Awards & Engraving

January '19

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30 • A&E JANUARY 2019 TO START WITH… Data - Have you ever hear the cliché "you manage what you measure"? It is a cliché because it is true and has been proven over and over again. To properly manage a business, especially in today's digital world, you have to have good data to make sure you are managing it efficiently. I do believe that our gut instinct can be followed, but since your business is most likely also your livelihood, would you not want to have some data to back it up and make you sleep better at night when you have to make a major decision? Having the right data can be crucial to success or failure; each company is going to have different KPIs (key performance indicators) that they use. Use this time to start with accurate data and make sure you are measuring the right things. Start by making sure your data is tight. Most companies start with the strategies and projections then figure out the data they want to measure that is going to prove their strategies and projections correct. But that can lead to failures later. For me, I start with the data and let that set my strategies and projections. Now I know all of that sounds like corporate jargon and not something that relates to your business, but that is not the case. This type of measurement and management strategy works for com- panies big and small, plus is simple to implement. Start by figuring out what your biggest weakness was (or if you are a new business, could be) and then pick out a possible data point that could show improvements as you make changes. W elcome to 2019! Are you ready to get it started off with a bang and set yourself up for a great year? Regardless of how 2018 went for you, we need to put planning at the top of our to-do list to ensure continued success or to jump-start the success you see yourself having this year and years to come. Hopefully, you have a business plan that is the framework for your annual planning, but I would like to share with you two important things looking ahead into 2019. Are You Ready for 2019? Implementing a business plan to ensure a successful year Aaron Montgomery has been involved with the garment decorating and per- sonalization industry since 2000 and the digital printing industry since 1997. He is very actively involved in the industry trade shows via speaking, attending and exhibiting for the last 17 years. He also writes articles for the industry magazines and blogs on topics that include marketing, social media, the personalization market, and garment decorating techniques. He is dedi- cated to helping small businesses grow and succeed. You can find Aaron co-hosting the industry's oldest and most listened to Podcast - 2 Regular Guys (www.2regularguys. com). You can also find blogs about a wide range of topics on his own website at THE RISING TIDE OF BUSINESS By Aaron Montgomery

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