As the year ends, we reflect on what’s transpired in the past and then look forward to the future. It’s the perfect time to begin planning and start the year off right. But you must plan! In fact, you’re 16% more likely to achieve viability than otherwise identical non-planning entrepreneurs by planning ahead. So don’t leave your year up to chance. Plan for success and start your business off on the right foot with these eight steps below.
1. Reflect and Learn
Take a look at 2021. How did it go for you? A yearly company review is a great way to get a pulse on your business. Take a look at your goals, the bottom line, performance vs. expectations, and more. Compare what you wanted to do with what you actually accomplished. By approaching your reflections with a 10,000-foot view, you’ll be able to see what you have accomplished clearly, and areas for improvement.
2. Set Goals for Your Future
Now that you’ve had time to look back and see both successes and areas of opportunity, it’s time to set goals. When setting business goals, think about what you want to accomplish in the new year. Yearly goals should be set with your company vision in mind and move you closer to your long-term goals. Remember goals should be S.M.A.R.T., specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Once you have your goals, share them with your team or mentor to help you stay accountable.
3. Review Your Budget
Preparing a budget is hugely beneficial to your company. Budgets help you plan for upcoming costs, such as hiring a new team member or updating old equipment. Without a budget, you may be off track to hit financial goals or, even worse, go out of business. If you have never set a budget, there is no better time to start! To begin, take a look at last year’s actual numbers and use them as a baseline. Make sure to budget for revenue, fixed costs, variable costs, and include emergency funds. From there, tailor the budget to fit your needs. Then check in monthly to see if you are on track with spending or need to revise your plans.
4. Revisit Your Competition
The landscape of events is still shifting. There are many new players every year. Take a look at the market and determine your competition. Research the competition to understand their strengths and weaknesses. You can research by searching for the services you offer and seeing who pops up on online searches, see who is exhibiting at tradeshows near you, or ask your clients what other businesses they considered using. Take a look at what the competition offers, their pricing, and try to find ways to differentiate yourself.
5. Get Organized
If you aren’t organized, it can impact your business’ functionality. Disorganization leads to a lot of problems, you may not be able to find important documents, or perhaps you missed a meeting. To start, make sure your physical workspace is clean and everything has a place. Then it’s time to turn to your virtual workspace. Make sure to clean up your desktop, throw away old files you no longer need. Then create folders for all your clients and other materials. This way, everything will be a breeze to find when you need it.
6. Increase Productivity
Time-management skills allow you to stay focused and accomplish tasks faster. Everyone can work on productivity and get better over time. If you find yourself easily distracted, eliminate distractions from your day. Turn your phone on silent, set “focus hours” on your calendar, and ask your team not to message you unless it’s imperative during that time. Aside from eliminating distractions, be intentional. Every day make a list of what you would like to accomplish. Start by listing tasks from most important to least. Work the way down your list. You’ll feel great checking off your to-dos!
7. Grow Your Skills
It’s no secret that the landscape of events is changing. We’re in a whole new era with virtual events and hybrid events. And our industry will continue to evolve as we learn how to safely gather during the ongoing pandemic. The best way to stay relevant and provide the best service is to educate yourself to stand out from the competition and master events. For example, you could upskill by taking courses and event planning certifications designed to help you learn new skills in our industry. Or attend an industry conference or tradeshow. Going will allow you to see what is new and open your eyes to new theories and best practices– looking for an industry show to attend? Check out the Northwest Event Show and learn and grow with some of the greatest minds in the PNW!
8. Create a Better Work-Life Balance
Event professionals have some of the most stressful jobs in the world. CareerCast’s annual Most Stressful Jobs Report placed Event Coordinator at number six on the list, right up there with police officers and firefighters. So with a job this stressful, it’s essential to create a good work-life balance. It’s easy to work around the clock, especially now that so many of us are remote. But we must make the separation from the office to home (yes, even if your office is at home). Maintaining a work-life balance reduces stress and can help prevent burnout. It’s not always easy to find the balance, but you’ll need to in order to have a successful business. So set boundaries, don’t reply to that late-night email, and take breaks because you deserve them!
It’s a Wrap: 8 Steps to Start the Year Off Right for Your Business
It’s a wrap, our top 8 steps to start the year off right for your business. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful year. We want to know, what are your biggest business goals for 2022? Comment below, and we might just write an article about it to help you out!