Happy New Year’s Eve! Every year, this day brings with it the sweet sensations of excitement, preparation and hope as we look ahead toward the new year and wonder what will come. Will 2019 be filled with good news and adventure? Or will it bring strife and challenges?
For small business owners, professionals and marketers, a new year creates a whole new set of ideas, difficulties and problems to consider. What might have worked in 2018 for business might not work in 2019. However, though we can never know what will come in the year ahead, there are ways to prepare for 2019. Here’s how to set your business up for success in the new year.
1. Conduct an audit.
The first step to setting up for success in 2019 is understanding how the business did in 2018. Before you can plan for the upcoming year, you first need a deep understanding of the various layers and parts within the organization. Which means, before you dive into setting resolutions for 2019, take time to map out the current state of the company. Which areas are growing successfully, and which areas might need more support? Run a thorough audit throughout the entire business structure to see where the company is at, so you can have a strong grasp of where you want it to go.
2. Identify your priorities.
Once you’ve completed the audit, identify your priorities for the upcoming year. Setting goals is definitely valuable in business, but prioritizing those goals can ensure they actually get done. In other words, create a Big Dream Checklist for 2019. Look forward to the end of 2019 and consider where you want the business to be by then. Now is the time to dream big! Once you have a few big goals or dreams in mind, work backwards and identify the steps it will take to accomplish them. While creating a priority list might seem overwhelming, it will be extremely useful as you move forward into the new year and stay on track with your goals.
3. Check in with the team.
Whether you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or at the bottom of the totem pole in a small business, it’s important to check in with team members. Particularly at such a pivotal moment as the new year, your teammates might feel overwhelmed, stressed or even consider switching jobs. Now is the time to check in with them, empathize with their concerns and encourage their talents. The team plays a critical role in any company’s success, which means if you want 2019 to be a great year for business, then your team’s motivation levels must be a high priority.
4. Learn something new.
You’ve probably heard the saying before, “Leaders are readers.” When it comes to business, nothing could be more true. The moment you start to believe you have everything figured out is the moment the business will begin to crumble. Instead, focus on learning something new in 2019. What you choose to learn could be intricately related to the industry, or it could be something completely unconnected. Whatever it is, learning something new adds to your skillset a new level of knowledge, understanding and even motivation, which can influence how you interact in business in 2019.
5. Practice self-compassion.
Finally, set your business up for success in the new year by practicing self-compassion. Oftentimes as professionals, we can be incredibly hard on ourselves, tearing ourselves down whenever we fall short of a goal. Instead, allow yourself the respect of failure. Recognize that you are not perfect, and there will be many moments in 2019 when you make the wrong decision. When those moments come, practice self-compassion. Set yourself up for success by continuing to move forward, despite how many failures you have along the way.
The new year brings with it a whole new set of challenges for small business professionals. However, by taking intentional steps, you can set yourself up for success, no matter what may come your way throughout 2019. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for the new year, and watch your business flourish in the coming months.