Now that we have entered 2022, businesses both big and small should take some time to reflect on their victories, roadblocks and speed bumps, and how those experiences can inform future decision making and problem solving. If there’s anything to be taken away from 2020 and 2021, it is that sometimes the unpredictable can sneak up on us. Fortunately, with some careful planning, you can tackle some of these unpredictable matters with more confidence. Below are some strategies to help you make this year a productive one.
1. Set Goals
You should have two types of goals for 2022: goals for improving the areas where you’re lacking and to fortify your current strengths. Try performing a S.W.O.T. analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and get some feedback from your employees, customers/clients, and investors for a fresh perspective to identify some areas that might not have occurred to you otherwise.
Whatever goals you set, make sure that these are effectively and consistently being communicated to your team. After all, it helps when everyone is on the same page.
2. Analyze Market Trends
Taking a look at market trends, changes, and predictions is something that business owners should be doing frequently. If you want to get ahead, you need to stay on top of where things are heading. It is no secret that both 2020 and 2021 were characterized by uncertainty. Spend some time examining what’s going on in your industry and any industries relevant to the work you do. Whatever you uncover should be a good indication of where you focus your time, energy, and other valuable resources in the coming months.
3. Update Technology
When we say that you should make sure your technology is updated, we do not necessarily mean that you need to upgrade to the best and newest tech, but rather the right tech for you. This means look into cloud-based software and third-party integration capabilities to replace some of the outdated tech that you’re using, but don’t upgrade simply for the sake of doing so. You will want to take into account the needs of your current team and focus on streamlining everyday tasks where possible rather than upgrading because a new option is available.
4. Invest In Employee Development
Being replaced by automation is a genuine concern that many people in today’s workforce are experiencing. Whether or not automation is truly that frightening can be considered a matter for debate, but what isn’t debatable is how this can be used as a way to improve the way we treat our employees and help them grow personally and professionally. Team leaders and supervisors can start by determining the most important skill sets in their respective departments and find more efficient ways to teach those skills to new hires and fortify them and current employees, such as specialized software. Job rotation can potentially aid in the upskilling process. Higher ups can keep an eye out for conferences, trade shows, and other events where their teams can pick new industry skills and network.
5. Improve Company Culture
The term company culture has been thrown around a lot lately; it’s virtually inescapable now in our conversations about improving work-life balance and the employee experience. While there is no concrete, universal definition on what exactly a company culture is, we can all agree that a lack of company culture or a toxic company culture is a detriment to employee well-being and a business’ longevity.
A good company culture can be the decisive factor for talent retention, employee satisfaction, and productivity. Elements of a good company culture include supporting employee physical and mental well-being, encouraging positivity in the workplace, standing by your values and mission statement (or create them if you haven’t done so already), and strengthening social connections in the office.
6. Envision the Work Environment
More and more employees have become accustomed to remote work or having the option to work remotely, while some offices are choosing to use a hybrid work model. If your business is one of the many which is choosing to embrace The Great Reshuffle for the long-term, take a look at how this is going to impact your costs and expenses. Take some time this year to solidify your work-from-home policies if you have yet to do so and find new ways to optimize any unused office space.
Part of being prepared for the future means trying new things, and now more than ever we are seeing new ways of doing business, completing tasks, connecting with prospects, improving the customer experience, and just about every other aspect of running a business that one could conceive of.
We encourage business owners to stay open-minded and treat every supposed ‘failure’ as a learning opportunity. The innovators and entrepreneurs are going to come out on top by the end of this year, so don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. If you are looking for guidance, we can help! Reach out to us to learn more.