2020 has been a challenging year for all and has been especially tough on business owners as England and much of Europe now sit through another pandemic-forced lockdown. For many, looking forward to the potential that 2021 and onwards offers and creating a thorough plan can be a great way to not only use this time wisely but also reassure staff, customers and yourself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
For those in a position to look forward to the new calendar year, we share some tips for making sure you are as prepared as possible.
Upgrade your interiors
One way to really welcome in the new year is to upgrade your working space. Many of us have spent at least some time working from home during this year and as such, a return to the office feels like a big deal. To both re-energise your space and your employees, why not upgrade your interiors?
This can mean giving the walls a lick of paint, upgrading desks and working equipment or even introducing new technology which will make a big difference to the business. One thing you could do is look to implement a disabled lift to upgrade your accessibility. Especially for open door businesses set over multiple floors, making sure your space is as accessible as possible means all of your customers will feel catered for and thought about.
Create a plan for the new year
Making sure you hit the ground running with the new year is made significantly easier with a detailed and thorough plan in place. This can mean writing down not only your business goals but the steps you need to take to get there. Depending on the goals you have, it could even mean writing down weekly or monthly schedules in preparation.
Alexandra from My PA Planner told us: “Make sure you schedule everything because everything takes time. This helps you to see time realistically and helps you make the best and most effective use of your time. I always say, ‘if it isn’t scheduled it isn’t real and if it’s real it deserves to be scheduled’. When you do this you soon work out what’s not important.”
Re-energise your workforce
Many people have found 2020 difficult, and even if your business has thrived during this period, the effects of an unprecedented year are still likely to have taken a toll on everyone. This is why it’s important that you make sure that you take the time to re-energise your staff. You can do this in two parts, firstly by acknowledging the effort they have put in over the past year and secondly by displaying what it is they can expect and look forward to in the upcoming year.
You should take this time to also talk to staff about any suggestions they may have for the business. Everyone has a different perspective and taking all of them in will help you understand the full landscape of your business. Maybe your staff have found working from home good for them and want to know if they can continue that? Maybe they have noticed communication is lacking? Whatever it is, you won’t be able to do anything about it if you don’t know.
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Reflect on the past year
It’s been a turbulent year that’s for sure, and with that comes myriad learning experiences. Although every business had to face challenges outside of their control this year, they also had to learn how to get through these changes and likely learnt a lot about their employees, business, customers and more.
Make sure that you reflect on the year that has been and look at what worked and what hasn’t. By understanding this you’ll be able to see the areas in which your staff deserve praise and the areas that you can plan to improve upon.
Look for learning opportunities
It won’t just be you reflecting on the past year but all business owners, thought leaders and entrepreneurs. Although looking forward to the future is a prime goal, taking time to educate yourself with learning opportunities can be a great way to make you a more rounded businessperson and improve your own experience.
Whether you have been in the business two years or 20, there is always something to learn. 2020 has shown us that anything can happen and moving forward it is wise for business owners to be as prepared as possible and being well informed is a big part of that.
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How to prepare your business for a new calendar year:
- Upgrade your interiors
- Create a plan for the new year
- Re-energise your workforce
- Reflect on the past year
- Look for learning opportunities
Now, when looking forward to the upcoming new year we hope you and your business feels ready to not only overcome any obstacle but to also thrive. These steps may seem small, but when achieved properly they can put you in the right place to succeed.
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