With every new year comes a slate of new opportunities for your business. Whether you're planning to expand your brand, collaborate more extensively with clients, or eyeing a fresh start, setting goals -- both big and small -- is essential for making the most of every year.
Here are some steps you can take today that will help your business thrive in the coming twelve months, whether you're just starting out or considering an innovative new approach.
1. Decide What You Want to Achieve
Before you can really begin to plot out your new goals, it's important to pause and decide what you want to achieve this year. Whether it's better client relationships, a stronger digital presence, or a focus on social good, it's vital to want something before you can get it.
To help you with this, I suggest using a goal-tracking application. My personal favorite is Habitica, because it turns your goals into a game. Every time you achieve something toward your goal in real life, the digital you levels up.
2. Remember Your Resources
You may not have the manpower to tackle everything in one year, but you should invest in what you can to make the most of your resources. Consider what your New Year's goal is and think of a plan to bring it to fruition. Take care in picking one task over another -- don't just choose the one you think will have the most impact or add to your brand in the most direct way; choose the one you are most passionate about.
Not sure where to begin? Ask for some help at MicroMentor.
3. Consider Your Relationships
Some resources are more valuable than money. Take time to think about the people who can help you with your new goals -- whether that's your employees, your clients, or your personal connections -- and what you can offer in return. Sometimes, you need to give something back to get something.
4. Overhaul Your Business Model
If your business model is outdated and your resources are limited, try to find an existing business model that fits your needs. You might try adding a subscription offering to your existing product line, or providing virtual services. This will give you flexibility to grow as your business demands, allowing you to take advantage of the opportunities that arise.
During 2020, with many restaurant dining rooms shuttered indefinitely, many switched to offering take-home kits and partnering with sites like Goldbelly to ship delivery nationwide to patrons who couldn't visit locally.
5. Weigh Your Risks
Consider the risks you may face this year, so you can better prepare for them. If 2020 taught us anything, it is that many of us weren't prepared for more than the most minor of disruptions.
- Will you be able to afford ongoing expenses?
- How much money -- if any -- do you have left over to invest in your business?
- What if you lose your funding and you can't grow as you expected?
- What if a large bill comes due and your only option is to file for bankruptcy?
These are questions that you should always have answers to -- especially after the year that was.
6. Find Inspiration and Motivation
Whatever it is you're trying to achieve, you should make sure you have the confidence and the motivation to achieve it. You may find inspiration in something outside of your business, from a children's book to a TED talk. If you can't find inspiration, look within yourself -- maybe you'll find motivation in the slow, old-fashioned process of getting started.
As a CTO, my personal go-to is always science fiction novels, especially the Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov. They help me expand my thought process to focus on what's possible if there are no limits.
Once you have all the ingredients you need, you will be unstoppable.