty and challenges are not unknown entities – the recent Covid-19 pandemic, years of loadshedding, riots and natural disasters and corruption, to name a few. Now more than ever, we need to focus on the matters at hand whilst leveraging our skills, resources, and experience.

And let us not forget that as South Africans, our mindset is one of ‘never quit’ and our culture is one of resilience and grit.

ActionCOACH is a proud Partner of the NSBC.

More about Andy Hofmeyr

With 20 years’ experience in SMEs as Owner, Director, General Manager, and Exco Member, ActionCoach Business Coach Andy Hofmeyr has experienced first-hand the highs and lows, the pressures, demands and challenges that small and medium size businesses go through in establishing themselves and advancing to higher levels. Before entering management, he operated in the ‘buffer zone’ between techies and business people, playing the role of analyst, consultant and project manager. His qualifications include a BA Honours in Psychology, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Sirdar Applied Director Programme and Internationally Qualified ActionCOACH.

Andy loves working with people to unlock their potential, to help them to become the best they can be, and know he has played a part in their success. He was President of his local networking group, on two occasions, is a member of the BNI Tshwane Regional team, served on a School Board, the Leadership Management Team of a local church, Club & Provincial Committees of various sports and leads a Life Group at his church. He has been happily married for 31 years to his wife and business partner, Lauren, with whom he has facilitated Marriage Enrichment Courses.  They have three daughters.

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