6 Efficient Ways to Kickstart Your Year for Your Business
A new year inspires renewed commitment and excitement for what lies ahead. It’s the perfect time to reflect on the past and plan for the future—to set goals and commit to an action plan.
Even though we’re in the second week of the new year, it’s not too late to kick things off with a bang to help ensure growth for your business. Check out these six tips:
1. Learn from the past
Reflect on the previous year. Assess what went well and what didn’t. It’s important to find takeaways from both, the mistakes and successes. It’s also the perfect time to review your business plan and make updates. Were there big moves you wanted to make last year but due to the pandemic you didn’t? Have you thought about expanding your team? Take a hard look at all your past accomplishments and write down where you want to be heading.
2. Plan your future
Develop projections for the year, consider the broader economic conditions and all the possible obstacles such as a prolonged lockdown of businesses. Of course, keep in mind that projections are just that—projections. It’s impossible to know what will happen (we’ve all learned that in 2020)! Ground your projections in as much data and objectivity. Keep up with the latest business trends and economic news as much as possible to be able to handle the constantly changing environment. Finally, why not rely on the experience of others to help. Many have been where you are now and possess some wisdom. Look for mentors to offer advice for growing your business.
3. Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
Effective communication is vital to business success. We believe it’s important to encourage employees to share their thoughts about the companies past and future projects and processes. Allow them to communicate with you in several ways such as regular team and one-on-one meetings to an online chat platform (Google Chat, Slack, etc.). Having an open-door policy and being open to receiving honest feedback and ideas is so beneficial. Set the tone for consistent and transparent communication.
4. Find new ways to stand out
With so much information and so many products and services flooding the market, it can be very difficult to differentiate your business. Look for simple, affordable, and creative ways to stand out from others. Think of ways to connect with your customers using social media platforms, starting with the big three: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. All are free and can effectively reach your customers while generating word-of-mouth about your business and its products or services. When used well, social media can greatly promote your special offers and (as we’ve seen so much in the past year) giveaways. It provide a great vehicle for sharing the day-to-day, behind-the-scenes glimpses that give your business personality and establish customer intimacy.
5. Don’t forget the budget
Tracking all expenses is no easy task, especially while juggling many areas of the business, but it’s crucial. Businesses can maximize dollars in numerous ways—from tracking tax-deductible business expenses and minimizing long payment terms, to making monthly instead of annual insurance payments and leasing or buying used office furniture and equipment. Many grants and tax credits are also available for companies in Quebec and the rest of Canada. While employee costs are a major business expense, effective hiring practices will help ensure you’re getting the best bang for your money. Consider hiring temporary staff or interns during busier times to help save on overall costs throughout the year.
6. Create a positive work-life atmosphere
Your business couldn’t operate without your employees. As you look for areas of improvement for this year, consider how you can let employees work in ways that best motivate them and are flexible enough to suit their various circumstances and personal responsibilities. Also, encourage your employees to take time away from the office, and set an example by taking vacation time yourself. I bet you’ll find getting that exercise time in, taking that trip, and pursuing that hobby keep your entrepreneurial fire going and make you even more productive.