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Yaneek Page Six things to put on your business vision board for 2023

It’s that time of year again when New Year’s resolutions are made and new vision boards are created with the intention of manifesting bold dreams and objectives.

Manifesting risk-taking plans through big-picture imagery serving as constant fixtures for management and staff is nothing new in the world of business. In fact, a simplified illustration or pictorial of a strategic road map, such as the balanced scorecard methodology, is common in large enterprises and organisations around the world.

Several studies have estimated that between 38 per cent and 44 per cent of organisations in North America use the Balanced Scorecard, while others conducted in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria found that over a quarter of all firms have adopted the approach in creating and executing strategy.

However, small businesses often lack the capacity and resources to implement advanced performance management tools for strategy, like the balanced score card. Within this context a vision board for the business, though less sophisticated, may provide small businesses with a helpful visual representation of their strategic objectives for the year, which can reinforce focus and serve as a driving force in the execution of the business mission and goals.

Should you choose the vision board approach to strategy visualisation to increase focus and performance for your business, here are a few things you may want to include for 2023:

1. Competitive strategy

2023 will need to be the year of enhanced competitive measures that can withstand a potentially harsh economic climate, particularly in light of the negative outlook for most economies. The most recent projection from the International Monetary Fund is that most economies will experience no growth, while several will experience negative growth in 2023 with an upturn expected in 2024. Sustained high inflation, unabated by the central bank’s interventions, will continue to strain the pockets of consumers already exhausted from the global pandemic.

Competitive strategy means preparing for the proverbial war in the marketplace for the scarce consumer dollar.

2. Cash-flow goals

One of the major factors that may make or break small businesses in 2023 will likely be liquidity, particularly the ability to maintain positive cash flows that will allow the companies to meet short-term expenses and cover overheads.

It is quite possible that inflation will again exceed the desired ceiling of the central bank, and, therefore, businesses need to carefully plan for this likelihood.

3. Supply-chain objectives

Another significant global projection that will certainly continue to affect the business environment and the bottom line for many businesses is the expectation of supply-chain disruptions and shortages in raw materials and other goods.

Interestingly, many global pundits are encouraging businesses to resist the urge to stock up on raw materials and other items used in trade to avoid a worsening or a realisation of massive shortages.

This will perhaps be one of the trickiest objectives on the vision board to navigate and, therefore, may likely be the centrepiece of a 2023 strategy.

4. Novel and innovative customer experiences

A common prediction for 2023 among futurists is that customers will be expecting and demanding more of businesses in the way of experiences, service, and value, which is expected to create new opportunities and also pressures on businesses to deliver.

The global pandemic has caused several major shifts in customer-buying patterns, and particularly, buying behaviour, with a progressively higher demand for immersive digital experiences, enhanced e-commerce, and faster delivery of goods and services.

It would, therefore, not be enough for businesses to plan for modest improvements in customer service. Instead, radical transformation may be required to compete soon.

5. Digital transformation advancement

In line with new customer expectations and demands and an aggressive competitive landscape that is now heavily reliant on technology to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and strengthen competitive advantage, accelerated digital transformation must be on the vision board for small businesses in 2023.

Digital transformation is not simply the adoption of technology in business. Instead it is a revolutionising of the business model and workplace culture, facilitated by digitisation and technology.

One of the major trends is the progressive and enhanced use of artificial intelligence. It is important to bear in mind, therefore, that whereas Jamaica is in its infancy of digital transformation, many countries are advancing in the adoption of solutions that blend deep learning and machine-learning tools together with symbolic artificial intelligence or AI that emulate human intuition.

This radical advancement has the potential to revolutionise industry, but unfortunately, simultaneously, threaten many small business and jobs in the process.

6. Diversification game plan for income streams and customer base

Given that 2023 will be a year of navigating high risk for many businesses and stretching them to mitigate and myriad factors that could negatively affect operations, profitability, and even viability, a comprehensive 2023 vision board should include a diversification game plan.

This plan should encompass tactics for expansion in income-producing possibilities in more progressive fields and industries, diversification in markets and customer segments, including export of goods and services and reduced reliance on the small Jamaican market.

Ultimately, the minimum requirement is strategic actions to improve resilience and prepare for the anticipated growth spurts expected in 2024 and beyond.

Year 2023 is not projected as the easiest for small businesses to navigate. Still, the nature of entrepreneurship and enterprise is to find solutions that allow us to accomplish hard things.

Wishing you and your company growth and success in the New Year.

One love!

Yaneek Page is the programme lead for Market Entry USA, a certified trainer in entrepreneurship, and creator and executive producer of The Innovators and Let’s Make Peace TV series.

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