2022 has already begun. It is that time of year when people start implementing the resolutions, they set out for themselves on January 1. It's also time for businesses owners and non-profit leaders to set goals that will start 2022 off on the right foot. To help you and your organization, we have put together a list of the top ten things to consider as you start 2022. 1. Refresh Your Marketing Plan What worked well last year? What did not work? Has your marketing outgrown your current skill set? You can now revise your marketing plan based on what you have learned in 2021. Anything that did not work should probably be cut out and add more funds to the things that worked well. It also would be a good time to review and research avenues that you have not used before and consider trying them out. Make a hypothesis and test it. It may also be time to consider delegating your marketing efforts to another individual or company so that you can concentrate your time and efforts on other aspects of your business that are in your zone of genius. 2. Improve Processes There is always an opportunity to be able to produce more for less effort. Technology has come a long way and there are new software and programs created each year that can help to automate aspects of your business. The new year may be a great time to start implementing such new software and programs so you can see how they integrate into your business and whether they will be beneficial. Many technology companies have deals in the new year or offer free trials. Additionally, it is a good time to document the processes you use in your business whether it be for the services or goods you provide or whether it's for internal systems you use. Documenting the processes you use can help you find ways to streamline how you do things, assist with the onboarding of new hires, and find places where individuals may not being doing things the same way leading to inefficiencies or lost business. 3. Update Your Business Plan While it is great to have a business plan when you first start your business, it is important to recognize that the business plan is not meant to be set in stone. Your business plan should flex and change over the years that your business operates. It is time to look at what goals you accomplished in 2021 and what goals you want to set for 2022 (if you have not already set them). It is also time to look at what has changed for your 5-year goals? Your 3-year goals? Have you discovered new information about competitors? Is it time to add an investor or partner? Is it time to add more employees or contractors? Think about what you want to accomplish in 2022 and put it in writing to make it more likely you will achieve those goals. 4. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate As the owner of your business or the leader of the nonprofit, many times you are navigating running the organization alone and you are responsible for everything. It can be hard to let go of some of the aspects of running the business, but it is important to delegate or outsource some aspects that aren't your area of expertise or that someone could do faster and for less money than your time is worth. Delegation can be hard, but it is the best gift you can give yourself and your organization. There are individuals and companies whose expertise is to manage various aspects of your business like marketing or virtual assistants. Our women-for-women power partners directory includes a number of experts who can help you take the leap into delegation and leveling up your organization. 5. Join a Networking/Business Group You are the product of the five people with whom you spend the most time. As a leader, you need to make time to join and participate in professional business organizations or networking groups. Connections are essential to new and existing business owners and non-profit leaders. Entrepreneurs are fun and supportive. The best ones are always looking make new connections and to find ways to help each other's businesses grow. Additionally, it is beneficial to be around others who recognize the struggles you are going through as a business owner and leader. People who have been there and done that may be able to offer solutions to help alleviate those struggles or at a minimum let you know that you aren't alone. 6. Refresh Website/Create Website If you have not created a website for your business or non-profit yet, now is the time to consider putting one together. As 2020 and 2021 have taught us, an online presence is an essential part of being in business in today's world. 2022 would be a suitable time to invest in a website if you have not already. On the other hand, if you already have a website and haven't changed it recently, look it over to make sure it is still aligned to your goals and target audience. Whether it is something you can accomplish on your own or if you have to hire someone to do it, having an up-to-date and relevant website is critical to your success and worth the investment of time and money. 7. Drop What Is Not Working You learned at the end of 2021 what products or services did not resonate among your customers, what sales methods you used that did not work, what vendors and suppliers were not good connections for your business, and even which customers are a drain on you. If something or someone is not working, stop using it or end the relationship. Do not continue to spend money, energy, and time on people and things, trying to make them work with your organization. If it does not work, it does not work. Recognize it and move on and know that something better exists out there for you. 8. Revamp Your Workspace Whether you work from your home office or you have a separate brick and mortar space for your business, it is important that your space effectively meets your needs in order to be productive. The new year is a good time to reevaluate your working space and see if a change is needed. Do you need a new desk or other furniture? Do you need new paint? Maybe some inspirational artwork? Have you outgrown your space at home and need to move to a brick-and-mortar space for your business? Start 2022 with a space that puts you in the right mindset for your business. 9. Take Time for You/Avoid Burnout It is easy to use the energy from the holidays to set the ground running in 2022 and while it is important to utilize that energy you have obtained, it is also important to recognize and plan out some time for yourself throughout the year. Whether it is every week or every other week, set time aside to do something just for yourself. It is easy to avoid taking your time for yourself, but it is necessary in order to avoid burnout. Science tells us time for yourself gives your brain a chance to recharge and come back to work with fresh ideas and new sources of energy. 10. Dot your i's and cross your t's.
Effectively running a small business or non-profit means thinking big picture while also keeping an eye on the details. Is your organization equipped with all the legal contracts you need to protect your property, assets, and relationships? If any of these priorities have slipped to the back burner or if you’ve limped along with make-shift contracts, it’s past time to seek the help of a professional. Calling up a small business lawyer to make sure your business has the thorough and legally binding contracts it needs is one of the best resolutions you can make – and keep – this year (psst, we can help).
Best of luck on making 2022 your best year yet!