As a business owner, I am sensitive to the time of year we are in now. For many of us, this is the time where we start thinking and strategically planning for 2019 projects. Perhaps you need a new vendor, updated technology and processes or a complete customer experience strategy overhaul. This is the perfect time to plan out these new projects for the new fiscal year. However, for many of us, Q4 can be incredibly busy. Resource constraints do not allow us to be best poised to manage both strategy and current tactical needs.

So, how do we start planning for a successful 2019? Let’s take a look.

Interdepartmental Collaboration

This is not an exercise for solely the CEO and CFO of your company. It is important to get executives from every department on board so that they can provide their input and budgetary needs. It also ensures that your executive team is aligned with your company’s top priorities and goals.

Current State Assessment

Once you have your executive team on board, it is important to assess current state. What worked this year? What did not work? How has your financial health been for 2018? Will the budget change for 2019? If your organization has a long term (ex. 3-5 year) strategic plan, it is also important to review that plan and update as needed. During this assessment, the executive team should also be assessing their respective departments to determine needs. Are your current vendors charging competitive rates and providing excellent service? Did your turnover rate increase again this year? Do you have adequate technology and equipment that your employees need to do their jobs?

Let’s take a look at one potential scenario: your contact center director may determine that you need a new BPO contact center partner to supplement your internal center. Vendor selection and implementation can potentially be a large investment for your organization, but if you find that your customer satisfaction is at an all-time low then it may be moved to the top of the priority list.

Define Small, Specific Goals

Big picture goals such as “increase revenue” and “decrease costs” are great, but can feel overwhelming to a business if they are not broken down into smaller, more specific goals. Let’s relate it to something more personal. If you want to lose weight, it is best to make your main goal “I want to lose 10 pounds in four months.” From there, you can create smaller, specific goals such as “I will exercise four times per week for 30 minutes or more” and “I will eat 1800 calories per day”. These smaller goals will help you reach your main goal. The same line of thinking can be used in planning for the new fiscal year.

Get it in Writing!

This might sound like a no-brainer to some, but you would be surprised at how many do not have a fully documented operating plan for the new fiscal year.  Many companies will have some semblance of a plan but will let it slide to the back burner as the year progresses. If you want to be successful in 2019, the budget and plan for the new year should be at the forefront of the executive team. It is not meant to be a static document – it should be reviewed regularly and updated as situations change.

CH Consulting Group has 250+ years of combined omni-channel contact center and customer experience industry experience. Our team of veteran consultants are poised and ready to tackle the big picture goals that you have for 2019. We would love for a chance to get to know you and learn more about your business—please drop us a line here so we can get in contact with you today!