With the fourth and final quarter of the year underway, there’s no better time than now for executives and senior leaders to begin positioning their organization for success in the new year. Read on as ForceBrands Director of Client Strategy Ben Ramsey shares tips and insights on smart ways brands can plan ahead for a prosperous 2018.

1. Conduct a Thorough Audit
Great planning starts by first understanding all the moving parts and layers of your organization. Conduct a state of the union — set aside time to map out where your company is right now and where it needs to be in 2018. Pay special attention to areas where you anticipate growth and ensure that all aspects of your business are sufficiently scaled to support that growth. Activating a major new retailer? Make sure your manufacturing capacity — whether you co-pack or self-manufacture — is in a place to satisfy your increased demand. Recently secured a new round of funding? Ensure you have financial controls in place to optimize efficiencies throughout your organization. Start your thorough audit in Q4 to set your brand up for a successful year of growth across the entire business.

2. Understand Your Deficiencies
Understand what your priorities are for 2018 and how to get ahead of them. What are the holes in your organization that might prevent you from achieving your business goals? Is it productivity? Does it have to do with talent and engagement? Does senior leadership need to be reorganized? Understand your weaknesses so you can equip yourself with the necessary tools and resources to fulfill those business needs.

3. Check In On Talent
There’s no overlooking the fact that great talent is the key to any company’s success. Use Q4 to check in with your team to identify where employees may not be working out. Have honest conversations with team members to ensure they are in roles where their skills and qualifications meet the highest productivity standards of the business. Conversely, reward your highest performers, and not just financially: make sure they’re satisfied with their career trajectory, are happy with their management, and are otherwise feeling fulfilled with the day-to-day of their work.

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