The space between the old and a new is when resolutions are made. Everyone may feel a little hesitant when creating new year’s resolutions after the year that 2020 brought us, but despite the ups and downs, it doesn’t mean we can’t all be hopeful and plan for the year ahead. Thinking of at least one new year’s resolution for business purposes can help set the tone for positivity and progress heading into 2021.
As a business owner, take into account what will help push your organization forward in the new year. While revenue is what most immediately comes to mind, there are plenty of other ways to show growth and value for your company that don’t directly have to do with money. Regardless of the approach, your new year’s resolution should be realistic, quantifiable, and feel rewarding.
Common New Year’s Resolutions for Businesses
Setting a new year’s resolution for business depends on what you want yourself, your company, and your employees to achieve in the coming year. This goal setting often includes a greater connectivity within your group to finding a greater purpose to focus on throughout the year. Whether you want to create a better work life balance, improve employee satisfaction, or dive into an exciting project, here are a few resolutions to inspire and motivate you as you make plans for better days ahead.
Prioritize Work/Life Balance
The idea of a standard 9-to-5 work day is becoming increasingly flexible to accommodate the demands of a job and the needs of its employees. Now that certain roles have gone remote and others have changed their job description to adapt to changing business models, everyone has had to learn quickly in order to stay afloat within the coming year.
Feeling overwhelmed was a common theme in 2020 due to the current environment. This has caused people to shift their priorities, availability, and time spent working. For many, it meant increasing hours to work far past five o’clock. For others, it meant getting the day started earlier to meet other at-home responsibilities for the day.
While everyone has had to sacrifice in some way, 2021 is a time to shift back to a schedule that prioritizes quality work and quality time off rather than allowing the two to constantly overlap. To prioritize a better balance, it takes a lot of communication, trust, and learning to find a place where everyone is comfortable, both for the employee and for the business owner.
Update Your Physical Space
Most employees worked from home in 2020 but will slowly start to return to their regular physical workplaces in 2021. A new year’s resolution for business that’ll be common is making updates to office layouts and offerings. Social distancing and maintaining a clean and sanitary space will still be of great importance, which requires separation of desks and a well-stocked supply of paper towels, soap, and hand sanitizer.
It also means changing how everyday items are made available to employees and visitors. Individually-wrapped snacks or lunches and hands-free or one-touch water refill stations will take the place of communal meals and a shared water pitcher during meetings. Many smaller changes like these will make a significant difference in terms of people’s safety and comfort levels being back in the office after spending so much time apart.
Invest in the Community
Giving back to the community is important now more than ever as people struggle with having their basic needs met. Find a cause that makes you feel passionate and work with your team to brainstorm ways on how you can be involved within your own city or neighborhood versus donating money alone.
A few options to reach this goal are designating workplace volunteer hours to one special event or allowing team members time off to volunteer at the organization of their choice. Plan ahead about what giving back looks like, the time it requires, and the impact you hope to make as you set this as one of your resolutions in 2021.
Learn How to Delegate
Covid-19 has put everyone into a crisis mode where people may be fearful of asking for help or not sure if they can count on others to get the job done. In 2021, as stability starts to resume in business, begin delegating tasks among team members to create an even workload distribution, so no single person feels bogged down by responsibility for too many things.
This positive change helps to empower your team to take on new responsibilities and feel like a greater part of the success of the company. From a leadership perspective, determine which type of tasks can be delegated to senior and junior staff members and how you can track progress to ensure they’re being met and employees are given what they need to succeed in the coming year.
Communication has been at the forefront over the past year as changes have occurred on a frequent basis. There have been changes between businesses and their customers but staffing and in-house protocols have been modified as well. Take time to gauge feedback from your team about how things have been working. Ask if there are areas of improvement they feel would help move the business forward. And, ensure everyone is aligned with how and when messages are sent and received.
A breakdown of communication on any level immediately derails a business and can lead to bigger problems if not addressed right away. Leaving room to ensure communication is clear and everyone is on board with the direction of the company is a valuable way to maximize day-to-day operations in a smoother and more efficient way.
Reach a New Audience
Although businesses typically have a target audience in mind when marketing their services and products, it’s never a bad idea to research and evaluate ways to expand your reach. Review your data and take a look at where they may be missing opportunities. Consumers’ shopping habits have shifted radically over the past year and will continue a similar wave into 2021.
For example, restaurants that had to move their operations outdoors or switch availability for pickup only may not have previously relied heavily on this outdoor during or takeout until 2020. However, they may see this as an opportunity to improve and grow this part of the business going into 2021.
Another industry that can focus on reaching bigger audiences is the travel sector. Regular travelers who were itching to explore unseen places started planning adventures closer to home and likely will continue to do in the coming months. Hotels that may have previously catered to business travel may find opportunities with a demographic that’s planning staycations for families and couples. These are two examples of industries that can capitalize on the growth they were forced to endure and broaden their scope to embrace a growing audience.
Make Self-Care a Priority
Business owners have been working around-the-clock carrying on their daily operations in addition to adapting to constant changes set forth by city and state guidelines. The constant push can feel overwhelming for everyone, which makes self-care a high priority. Whether this means shortening operating hours (at least temporarily) or taking a few days off, being flexible in the new year is part of what will help make the work most productive and impactful.
Without a break or attention to preserve both physical and mental health, it can easily lead to burnout and bigger problems than taking a few days off or closing a few hours early. Find areas where you can make adjustments. Share examples of self-care with your team that will help them feel better rested and recharged.
Find a Better Workflow
Sometimes it’s easy to get into a rhythm of things that work for the moment but aren’t the best long-term. Where are there areas your team can improve efficiencies? How can you use technology to help manage administrative tasks and free up time for complex responsibilities? Part of evaluating your current process is prioritizing projects and tasks, setting clear expectations across your team, and minimizing or eliminating unnecessary interruptions.
Once you’ve established an updated way to do things, ensure everyone is properly trained and understands the new workflow and the reason for the switch. It’s challenging to shift to a different system, even if the old one isn’t working. Give everyone time to adapt and deliver feedback as you solidify an effective workflow.
Launch a New Project
Businesses that feel like they’re just now getting their feet back underneath them may find it daunting to launch a new project. However, this can instill a stronger sense of purpose. There are several avenues to take, big and small. A few examples include: updating your website, starting a social media channel, or offering an elevated service. It can also involve building a stronger sense of camaraderie among your team, since everyone has been dispersed remotely. This can be a creative endeavor, a volunteer effort, or another project that will make your team feel accomplished and inspired.
Though the dawn of 2021 will feel like a different kind of new year than what we’ve experienced in the past, there’s never been a better time to set an intention with a new year’s resolution for business purposes. Make it challenging with mini, achievable milestones along the way. Make it realistic for the current state of your business to set yourself up for success. And, make it meaningful for the future of your business and the mindset of your team ready for a fresh start.