Starting 2022 the Right Way: A Complete New Year’s Resolution for Small Businesses and FreelancersWritten by Angela on January 03, 2022
It’s the new year! The world is moving forward to 2022 with brighter hopes and a clearer future than the previous year.
Starting 2022 the right way for us small business owners and freelancers means taking stock of what we should leave behind in 2021, and what we can resolve to improve on in 2022.
The best part of being a business owner or freelancer in this time of the year is how we have more control over our work. What we do in the coming months have a big impact on our endeavors! Set yourself up for success by planning your new year right.
If you haven’t decided on your new year resolutions yet, take a look at our top ten new year’s resolution for small business owners and freelancers like yourself.
Resolution #1: Don’t Wait, Take Initiative
It can be tempting to cruise along both in our personal lives and in business in this coming year. The last two years have been very challenging, and we’re all looking for respite that 2022, hopefully, will bring.
But if you want to get the most out of this bright new year, being proactive and taking initiative with your plans will maximize your satisfaction this year.
Both in business and in your personal life, make achievable business plans and a timeframe when you’d like to have them done. Chances are, there are new goals for you on the horizon, so now’s a great time to make concrete plans to achieve them.
Holding off on launching a new product line until worldwide shipping is more stable? Plan and take small steps like brainstorming and prototyping while you wait. When shipping is ready, you’ll be ready!
Passing up on local conventions because of the threat of COVID-19? As restrictions ease up and more people get vaccinated, look for safe opportunities to get back into the scene. Whether it’s networking or hawking your wares, now’s a good time to get ready for the coming events. Make sure your business cards are ready, booth decors are prepared, and your best smile is primed.
Resolution #2: Reinvigorate Your Brand
The past two years have been a transformative time for everyone. So much has changed. From new ways of living, working, and doing business; to the way we consume content and entertain ourselves; to the business and products we might even use on a daily basis.
The world has changed. Your business must change along with it.
This includes the way your business and work presents itself. While your brand might still work well in 2022, don’t pass up the chance to give it a little facelift.
This can help you land more clients, sell more products, or connect better with your existing customers. The market is different, after all. Your brand should follow suit.
Take stock of the following:
- Your brand strategy. Reflect on how you wanted the world to see your business in the past. Is this still true? Have you changed target markets, or have there been integral shifts in what your market needs that you provide? Are there new values that you want to highlight? Is your brand strategy still making you memorable for your customers?
- Your brand identity. Give your name, logo, and colors a quick review to see if there is anything that needs to be refreshed for your target market in 2022. Don’t forget that print and web materials also contribute to your brand identity. Your documents’ fonts, style, and design also play a part in your brand’s identity.
- Your brand marketing. Whatever changes you make now, make sure you’ve got the right marketing behind it to make an impact on your current and potential customers. This isn’t just about splashy marketing on your rebranding, but making sure all your communications are consistent moving forward.
Out with the old, and in with the new!
Resolution #3: Get Loud on Social Media
If there’s one thing that the worldwide lockdowns have highlighted in the recent past, it’s the importance of your online presence as a business and freelancer.
While you have likely upped your game on social media throughout the lockdowns, you should continue to focus on your presence in 2022. Take your discoveries during the past few years and amp them up to 11 and make yourself heard online.
Take a look at your current market. Are there new social media platforms they’re on that you haven’t started on yet? Get to know these new landscapes and how your social media presence can help enrich their experience of your brand and the platform.
Review your current social media accounts, and if their messaging can be improved to better connect with your audience. The shift in values and habits due to the pandemic may have shifted your audience’s preferences in what they see, so it’s always a good idea to revisit this every once in a while.
Social media becoming too overwhelming for you? Don’t forget you have other options to help you streamline your business if it’s becoming too difficult to keep up. Look into social media calendars and applications that can help you schedule posts. You can also look at hiring team members to help you manage your presence. Remember, you don’t have to stick to the old way of doing things in 2022.
Resolution #4: Get to Know Your Customers Better
The world has changed. Your market has transformed over the last few years, maybe even months. Your previous customers might not be the best market for your business and work.
Now is a great time to sit down and take stock of your current target market. As part of your new year’s resolutions, you should get to know your customers better and find out how to serve them best. Getting better acquainted with your current customers can help you expand to new customers, with better offerings or more targeted products and communications.
Like the previous resolution, you should be where your customers are. Engage with them on your social media accounts. Write content for them and invite them to engage with you. Whether you ask them casual questions or invite them to fill out more formal surveys, the information you get will help you make your business and work better.
