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If you’re starting the new year with promises such as; this year I will be more organised, have better work-life balance, take my business/career to new heights, or don’t leave things until last minute; you’re in good company. But, let’s be honest, how long does our ‘new way of doing things’ usually last? A month, maybe two? By the time Easter rolls around most of us have fallen back into old habits.
Maybe there is a trick to help us stick to our business new year’s resolutions this year.
But maybe there is a trick to help us stick to our promises this year. What if we go a little overboard in January and get super organised now? Kind of like getting a head-start for the rest of the year.
For many of us January is a quieter month so it’s the perfect time to channel your inner organiser and get your (business’) ducks in a row. But, planning alone won’t be enough. You can come up with great ideas of how you will manage your work and business better in 2021 but most of us will fall off the wagon once things get busy and hectic again, especially if Covid continues to wreak havoc amongst the community.
One silver lining of Covid though is many of us learnt how to be more flexible and adaptable, we learnt new skills and ways of doing things so laid the foundations for introducing new ways of working and productivity hacks that we can continue to execute and apply in 2021. This represents a real opportunity to use your time now to continue to reflect on and implement those new ways of working and how they will save you time across the year.
Four things to do in January to get your business’s ducks in a row for the rest of the year.
Here are four things we recommend doing in January to get your business ready for the year – and give yourself a shot at actually delivering on those promises you’re making to yourself.
1. Develop templates
Great templates can make life so much easier and save heaps of time. Whether it’s client facing documents such as proposals for work, creative briefs, project updates or invoices, or internal documents such as project overviews, leave requests or timesheets; creating templates now means time saved later in the year.
Have a think about the types of documents that are needed regularly in your business. If they are pretty much the same, or very similar, each time a template is probably a valuable thing to have.
Great templates can make life so much easier and save heaps of time. #ThingsToDoInJanuary
2. Develop & document processes (Standard Operating Procedures)
Whether it’s sales and marketing processes, client on-boarding, project management, invoicing or customer communication – developing and documenting efficient processes now can help significantly speed things up later on. Flowcharts are a great way to quickly document processes that are easy to understand and follow. Invest the time now so that when things get busy you (and your team) have an easy step-by-step document to follow and everyone knows what needs to be done.
Developing and documenting processes now can be a real time and stress saver later in the year. #ThingsToDoInJanuary
Hot tip! Developing a SOP is something that can be easily outsourced to a Virtual Assistant (VA) to be done even more efficiently.
3. Take some time to review the skillsets you require in your business and within your team
I’m sure you’ve done (most of) your planning for the year by now and set your goals. But have you taken the time to look at the skillsets required for your business to take it forward and how they are reflected in your team?
Now is the time to identify any skillset gaps and either find the additional talent you need or to look for opportunities for upskilling your existing team members. It is your people that make or break your business so investing in them can only really result in a win-win situation to future proof your business.
Take the time to sit down with your team and discuss their goals and ambitions for the year and together identify potential courses or programmes that deliver on both the vision you hold for your business and their career goals. Investing in your team will pay dividends both in terms of your working relationship and the new initiatives and business benefits their newly acquired skills will bring to the table.
4. Review your existing tools and systems
Yes, reviewing the technology you are using can seem a bit scary, overwhelming and distracting. But, it can make life so much easier when well implemented – especially when things gets busy. The important thing is to do your research and do it right. Don’t just sign up for the latest shiny productivity tool and expect it to radically change your business. To really leverage the benefits technology can offer you need to invest time to implement and learn the new tools you introduce into your business and onboard you team to ensure they start using them.
Don’t just sign up for the latest productivity tool and expect it to change your business.
January is a great time to bring in new systems and set them up properly. Do your research to make sure you’re getting the right tools for your business. And once you’ve made a decision commit to it. Sure, you want to test a new product for a while. But the sooner you make the yes or no call the better for your business. Once you’ve found the right one, you have to be all in and really commit to it – it’s all or nothing when it comes to technology. And be prepared to invest some time into it. Technology is getting smarter but it still can’t read minds.
If you feel a bit lost on where to start looking at new technology solutions – read our blog here on the top 9 tips for choosing cloud based software.
Doing these four things now (or even just some/one of them) and you will have a much better shot at achieving your business New Year’s resolutions this year and getting your team, tools and systems off to a great start.
Contact us for a demonstration of ROLL here