It’s a new year, a chance to start fresh, and the opportunity to make improvements for the better. Just like in our personal lives, our businesses deserve some love and attention at this time of year. For many businesses, the previous year brought on huge obstacles and challenges and your business might be completely different today than it was a year ago. For some lucky businesses, revenue is up and they are thriving even more than they were last year. So, now is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and decide on making some positive resolutions for the new year ahead. As with any resolutions, it’s hard to make them stick, so our advice is to pick ONE and stick to it.
Room for Improvement
Examine your business’s performance over the past year. Because of the current state of the world, the myriad of challenges business are facing are likely to stay with us for the foreseeable future, but seems to be slowly improving and it's nothing you can't handle. Over the past few years, you've had time to be creative, adapt your business to changing circumstances, and you’ve had time to experience what has worked well and what improvements still need to be made. Look for areas that you could focus on for improvement. Maybe it’s enhancing or eliminating certain products or services, doubling down on an income stream that has proven to be very successful during the past few years. It’s probably time to consider letting go of pre-COVID strategies or practices that are no longer working in our post-pandemic world. Take an honest look at your customer reviews and feedback and see if there are insights there that you can gain to make improvements.
Most of us business owners have a “wish list.” It’s the things that if we had the time, if we had the money, if we had the right employees, if we had the right situation we would want to implement in our company. The hard truth is, there will never be the exact perfect time to release a new product or service, to launch a modern marketing campaign, to give employees more extensive training, to document all your business’s processes and procedures, or to start using a new point of sale system. As small business owners, we are already so busy and pushed to the limit each day, so we always make excuses to keep our “wish list” items at the back of the priority list. In the new year, we usually have the most motivation and enthusiasm, so there is no better opportunity to tackle one of your wish list items this year. Pick your favorite one and just go for it. Is it going to be rolled out perfectly? No, probably not, but the important part is that you are getting it out there, and you can tweak it and make it what you want it to be along the way. I always say that if Microsoft waited until their software was perfect to launch it, then we wouldn’t be where we are today technology-wise. So, our advice is the same as Nike’s advice: just do it.
For some businesses, the lucky ones, this past year has proven to be quite fruitful and successful. Maybe it was that they were a business that was in high demand, or the business was able to easily adapt well to new challenges or consumer habits. If your business is thriving and doing well, in most cases, there is still probably some room for improvement. Examine those opportunities for growth and brainstorm ways that you could possibly take your business to the next level in the new year. If your business is healthy and doing well, then how can you capitalize on your success and multiply it? Is it time to expand into new areas, take your sales online, or launch a new product? If you have more business than you can handle, and you are turning away new customers, is it time to grow your team by hiring and training employees? If your business is thriving, then consider yourself blessed, but roll with it, and take advantage of it. Successful companies always know how to “ride the wave” and capitalize on their current situation. As with everything, it’s not guaranteed to last, so take it to the next level now, while you have the opportunity in front of you.