The first month of a new year can be challenging for owners of small businesses. You’re either trying to refocus yourself and kickstart your operations after time off for the holidays or are swamped with orders for your products or services and scrambling to catch up.
But now that January is behind us, it’s the perfect time to step back and see the big picture for your company in the year ahead. What decisions do you need to make, and what actions do you need to take to ensure your business thrives?
How To Achieve Your Business Goals This Year
One of the small business insights from our interactions with companies in many industries across the U.S. is that “proactive” isn’t a buzzword. Having that mindset is an essential ingredient of success.
“Work days tend to be somewhere between busy and chaotic for small business owners. That makes it difficult to look any further ahead than the next appointment on your calendar, jobsite you’re heading to, or customer coming in the door,” says Peter Shelley, president at biBERK—an insurance provider to small businesses and part of the Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group. “But finding time early each year to ensure you’ve positioned your company to meet your business objectives is essential.”
In our experience, businesses that take the actions below early in the year significantly improve their performance throughout the year and protect themselves from serious setbacks. You should consider doing the same.
- Get organized. Being able to quickly find and access any information you need to run your business prevents costly delays. It takes time and effort to develop organizational strategies and the infrastructure to support them, but it pays off continually throughout the year in the form of enhanced efficiency. It can also decrease your stress level and increase customer satisfaction.
- Monitor your market. Any number of issues can blindside your business if you aren’t vigilant. A supply chain disruption keeps you from getting needed supplies or materials. A labor shortage hurts your productivity. A widely adopted pricing shift puts you at a disadvantage. These types of events are far less damaging if you’re able to anticipate them to some degree, and there tend to be warning signs. You just have to be looking for them.
- Prioritize agility. The business challenges in recent years have taught us that you never know what life will throw at you. Rather than letting unexpected issues bother you, you should learn to embrace them and “roll with the punches.” Being agile looks different for every business, as we learned when the pandemic caused many businesses to modify their business model. However, anything you can do to keep your company moving forward efficiently in difficult times helps—having a plan for dispersed operations, maintaining a reasonable stockpile of resources in the event of supply chain disruptions, etc.
Outsource Software Development
Outsourcing software development has become an essential aspect of small business success. It offers numerous advantages, such as accessing specialized expertise and cost-effective solutions. Collaborating with a trusted nearshore software development company like Azumo nearshore software development can allow small businesses to tap into a skilled talent pool and receive customized software solutions that align with their unique requirements. By leveraging these services, small businesses can streamline their operations, improve efficiency, and focus on their core competencies, ultimately contributing to their overall success in a competitive market.
- Protect your finances. There are multiple ways to protect your business from financial troubles. One is to establish and continually add to an “emergency fund” you can use to pay for unexpected expenses. Another is to have small business insurance policies to cover business risks (lawsuits, property damage, etc.).
- Hire and retain top talent. A small business is only as good as its team members. Being careful in your hiring process and maintaining a positive culture at your business go a long way toward helping you develop a great team.
If You Fail To Plan…
Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” That logic is hard to dispute!
But the opposite is also true: Having a plan for success helps you achieve it. So, start implementing the steps above today, and you can be confident that your business will be in a better place tomorrow.
About Rakesh Gupta
Rakesh Gupta is chief operating officer at biBERK, part of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway company. biBERK specializes in commercial insurance for small businesses. In his role, Gupta focuses on simplifying the insurance buying experience using technology and process innovations that make it easier for small business owners to get the coverage they need.
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