Resolution #5: Get to Know Your Network Better
It’s not just your customers that changed these past few years. The industry you’re in and your network has gone through their own upheaval, too. These business changes will continue into 2022.
Your competition may have changed. Are your older competitors still playing? Do you have new ones that are poised to take a bite from your pie? Take stock of old and new alike. What they’re doing and how they’re addressing the worldwide changes can be keys to staying relevant.
Perhaps some of those competitors may even become valuable partners in 2022? A new year can mean new beginnings, and that means there are more opportunities to partner up with other business owners and freelancers for your mutual benefit.
Are there new niche or adjacent industries popping up on your radar that might be great to partner up with? Keep your eyes peeled for these opportunities to help each other.
Resolution #6: Revisit Your Finances
The last few years have been a steady flow of adjusting and recalibrating for the challenging months. While this is happening, it’s common to become lax with how you handle your finances while your focus is elsewhere. You’re staying on top of your spending, but it’s not enough.
Make it your new year’s resolution for your business to tighten up again. Whether it’s reallocating your budgets or being more meticulous in documenting your business expenses, you should sit down and make sure all your finances are in order.
Reassessing your financials can help you see places where you can start to tighten the budget in 2022. You might even be able to free up some money for a much-needed upgrade or overhaul that can do your business good in the new year. If keeping track of these financial statements are a challenge, remember that there are applications like online invoicing software that can help you.
It’s also a great time to make sure all your business documentation is in good order and ready for anything in 2022.
Resolution #7: Raise Your Prices
The past few years have been extremely challenging.
Margins have become smaller: costs have skyrocketed, but your market might not have been able to afford the same luxuries.
The gig economy has also seen an influx of new freelancers, bringing with it stiffer competition at the same or lower price point.
If you’ve held off on raising your prices due to the worldwide crisis, you’re not alone.
While it’s still important to assess your industry and your competition, cut you and your business some slack this 2022 and raise your prices to what is fair. It will help you stay afloat, and your profit also means better services and products for your customers in the future.
Don’t be too scared about raising your prices. If you do and sell quality work, your prices should reflect that. New markets can open when you take the right approach to pricing in your business.
Resolution #8: Protect Yourself from Risk
If there is anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s the importance of being prepared for things that can negatively affect our business.
While a worldwide pandemic is probably not quite high on the list of possible disasters to hit our businesses in the near future (we hope), you should still take this time to sit down and assess what risks your business is exposed to.
Take small steps to minimize your business risks. Are all your business files on the cloud? What happens if a week-long power outage occurs, and you’re not able to access them? Are you reliant on your brick-and-mortar store, or your website, to do business? What can you do as a store or online shop alternative if things go south?
While you cannot ensure yourself from all risks, you can minimize their impact on your business with some careful planning. Don’t just run willy-nilly into 2022: make sure you’re safe!
Resolution #9: Get Your Backroom In Order
Chances are, the scramble to survive in the last two years have changed the way you work and do business.
Maybe you have new processes you’re following; maybe you’ve changed the tools you use or the people you talk to. Did the pandemic shift your work location? Did you discover a new market these past two years?
Times like these are transformative, and it’s no wonder you’ve had to adapt to survive. But this necessary change might not quite be as optimized as you have prior to your transformation. With the world becoming more stable by the month, it’s time to take a step back and look for places where you have room to optimize.
Did you hire new staff to help you manage certain aspects of your business? Revisit their tasks and see if you can streamline the work they do and even the process by which you assign them work. This can mean a faster, more accurate process for your whole business.
Did you take on new product lines to help you get through the pandemic? Are these products still relevant today, or should you start phasing them out? Are there new product lines (or even pre-pandemic products) that should be introduced (or re-introduced)? If you don’t plan on keeping certain product lines, it’s a good time to start planning how to dispose of them at minimal cost to your business.
Resolution #10: Take Time Off
It’s 2022. The past two years have been a wild roller coaster, and we’ve all been on high-alert both in our personal lives and in our work. While we hope you’ve been taking the time to take care of yourselves over the past few years, it’s time to be more deliberate about it.
With the world opening up month by month, it’s a good time to start thinking about taking a breather from the stress.
Taking the time off from your business isn’t just about a vacation and rest time for you (and possibly your loved ones). While the health benefits are undeniable (physically, emotionally, and mentally), a time off can also be great for your business.
This can help you recalibrate your mind to focus better when you come back. A breather can help open your mind to become more creative and more open to new opportunities. Vacations can be important places where you can discover more about yourself, your work, and your industry.
Take some time off and come back to your business reinvigorated and ready to take on the world!