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How a ‘business reset’ could lead to more success

Sueling Ching, Ottawa Board of Trade

As we enjoy the last days of summer, I hope everyone living in or visiting Ottawa enjoy all that our beautiful city has to offer including our greenspaces and plethora of activities and events. Summer was amazing and September remains strong. The fall season is something to look forward to in Canada’s Capital Region. It is a natural time to reflect and rejuvenate our lives, our businesses, and our city.

Now is the perfect time for a “Business Reset”. An opportunity to give yourself and your team renewed focus and energy so you can finish the year strong and set the stage for massive success in the new year.

1. Reflect on Achievements and Challenges

Start your reset by looking at what your business has accomplished over the past year. Celebrate your achievements, big and small, and acknowledge the dedication of your team. Also, identify challenges or setbacks you faced. Reflecting on both successes and difficulties can provide valuable insights for future planning. Consider opportunities to promote your achievements and recognize your team with programs like the Best Ottawa Business Awards. Business excellence inspires our whole community, and the nominations process is a great way to create your story and build your brand.

2. Refine Your Goals + Value Proposition

Next step is to reflect on your business goals for the year. Have you achieved what you set out to do? What needs adjustment or fine-tuning? Use this time to reevaluate your objectives, update your business plan, and set new, realistic goals for the remainder of the year. Engage your team in this process to ensure alignment and commitment to the revised goals. This is also great opportunity to sharpen your value proposition, your purpose, and your culture to ensure a deep understanding from your team and your customers. Consider gathering feedback through surveys, reviews, and direct communication. Use this feedback to make necessary improvements in your products, services, and customer experience. Engage with your customers on social media and through other channels to build relationships.

3. Update Your Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy should evolve to stay relevant in a changing market and align with any new goals. Analyze your current marketing efforts, including online and offline strategies, to determine what’s working and what needs adjustment. Consider new trends and emerging platforms to reach your target audience effectively. A well-planned marketing strategy can drive growth, attract new customers, and top talent. Look for ways collaborate, cross promote, and stand out.

4. Strengthen Your Team

Investing in your employees directly correlates with your business success. Provide training and development opportunities for your team members to enhance their skills and knowledge. This will enhance employee engagement and strengthen your company capabilities. Training can be tailored to address specific areas of business focus and employee interest. The fall season often brings a sense of unity and togetherness. Leverage this with team-building activities or retreats to increase creativity and productivity. Consider outdoor activities to take advantage of the autumn weather and our unique regional greenspace. Check out the Ottawa Talent Summit to learn more about emerging trends, business leader insights and best practices.

5. Evaluate Your Finances

A critical aspect of your reset is a thorough assessment of your financial health. Review your budget, financial statements, and cash flow to ensure you are on track to meet your year end goals. If necessary, adjust your spending, and explore opportunities for additional revenue. Consulting with a financial advisor, mentors and your team can provide valuable insights and help you make informed decisions.

6. Optimize Operations

Efficient operations significantly impact your bottom line. Identify inefficiencies within your processes and workflows and implement improvements. Automation and technology upgrades can streamline repetitive tasks, reduce errors, and save time and money. Streamlining operations can also lead to improved customer service and employee satisfaction. Be sure to take advantage of funding and programs that have been set up to support you, such as the Canadian Digital Adoption Program.

Develop contingency plans and risk management strategies to mitigate potential disruptions. This may include reviewing insurance coverage, creating an emergency response plan, or diversifying your supply chain.

7. Build for the Future

Secure your future with a vision and strategic plan to guide you and your team long term. Then build a culture of adaptability and innovation to leverage emerging trends and opportunities. Stay connected to your business community to build your profile and contribute to the future of the city where your business is based and where your employees live. Look for ways to incorporate inclusive and sustainable practices to drive climate action and community prosperity outcomes. This is the kind of leadership both customers and employees are looking for and gives your business a competitive edge while contributing to a thriving economy.

Cheers to your continued success in 2023!

Yours in prosperity,

Sueling Ching
President & CEO | Ottawa Board of Trade

About the Ottawa Board of Trade

The Ottawa Board of Trade is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan member driven business association. We are the voice of business and a key advocate for economic growth in our Nation’s Capital. Our mission is to cultivate a thriving world class business community in Ottawa by influencing economic development through leadership and partnerships. One that drives affordable, inclusive, sustainable city-building. We represent businesses at all three levels of government and support business growth through relevant benefits and programs. Join us today!