Our Top Tips to Make This Year the Best Ever for Your Business
The start of a new year reminds us of the possibilities ahead. And, at this moment, there are so many possibilities for small business owners. The economy is growing and changing quickly. People worldwide are rethinking how work fits into their life. Virtual work continues to grow, changing the complexion of teams and the way businesses find staff and customers.
The Hire My Mom team is excited about the year ahead–and based on our conversations with the entrepreneurs we work with, we know you are, too. We’ve all learned a lot about flexibility and resiliency in the last two years. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves, our goals, and our businesses.
As we embark upon the first few weeks of 2022, we know that many of you are doing some future planning. To help, we’ve gathered our top tips for business planning and dropped additional resources into each suggestion to help you refine your business plans and tackle your goals this year.
Let’s dig in!
January is a great time to look back at last year and complete an honest assessment of what went well and where you might want to change tracks. It’s tough to do this in the heat of each project, but the start of the new year and the planning that goes with it is the perfect time to reflect.
One way to do this is to perform a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This type of analysis is quick and gives you a good sense of where you are right now, where you are heading and insights about how to make the most of every opportunity before you. You can complete a basic one at your kitchen table by hand, dash one out on your computer, or take advantage of our free template.
Frequent readers of the blog know we often suggest goal setting as a first step–and with good reason, the process works! After the craziness of the last two years and the unknowns about the future, you might be tempted to set only one goal–going with the flow. We get it! It’s tough to make solid plans these days.
However, in our experience, setting a few practical and achievable goals and sharing them broadly with your team is a key component for success. Goals create the yardstick that guides you and your team along the way when the unexpected happens. Setting SMART goals–those that are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and timely, can help to shape your day-to-day actions and guide your longer-term thinking. Check out our tips for setting SMART goals with remote teams.
Brush up your leadership skills
Leading a team is hard work. No matter how long you’ve been doing it or how many people you lead, the work takes a toll.
But, like any muscle, your leadership skills get stronger with knowledge and practice. As we head into the new year, check out this blog about traits all great leaders share. It’s a quick read, but it offers concrete ideas about improving your leadership skills.
Consider adding your own development to the list as you think about your business goals. As a leader, it’s easy to lose focus on growing your own skills. And, leadership can be lonely. A Mastermind group can help you get the support and guidance that can take your skills and your business to the next level and open up new possibilities for you.
In 2022, Hire My Mom is offering a Mastermind group for small business owners. The group will meet virtually twice a month. One meeting each month will focus on growth in a specific topic from a coach or professional in the area. The other meeting will function as a think tank to collaborate, brainstorm, discuss and offer suggestions, ideas, and problem-solving to one another.
Learn more here. Then, you can mark one of your goals complete. (We love that feeling!)
Find a coach
As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to let your business goals take center stage over your personal goals. When that happens, many people, especially moms, feel guilty. But, one thing we have learned over the years is that finding meaningful success without sacrificing family time is a team sport and like all teams, a coach is a critical part of the team.
We all need support in business and life. It’s easy to feel stuck or overwhelmed–especially as you raise a family, navigate career space and build a business. An experienced, independent, outside voice can help provide feedback on what’s working and what’s not working and give you the clarity you need on the best way to use your time and energy.
Coaching can work with a Mastermind group or without. You can find a coach to help you focus on your business or to help you grow your leadership and other soft skills. Hear directly from two coaches with different focuses, learn more about how they help their clients get results.
Lighten your load
As you started your business, you likely did much of your work yourself. You managed your calendar, pitched products, booked travel, invoiced clients, monitored social media, and built and managed your team. But, as your business grows, it becomes more challenging to shoulder all that work alone.
What’s worse, doing all the things can prevent you from investing the time and brain power needed to grow your business in meaningful ways. Enter the Virtual Assistant.
Virtual assistants (VA) can save the day–and your sanity. Knowing how to find and use VAs can change your life as an entrepreneur and help you take your business to the next level. As you plan for the new year, consider if it’s time for you to find a virtual assistant.
Build a system
After conducting a SWOT analysis, many entrepreneurs find that efficiency is one of the areas of potential improvement for their business. An easy way to improve efficiency is to create a system for portions of your work.
A system is a set of processes, tools, people, and strategies that work together to solve a problem or achieve a goal. Creating a system for portions of your work can help you achieve a level of automation that lets you work more effectively on the things that matter, add predictability to your business, gain some time back, and make your life easier. Here’s how to get started.
Show your team some love
In the hustle of daily life, it’s easy to take your team for granted. After you read this blog, spend a few minutes dashing off notes to your team members telling them how much you appreciate them and why.
Then, consider making recognition a practice this year. If the idea of creating a more formal recognition process daunts you, check out this blog for ideas about how to recognize your team members, why it matters, and to learn ways to make the process feel more natural.
Also, consider conducting performance reviews for your team. Performance reviews are an essential tool and can lead to rich conversations and serve as a catalyst for growth for you and your team.
Think about your team needs
If you’re like many employers right now, your team is likely on your mind. The members of your team are critical to your success. In the midst of the great resignation, you may be worried about finding your next team member and thinking about how to prevent your best employees from walking out the door.
In the next few weeks, set aside some time to think about your staffing needs in the new year. Perhaps there are opportunities to let current team members grow in new ways. Maybe, you need to add roles or reorganize the way you work.
Investing some thinking here early in the year can help give you a leg up if you need to grow or change your staff. If you think hiring may be a part of your future, check out these tips to make your job stand out in a crowded field.
Cheers to a great 2022!
Drop us a line and share how you plan for the new year!