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E Column

The beginning of a new year is usually filled with good intentions and ideas on how to make business better for the coming year. It is, in fact, the perfect time to take a long look at your business and yourself, and think hard about what is working well and what may not be work quite so well.

As business owner or employee, start with your strengths and weaknesses. What are the things that you are doing well (list those first) and then follow up with the things you could be doing better. Ask someone you trust to give you feedback on what they think your strengths and weaknesses are. It is sometimes harder to understand our weaknesses than our strengths, as we tend to play to our strengths but, sometimes, will avoid doing the things that highlight our weaknesses.

Give some thought to how you can improve your skills to better manage the business.

Next take a look at the business and what skills your employees need. Make a list of those skills and put the names of the individual employees next to the skills you believe they possess. Also ask your employees to create their own lists of strengths and weaknesses that can be talked about in reviews or in training sessions.

The list of skills that your employees need can be used in the interview process when hiring new employees. It’s important to hire based on skill sets and getting varied skill sets within the company. This list can also be a great help in letting employees know what is expected of them.

Employees and managers should plan ahead to create a strong balance so that everything runs smoothly.

Make all employees and managers part of the planning process to make sure that everyone is in agreement with what has to be done to become successful.

Finally keep track of written goals you have made for yourself and for what you want to accomplish. Check in with these goals every few months to see how you are doing. As the saying goes, “If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.”

A tip of the glass from me to you

  1. Elizabeth SlaterE Column
    by Elizabeth “E” Slater, In Short Direct Marketing

    A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer’s potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

    Follow E on twitter @esavant and facebook.

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