2020 was a challenging year, testing our resiliency and our business plans.  It’s time to move forward into 2022 and plan for the new year.   Being proactive keeps our priorities on track and our business moving forward to the next level.  

Let’s set some business goals – (having goals means we very often meet and exceed them!)

Keep it simple with the steps you need to take to complete them, thereby keeping you organized with a framework.  Sometimes it can be difficult to keep track as they can become unwieldy as businesses set goals for processes, outcomes operations, increasing sales etc.

Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of of 6 areas to focus on:

1 Tidy up

Organize your space – physically and digitally. Clean and organize what you do/don’t need. Delete files, pictures, screenshots, unsubscribe from newsletters you no longer read, pare down your list of podcasts, delete and file your emails you no longer need.  Update your businesses minute book or any pertinent information.  Document and update your systems, tools, processes and procedures.  Streamline your devices, purge apps, create space. 

Prepare for tax time, put together your documentation, receipts, books so that it’s ready for your accountant.

2 Review 2020

Yes it was not what we expected it to be, still important to take an in depth inventory of your business strategy and performance.  Evaluate what worked, what can be improved and what can be done away with.

Plan your top level goals.

3 Profit and Productivity

What do you want your bottom line to be.  Often the number 1 goals for businesses is profit. Set your goal, keep track of your costs and progress.  Is there a way to re-evaluate your costs and what you need, can you maximise your productivity to create efficiencies?  Are you able to negotiate any contracts you may have?  Are you able to access any funding programs, discounts or extended terms?  

4 Operational goals

Communications & scheduling tools to make it easy for you and your team, customers to communicate with each other.  Time is money, streamlining the communication process produces savings for your business. Customer communication is a direct reflection of your business and reputation – have a process and standards in place.  Stay connected with your customers.  How do they want to be communicated to? How often? Positive reviews and referrals help to grow your business with more leads and opportunities.

Regular meetings with clients or team members to understand the scope of work and roles/responsibilities.  Are their business apps you can use that may make this better e.g. Slack, Zoom etc?

5 Sales & Marketing

Are there any trends you can notice from your sales? Were there instances when your customers could have bought an additional product or service? Think about whether you can expand your services or product lines – can your existing customers be upgraded?  Have you updated your prospect list, followed up with old inquiries?

Commit to being more social – yes it may be virtual as people spend their time at home and online.  However it plays a huge role in building your brand and your reputation in the community.  Are you active on social media? Do you reach out to new contacts or follow up with any you meet at networking events?  There are tools you can use to pre schedule your posts and to evaluate your effectiveness such as Hootsuite.

Put together a few marketing strategies to ensure that you stay top of mind for your customers, plan promotions ahead of time. 

Some ideas: Your website is your storefront.  It’s essential to keep it up to date and make sure all the links work.  Update your blogs with relevant and pertinent information for your industry, share your expertise and a bit about yourself.  People buy from people, don’t be afraid to show the human element.  

Google My Business – simple, free and very powerful. Ensure your company information is up to date e.g. phone number, website, and email address. Check in regularly to update the posts feature, add new promotions or services, answer customer questions and respond to reviews.  

Email – easy and effective communication that has a small investment. It helps you to build credibility, tell your story and promote your essential services or promotions. Stay connected with your customers through regular email.  Make sure your contact form on your website and in any interactions that you are capturing your client email addresses, what they purchased etc so that you can market to them and share new and exciting products, programs or services.

6 Training

Essential for you and your team – continuing education keeps you abreast of changes, new opportunities and keeps you focused on your business goals. There are so many online opportunities for training today that do not cost a ton of money.  Google Digital Garage, Hubspot Academy, Linkedin Learning, BACD, Chambers of Commerce to name a few. 

If we can support you in the creation of your own action plan for your business, connect with a business advisor today to book your meeting!