It’s hard to believe the new year is already upon us, with 2021 containing many tumultuous events both in business and the wider world. And while many are still in holiday-mode, now is the perfect time to set your sights on the year ahead and create new year’s resolutions for your business.
So here are a few tips to help you set out resolutions, you’ll actually stick to, that will help grow your business in 2022.
1. Expect the unexpected
If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s to not get comfortable with COVID-19 normality. As we’ve seen recently, everything can change once a new strain emerges or case numbers start rising, which is why as a business owner you need to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Our new-normal in business is to be constantly prepared for the worst, whether that means pivoting your offering due to restrictions, ramping up your online presence, or keeping your customers calm during uncertain times. It can be stressful and emotionally draining as a business owner, but if you can build a plan for 2022 with the element of uncertainty in mind, you’ll be more prepared for such situations when they arise.
2. Develop and finesse your COVID-19 crisis strategies
If you haven’t already, it might be worth using this down-time in business to develop your 2022 COVID-19 business strategies. Have you got a clear strategy or operational direction on how to handle restrictions, lockdowns or new COVID-19 news? Having a clear plan in place, for when things do go awry, will ensure both you and your team feel more confident and relaxed. If you have an existing plan from 2020 or 2021, consider updating it to reflect the latest COVID-19 situation and seek feedback from your team or operations head on how effective this strategy actually was.
3. Aim high! Don’t allow world events to dampen your goals.
Economic and business confidence has never been lower. In fact, a recent study conducted by Pin Payments has found that businesses are operating in ‘survival mode’ and, as such, are not investing in new tech or digitalisation due to conservatism around spending. With all that has happened this past year, it’s no surprise that many are feeling flat and less enthusiastic when it comes to business. But from darkness often comes greatness, as seen with many businesses who’ve used this time to create innovative new technologies or have pivoted their current business offerings to suit the times. When
planning for 2022, don’t let COVID-19 ruin your goals and business ambitions. While your plans may not unfold the way you’d hope, there might be new ways of achieving them using technology or alternative methods. Remaining positive in business could
actually be your saving grace in 2022, as your customers, staff and other business contacts will feed off this energy!
4. Focus on your talent
Much like business owners, staff members have been through the wringer during COVID-19 with job uncertainty at an all-time high, work hours extended, and stress levels through the roof. As such, many are feeling drained and overworked, with too few holidays due to border restrictions. With the great March resignation looming, now is the time to invest in your talent. Some businesses have implemented new measures to keep staff happy during these difficult times, such as mental health leave days (including a day off if you get a new pooch!), care packages, non-work subscriptions, and access to learning platforms. With social isolation and anxiety running high, it’s important to create a sense of connectivity and appreciation within a workplace. The onus has shifted to business owners and operators, to create a workplace that has a strong emphasis on emotional care and wellbeing on top of fulfilling work. With many people facing mental health issues, due to COVID-19, it’s never been more important to care for your staff.
5. Embrace digitalisation and tech
Last, but certainly not least, your new year’s goals should absolutely include ensuring your business stays up-to-date with the latest tech, programs, and apps for your business. Technology has been the one saving grace during the pandemic, and staff now rely heavily on it to interact, socialise and work. As such your customers will expect you to have up-to-date online practices, to ensure your business and staff are operating at full capacity. It’s a good time of year to do a tech audit of your business and see where you could be saving time and/or money by using better programs or processes. Reach out to your network for advice and assess what your competitors are using. While it may cost you initially, in the long run, creating smoother, faster, and easier processes will improve your business exponentially.
At the end of the day, planning is the only way to ensure you’re moving towards a greater goal. While 2022 seems shrouded in a haze of uncertainty, your business goals will be the beacon guiding you through these times with some sense of direction. But make sure your goals are flexible, agile, and adaptable to change, so you’re not thrown off course if something uncertain happens throughout the year!