A New Beginning for 2019


New Year’s is the time for resolutions. It’s when we get to reflect on all things that we could’ve, should’ve done but now have the opportunity to start again and improve in the year ahead. The new year is indeed a chance for everyone, especially employers, to set themselves on a path for greater success.

And, as experts suggest, even if last year was a good year for your business, it’s worth making an effort to make this one better. Here is a compilation of a few helpful tips:

1. Review your business plan.
If you have a business plan from the previous year, review what you did and didn’t achieve — this way you’ll be able to see how far — or how little — your business has come since last January. It also may motivate you to work harder and highlights where you may have set unrealistic goals in the past.

2. Consider your staffing needs.
The people who work for you are one of the most important parts of small business success. But you don’t want to get complacent and assume the few good people you’ve hired already are all you need.

Take time to talk to your current employees and really analyze where your needs are. If you determine new hires are needed, get to work putting together some job ads and starting your search.

3. Check in with your customers.
It’s important not just that you have customers (obviously), but that you work to understand who they are, why they buy from you and what their experience with your business is.

Commit in the coming year to making customer feedback and outreach a priority and put specific plans in place to make it happen. Your business will only get stronger and more successful for putting customer experience first.

4. Revisit your technology demands.
Review your current tech products to confirm whether or not they’re working well for your needs now. If they are, you may not need to change or replace any of what you’re using now, but if your employees find the software you have now
hard to use or feel it’s missing functionality they really need, then it’s time to look at your other options.

5. Give back to your community
Nothing will seed and grow goodwill for you and your business better than giving back to your community. Make this the year that you serve on a committee, be a mentor, volunteer, or make regular donations to the groups in your community that try to make the place you live better.

In this edition of the Business Magazine, we’re not only looking at ways to drive business success in the new year, but also celebrating the MBA members marking milestone anniversaries in 2019. One agency, in particular, Bethesda Lutheran Services, was established in Meadville in 1919 as an orphanage and now, in its 100th year, has grown to become one of Pennsylvania’s leading providers of residential care and other mental health services for children, youth and families.

Plus, we’ll also talk with PNC’s Jim Stevenson about the new opportunities that the bank is involved with for the new year, as well as take a look at what’s worth watching with the 116th Congress in 2019. And don’t miss photo coverage of our recent IMPACT Luncheon, which focused on the economic outlook, as well as tariffs and trade.

The Manufacturer & Business Association is always looking for ways to help its members prosper and succeed. Be sure to check back with us for more exciting events, programs and services!