I've been evaluating things and working on personal and company goals for 2017 this week and I'm really excited about the coming year. We have big things ahead of us. Here are a couple of things we're going to be working on:
1. We are going to work on taking even better care of our customers.
Family ChartMasters has been super intentional about the great customer service we give each client as we create our custom charts. We are happy to answer questions and work back and forth until we find perfection. That's a rare thing now, with so many modern companies doing away with customer service departments. We are always interested in getting feedback on how we are doing and we are committed to always finding new ways to make our clients delighted. In 2017 we are going to roll out a new streamlined Family ChartMasters website with easier navigation and better communication so that everyone can find what they need quickly and easily. And we are going to double down on making sure our policies and practices foster the best customer service we can provide.
2. We are going to take even better care of our Family ChartMasters employees.
I've been doing alot of reading about customer service and one of the biggest parts of taking good care of customers is taking good care of your employees. I'm really proud of the comfortable jobs Family ChartMasters has created, working to emphasize each person's strengths for a good fit and making sure each person has the flexibility to create a healthy work/life balance. In 2017 we are going to focus on more training, and empowering each person to perform at their very best. We're going to focus more on employee appreciation and fostering a positive work environment. I love the people I get to work with--we're really great friends and I'm so thankful for that. So appreciation is really easy around here. We're also going to be revising our employee handbook so that all of our business systems are clear and we can step in to help each other more.
3. I am going to continue learning more about effective management.
Like so many small business owners, I started out doing something I love and now spend most of my days doing more management than the actual work of the company. With this transition comes the need for new skills and new focus. While the key players in our company talked me out of going back to school for an MBA last year, I've been working on a self styled MBA of sorts, focusing on specifics I felt I needed to learn rather than going through a whole program. I've been devouring business books and implementing the ideas I've learned has really helped. I'm about 1/4 way through a list of books that I"m sure will continue to grow, so I'll be working hard on that. If we continue to see the benefits from the next principles I learn at the rate we have been going, we'll make great strides in 2017.
4. I'm going to continue to pay it forward.
We have been blessed with so many great mentors in this market, I feel a deep desire to help others with what we have learned. In 2016 I began working on the Genealogy Business Alliance and I think we've already seen benefits from that. I love teaching the "Intro to Genealogy Technology" and "Genealogy Business" classes at Salt Lake Community College. They keep me grounded in the issues people face in this market. I'm going to continue working with the Mastermind groups I meet with. And the business column I began writing in 2016 for the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly has given me a good stretch. It has been good to be able to share some of what I have learned from our successes.
5. I am going to strive to expand our vision of what the genealogy market needs.
I'm really proud of the new solution we brought to the market in genealogyDOTcoach last year and I'm excited to see where it will go in this coming year. I think we've found a critical need and I hope it will continue to serve genealogists who need a bit of help from a professional. Along with that, I'm going to continue to seek out the truth about what this market really needs and what we can do to make genealogy research easier and more attractive to newcomers. More people need to understand the power in Family History.
And, even with all of the planning, I'm sure the year will be full of surprises too. I can't wait to see what is around the bend. 2017 is going to be a stand out year for Family ChartMasters. I just know it.