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4 Ways to Reach Your Business Goals Using Last Year’s Data

It probably shouldn’t surprise you that most people abandon their New Year’s resolutions by February 1. In fact, according to research by OSU’s Fisher College of Business, 9% of people bail on their resolutions by the first week of January. But the good news is that in 2024 your business likely has a lot of data that can help you plan for a more successful year ahead. Whether you already have business goals established, or you are still considering your options, we recommend taking a look at all the data you have at your fingertips and make meaningful – attainable – goals for the New Year. 

  • Review Your Holiday Analytics

Now that the rush of the holidays is over, you have the perfect opportunity to look at a wealth of information on everything from which products sold best and where your products were shipped most frequently to how many customers abandoned their carts before making a purchase or how many returns you saw after the first of the year. With that extra push at the end of last year, you should have meaningful data to help inform your strategy for 2024. This data can help you stock more of those “favorite items” as well as gain valuable feedback from clients who returned items, or didn’t complete a sale, by reaching out and asking why. 

With the stress of the holidays on your supply chain (and everyone else’s), it’s likely that cracks in your relationship with other partners also began to show. This is a good time to look at areas of your supply chain at not only their costs but their customer service as well. Having the right partner in place should mean that you aren’t thinking about that part of the business because, quite simply, it’s handled. If you were pulled into fire drills, or – worse – blindsided by a shipping delay, perhaps it’s time to change providers. 

  • Implement Technology Updates

Your current technology will probably be outdated by the time you reach the end of this sentence. It’s unrealistic to replace your technology every month or quarter, but consider which of your technology needs a yearly upgrade in order to keep your business optimized for the current digital world. If your software has been requiring an update for some time and you’ve kept clicking “Remind me in 90 days,” go ahead and run the update this month. Furthermore, take a look at the platforms you are using and ensure that they are still meeting your business needs. With dozens, if not hundreds, of online platforms for your ecommerce site, finding the right integration for your business is a buyer’s market. 

  • Assess Your Communication Channels

Don’t forget to also look at your qualitative data such as how well (or how poorly) communication flows through your organization as well as with any of your providers. This will ultimately reflect how well you communicate with your customers. If customer service is a top priority for you (we’re guessing it is), then it may be time to establish a meaningful communication strategy in place. Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Who is the first point of contact for each area of the business including: Operations, HR, Product Development, Finance, Marketing and Customer Service
  • If there is an emergency, who needs to be involved in the solution? And who is responsible for sharing this solution with the rest of the team (including our customers)?
  • Where do we need to assess and update communication? (Website? Social Media Channels? Etc.) 


  • Develop a Contingency Plan 

Speaking of updating communication, assessing how your team handles data and the processes surrounding it, can also help you determine a contingency plan if something challenges your supply chain (like an unexpected weather event). In our exceptionally connected global world, it’s unlikely that many people think of this since we are easily connected to just about everyone as long as you have a phone and WiFi.Therefore, this is a good time to determine who all the players are internally, as well as externally, and determine how the team will operate should “business as usual” not be an option. Unlike crisis management, contingency plans ensure that a plan is laid out before an actual crisis is involved. 

With the amount of data you likely have available from the last twelve months, it’s possible that you have several opportunities to grow your business in 2024. Whether it’s to make a partnership change, update your technology or develop  more streamlined communication processes, you don’t necessarily have to tackle every line item in January. Even setting monthly or quarterly goals to move you towards a larger resolution by the end of 2024 is a great first step. If you’re still not sure where to start, or you don’t want to tackle it alone, Sweetwater can help with a complimentary Supply Chain Check-Up. To learn more and to contact us, visit our website

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