Starting Out The New Year Right
2020 is right around the corner, and it's time to jumpstart your business into the new year. It's key that you start preparing sooner rather than later or risk falling behind. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to get a head start on prepping your business for success. Here are a couple of tips that can help your business get started on the right track.
Resolutions For Businesses
Gone are the days were cleaning your physical office space is enough for your business. A good cleaning can come from a variety of sources. It can be a deep physical clean of your office to a digital cleaning up of your files online. Often times it becomes a difficult process to keep your office, car, home, and break room clean throughout the year. This is why having a scheduled thorough cleaning routine of your items becomes necessary. Nothing can beat the feeling of starting the new year with a fresh office and an organized computer.
Keep in mind, cleaning and organizing your business life shouldn't be a yearly thing. By creating a weekly, or monthly, routine your business can begin getting into the habit of being efficient in how your business runs. Follow the, "everything has its rightful place" mentality to avoid a cluttered desk or desktop screen. This structure helps when your business begins to grow and new items become introduced into your business. This way both you and your employees will know exactly where to find the information needed to succeed in the workplace.
First, let's look at how to make sure your business is organized online. It's important to make sure you understand where your time is being spent every day. We recommend you take a look at business apps that can help with your organization while keeping track of where your spending your time. In this case, we recommend the business app RescueTime.
RescueTime automatically tracks the time you’ve spent on applications and websites and sends you detailed reports based on your activity, giving you an accurate picture of how you spent your day. You can set alerts to notify you when you’ve spent a certain amount of time on an activity, like social networking or reading the news, and block distracting websites. It works for Mac, PC, Android, and Linux.
For those of you on Apple devices, we recommend to you OmniFocus. OmniFocus is a personal task manager that lets you create projects and tasks and organize them into to-do lists. OmniFocus syncs between your devices and works with iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watch.
Digitize Your Files
Don't get left behind in 2020. If you still use physical files to organize your business, clients, or online orders, then you need to switch to digitization. Paper is expensive and can be avoided easily by formatting yourself online with one of many multiple organization tools offered to businesses. Our recommendation is to utilize Google's free-to-use tools that can be accessed with any google email. These tools can be Google sheets for keeping track of your financials, docs to write out business reports, Gmail for contacting your clients online, calendar to keep track of appointments, and Hangouts/Meet to video conference and instant chat employees and clients. The list goes on and on and all of these tools come free to use.
Purchase a scanner to get rid of your file cabinet and transfer your physical documents online. This will save you money from purchasing paper and ink for when you print out these documents, and it helps save the environment. The ink used in printers is toxic and can damage any container it goes into after thrown out. By digitizing your documents, you gain the extra advantage of becoming efficient and optimized in your business. Gone are the days where you need to shuffle through the filing cabinet. Keep your business growing and expanding with ease by digitizing and shifting your business online.
Automate Social Media
No more are the days where you have to create and immediately post your social media. By automating your social media you have the freedom to create and plan out when you would like your posts to go out. This gives you the freedom to create a week's work of posts in one day, saving you both time and convenience.
Here at BrandRep, we recommend using Hootsuite for all of your social media managing needs. Hootsuite is a social media management platform that covers almost every aspect of a social media manager’s role. With just one platform users are able to do the simple stuff like curate cool content and schedule posts all the way up to managing team members and measuring ROI.
Resolution For Business Owners
Set Realistic Goals
Goal setting is a valuable habit if the goals lead to success rather than distress. Resolve that the goals you set will be achievable, rather than unrealistic pipe dreams that are so far out of reach they only lead to frustration. If you have trouble setting realistic goals, there are ways to map out a formula that makes sense for you.
Incorporate Weekly Business Planning
Planning is vital if you want a healthy, growing business. Business planning lets you take stock of what worked and what didn't work, and helps you set new directions or adjust old goals. So why do it just once a year or once a quarter? Set aside time each week to review, adjust, and look forward. Not only will this help you avoid costly mistakes and stay on track, but you'll feel more focused and relaxed.
Learn to Delegate and Do More of It
There are so many things to do when you're running a small business, it's easy to delude ourselves that we need to do all of them. Then we wonder why we're so tired and frazzled and have no time to do anything else. Let someone else do some of the tasks for a change. Delegation is the key to a healthy work-life balance.
Ask yourself these questions:
What do you dread doing?
What overwhelms you?
Can someone else do in minutes what takes me hours?
Learn Something New
What you choose to learn may be directly related or completely unrelated to your business. Learning something new will add to your skills and add a new dimension of interest to your life—another important part of achieving a healthy work-life balance and increasing your business success. Business consultants, trainers, and business coaches can help set you on a path to adopting new skills. Depending on how you choose to learn, you may meet new and interesting people, who may become customers, colleagues, or friends.
Join a New Business Organization or Networking Group
There's nothing like talking to other business people for sparking new ideas, refining old ones, and making contacts. Whether it's a group specifically designed for networking or an organization dedicated to a particular type of business, in person or over the internet, making the effort to be a part of a group will revitalize you and your business.
Approaching networking events with a strategy will make your next time out a more successful experience.
Using popular apps such as Meetup can help you find like-minded groups who are already meeting up in your area! This way you can find groups for any need such as:
Think Long Term
When automating, consider what will make the most sense in the long run. Make sure that whatever solution you employ has the flexibility to grow and adapt to future changes in your development process. The worst thing is becoming dependent on a solution you have limited or no control over. An issue many cloud-based systems and third-party apps are known for.
Automating workflow takes a lot of upfront time and resources, both of which you’ll recover exponentially if you do it right. There’s also a steep learning curve involved, so start by creating a list of what measures will have the largest impact on the company and then prioritize by how much work/effort/risk is involved in implementing each.
One tip we offer is to write down what daily repetitive tasks you or your business does. Once you have a list, focus on the items that can be automated.
Prioritizing Work-Life Balance
The workday for a small business owner doesn’t always end at 5 pm on a Friday and pick up at 9 am on Monday. In addition, burnout is on the rise. Burnout affects both your mental and physical health, so it’s important to make sure you take the time you need to recharge.
Great ways to work in balance:
Exercise as often as you can.
Spend time with people you care about.
Get some sleep at night.
Carve out time for yourself.
Shifting even a small percentage of your free time to yourself will have big benefits. With your mind refreshed and your body energized your personal success will benefit.
Start the New Year Your Way
The idea of starting fresh is an exciting one. Who wouldn't want to take on January 1st with a clear head and a strong stride? These tips are a great way to accomplish that but don't be discouraged if you're not able to utilize all of them. Even using one or two of these tips is a great way to get 2020 started. Don't hesitate in implementing these tips right away! Once you get started, move on to another one and soon enough you'll be all set to begin fresh in the new year.