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As a manager, you are responsible for helping move the company forward. The start of a New Year is a time for setting new business priorities. Here are four ways you can make 2018 more profitable than 2017.

Set Business Goals

Set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) business goals. Use what you accomplished in 2017 to clarify what you want to achieve in 2018. Write down your objectives, the steps you will take to attain them, and who is responsible for each action. Determine in numerical or financial terms how success will be measured. Consider an appropriate amount of time and money, the necessary skills and experience, and other resources required to achieve your goals. Create a realistic timeline for completing each step and reaching each objective. Recognize and reward employees along the way to achieving the desired results.

Increase Gross Profit Margins

Focus on your gross profit margin. Understanding and increasing your gross profit margin will ensure you have enough profit to make your time, effort and risk worth the gain. Because your gross profit margin indicates the overall efficiency of the business, knowing the number helps you better set your pricing strategies and helps you determine which customers, products or services are the best margin business to pursue and which to phase out or immediately cut.

Develop Your Sales and Marketing Strategy

Budget enough work hours and money to accomplish company goals. Identify who your best customers are, what makes them profitable and why you enjoy working with them. Write down the main questions, motivations and objections different types of contacts may have on their way to becoming customers. Create content to meet each type of contact along their journey, including a call to action to move them along. Track your progress and change your tactics as needed.

Update Your Talent Retention Plan

Your people are your most valuable asset. Hire employees who enjoy both learning and teaching. Help each employee set a career plan for advancement within the organization. Get to know each employee on a personal level. Gain their trust and find out what motivates them. Clearly communicate the company’s strategic initiatives and how each employee can help achieve them. Involve employees in setting and achieving company goals. Match employees’ skills and passions to the contributions they provide on projects. Offer ongoing coaching and professional development opportunities to enhance skill sets and experiences. Provide constructive feedback so employees at all levels understand which areas they excel in and how they can improve in other areas. Listen to what employees say about how to improve business operations and efficiencies. Praise employees for completing projects and achieving company goals.

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