Well, here we are starting a new year with new hopes and dreams. If the last few years taught us anything, we may want to temper our expectations of what the year has in store. But hope springs eternal and we are here to help make 2023 better than 2022, 21, 20 and 19. So, we’ve put together 10 tips to help put our best foot forward.
For several years, we used to have a kick-off meeting with personal and professional goals. I don’t think everyone enjoyed the process of self-examination. A couple of years ago, we stopped it and I could feel a collective sigh of relief from the team. But I felt a little rudderless that first year, as even if I didn’t hit my marks for the year, I took aim.
So we started doing our meeting again just to start us off. So, while your personal and professional goals may still in be the planning stage, here are 10 steps to help you take aim at 2023.
1 – Your Organization
Despite of our best efforts, business owners develop blind spots when it comes to their companies. We overlook marketing, prices, resources and more trying to sustain and grow. Take a moment and audit your organization with a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.) It may help to address some blind spots before you invest any resources in growth strategies.
3 – Stay Organized
Face it, business can get fast paces and we are a hot mess when it comes to staying organized. Take some steps to get organized so you can make larger and more strategic strides in your business. Here are a couple to get you going.
4 – Embracing Your Investment
Before you ask, yes, it will cost to grow your business. You get out what you put in your business. If you think you are going to catch or pass your competition on the cheap, you won’t. It takes effort, skill, planning, people, and time. With all that said, we’re going to focus on time here.
Why you ask? We are an impatient lot. Business owners want results and we want them NOW. I think many owners forgot what it takes to get in the mix and do the work sometimes. Because we may be starting a process we are unfamiliar with, we assume it’s a “quick fix.”
“My question to owners would be…How did you come to that conclusion?”
Before we get all bent out of shape over an investment that we approved not 30 days ago, understand what all the variables are. Understand that this investment may need to be a 6 month commitment. This may need to hire someone to handle this new service.
5 – Finding a Partner
Speaking on a new hire, that person may not even work in your building. You may find that you need to find a professional resource to help you. You may only need them for a certain project or you may find hiring someone full-time is 4x the cost.
Partner with a resource that has the experience you are looking for in the project. This will cut the learning curve and lead to better performance overall.
We’d like to recommend Studio490 as that partner.
6 – Measuring Performance
You can’t grow what you don’t measure. You’d be surprised how often people say, “we don’t”, when I ask them how they measure their progress. Either they forgot, they think they installed something a while ago or they don’t know what to do with the numbers.
Take the time to track your efforts and learn what numbers you should be concerned with in your business. You don’t want to chase vanity numbers, but something that benefits your company.
If you need help to decipher the numbers, find someone to help find how to track your efforts.
Track, Adjust, Deploy, Repeat
7 – Get Realistic About Your Commitment
If you want a service that has a 6 month ramp and you show up after 30 days squawking about ROI…don’t. No one likes that guy. If you are going to commit to something, stick with it. It’s great to have questions. Ask if we can make adjustments, or please educate me on the process a bit more.
But not understanding the commitment is just going to make everyone frustrated about the project. If you want to have a discussion about ROI, see step 2 above, as that needs to be addressed at the discovery stage.
Communicate effectively at all stages of the project to avoid hiccups.
8 – Identify Your Competition
Just because you are in the same industry as a much larger company doesn’t make them your competition. You’ll have a hard time competing with a company that can outspend you by 10x. Do some competitive research and see what competitors who are similar to your size. Pick a few that are a little larger than you and see what they are doing.
You can learn a lot about what you should do to gain ground with some market research. Trying to be a company 10x your size is not realistic, yet.
9 – Be Open to Adjustments
The only consistent thing in business is change. Life would be so easy if we could find the one thing to do and then do it to succeed. But just when we do that one thing, so does everyone else, and what worked then does not now. If you’re going to be frustrated about change, plan to be frustrated most of the time.
On the other hand, change can be exciting and really beneficial. When I first started working on web design/development, it was 1995 and the tools were horrible. It didn’t matter that much because I didn’t know anything as the internet was so new. But I knew changes were coming and boy, they haven’t stopped.
For some things, this is great, for others, that is frustrating (ex social media).
But that is the nature of business, embrace change or be left behind.
10 – Reflect, Readjust, Repeat
As we get to our last tip to have a successful 2023, we challenge everyone (including ourselves) to reflect, readjust and repeat. If you and your company stay nimble, you’ll have a much greater chance of growth.