2020 has undoubtedly been a tumultuous year for many businesses. However, in light of the ongoing pandemic, here are 4 tips we have prepared for you to get your business going on a high note for the new year.
Reflect on the previous year
When preparing your business for a brand new year, it’s important to look back on the previous year and reflect on what went well and what didn’t, as this will help inform your plan for 2021. For example, you might want to consider adapting your marketing strategy given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, or you may want to change up your content strategy so that it better fits your values and vision.
To make the most out of the reflection process, it’s good to involve everyone in your business. By allowing each person to come up with some ideas for improvement for the upcoming year, for example, you might become aware of things that you forgot or haven’t considered.
While it’s important to reflect on the previous year in terms of your business, it’s also good to reflect on yourself. Think about what went well for you professionally, and consider the qualities you can improve on in 2021. By self-reflecting, you can approach your work with more awareness and confidence in the new year.
At Zetl, we use OKRs to measure our own progress, and this in turn helps us assess how we’ve performed during the year. Perhaps you could give a similar framework a go this year.
Conduct market research
While you will already have a rough idea of your target audience when you first start your business, you have to make sure that you know your audience well, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. Make sure you communicate frequently with your current customers so that you stay up to date on their interests, and don’t be afraid to reach out to new customers if you feel your target audience changing.
As you plan for the upcoming year, also note down any emerging trends that you think may affect your business, and plan accordingly. For example, in light of COVID-19, there will likely be a move towards greater and more authentic social engagement, as this is largely how businesses communicate with their customers during the pandemic. By foreseeing trends like this, not only will you be completely prepared for anything that can happen in the future, but you will also stay one step ahead of the competition.
Clean up your email inbox
Email is undoubtedly one of the most common means of communication between a business and their customers, and chances are, your business probably has one too. That’s why it’s important to keep a tidy inbox: by having a clean and uncluttered inbox, you can keep a clear head and prevent stress from an overflowing inbox.
Before beginning the new year, go through all of your unread emails and filter out emails that can be deleted. Take the time to star emails that you feel might be important to keep a record of — for example, you might want to create a folder for your business energy bills. It might also be worth setting up some filters so that your emails automatically get sorted into different categories, therefore keeping your inbox as clutter free as possible with minimal effort.
Regardless of how you choose to tidy up your email inbox, try and keep up the habit of decluttering it at least once a quarter so you don’t lose track of what’s important.
Look into your finances
The best way to begin the new year is to ensure that your finances are in order. Check your current income and expenses, and note down things such as your cash flow, debt, profits and losses, expense projections and so on. By having a clear understanding of your business’ current financial situation, you will be able to plan accordingly for the year ahead.
If you need help getting your finances in order, drop us a line. We’re a Xero certified partner and can help you get set up.
In addition to having a good grasp of your finances, you should also make a note of what worked well financially and what didn’t. For example, if you found that long payment terms slowed your growth last year you can look at services like Zetl to get paid faster and unlock the capital trapped in invoices.
From all of us at Zetl, we hope that these tips help your business become even more successful next year.