Operations

15 New Ideas For A New Year

Posted on January 9, 2017 by - Also by this author

Whether it’s a new inventory control system, an employee recognition program, or a budget, January is the best time to act on or experiment wiuth new ideas in your company. If not this year, then when? I’ve listed a few I’ve found worthwhile over my quarter century in daily limousine operations to help you get started.

  1. Implement an employee benefits program: A full medical, dental, and life insurance policy or a simple Paid-Time-Off (PTO) program can help you remain competitive as an employer to retain top talent.
  2. Start a monthly or quarterly newsletter: You can do a simple newsletter to send internally, externally, or both. Many free templates are available in Word, Constant Contact, and other sources you can use as a guide. You don’t need to have artistic skills to create a great communications tool.
  3. Start an employee recognition program: Everyone likes to be recognized. It doesn’t have to be a fancy program. The Employee of the Month could get something as simple as a $10 Starbucks gift card. It’s the thought that counts. You could hang a plaque on the wall and add to it each month. The cost is minimal compared to the mileage received.
  4. Set goals and make visual charts for everyone to see progress: From “Days Without An Accident” charts to “Highest Sales In A Day,” having goals and placing them on visual charts encourages everyone to contribute to the goal and allows visual reinforcement of the goals daily.
  5. Start a company-wide weight loss program: America is overweight. That’s a fact. It’s not healthy. Your program can be as elaborate has having a periodic “weigh-in” for those who want to compete and share to self-reporting how many pounds each person lost in a week. The idea is to get employees (and yourself) to eat better and take care of themselves. Make a chart to see how the company collectively lost “X” pounds in a week. Have fun with it.
  6. Clean out your client database and purge old data: We all have clients in our database who have died, closed their businesses, retired, or defected to other companies. Now is a great time to save some hard drive space, make reports easier to read, and save paper and ink when you do a print out. Purge those people!
  7. Verify who has keys to what and change locks if it’s been a while: We hand out keys to those who need them at the time they need them. Sometimes, we ask employees to hang on to a key “just in case.” Now is a good time to ask all key carrying employees what they have keys to and change locks if needed.
  8. Implement a mobile app: Society demands all businesses have mobile apps. Don’t get left behind. Mobile apps can be developed for less than $300.
  9. Create a social media calendar to remind you to post regularly.
  10. Make some videos for your social media sites and your website: Equipment (a smartphone) and access make it possible for any novice to shoot a video. It does not have to be production-level perfect.
  11. Review every page of your website and update as needed: This is the time of year to make sure your site is accurate. Did you add vehicles or sell vehicles, and your fleet list is no longer accurate? Are your prices on your website but don’t reflect your 2017 rates?
  12. Check review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google+, etc.: If you have negative reviews, “claim” your site and respond to them. Do NOT ignore them. It looks like you just don’t care.
  13. Delegate duties to others who have sufficient knowledge to lead: You didn’t start a business to live and die in it. You should enjoy your success. Give out new duties to employees at the start of the year and let them take over.
  14. Begin planning a grand holiday party for your employees and begin monthly deposits: This is not an area where you want to go the cheapest route. Be generous.
  15. Implement employee reviews and start with an evaluation of 2016: You’ll find your employees crave constructive feedback, praise, criticism, and communication.

Smooth Operations provides a broad range of information focused on new ideas and approaches in management, human resources, customer service, marketing, networking and technology. Have something to share or would like covered? You can reach LCT contributing editor and California operator Jim Luff at [email protected]

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