2020 was quite the year! It was full of issues and changes that caused a huge impact on everyone’s lives. We’ve had to adapt and pivot to the changes that made living and working a struggle at times. 2021 is all about getting things back on track.
What goals have you made for your business? Whether you are a business owner or manager, you may want some tips on how to get motivated and ensure you maximise your business productivity for the year ahead. That way you will be smashing those 2021 business goals.
Below we’ll highlight five tips on how you can kickstart your year and be the most productive yet in your business.
1. Create Business Goals and Start Planning How You Will Achieve Them
Not knowing what you want to achieve in 2021 will bring you to a grinding halt before you’ve even started. That’s why it’s important to set goals and have a plan for the year ahead. The best goals are SMART ones.
- Specific. Be clear on what your goal is and exactly what you want to achieve.
- Measurable. You know when you’ve reached it because there will be a clear measurement involved.
- Achievable. It can be completed and isn’t something far-fetched.
- Relevant. Is it going to help your business in the long run?
- Timebound. Give yourself a deadline to achieve the goal by.
After you have set your goals, it’s time to start planning! Plan how you will get to the goal and what steps are involved beforehand. There are some great pieces of software that can help in these vital planning stages, such as Microsoft Planner, Microsoft To Do or Microsoft Whiteboard. Create to-do lists and you will feel accomplished each time you tick something off. Have it handy too, so that you can check it each day.
2. Create Productivity Boosting Habits
By managing your time better, you will notice when you are procrastinating. You may even find tasks throughout the day that could be delegated elsewhere. Track your time to see exactly how long you are spending on each task, and what is essentially wasting your time.
An easy way to track your time is to look into time management and time tracking apps. Start implementing these into your working day. We highly recommend OneNote as it integrates with Outlook and Teams. Toggl is a great time tracker, you can see exactly how long you spend on each task. This will be the platform where you will uncover the time wasters of your day. Or you may prefer to use Timeular, which is more of a physical item.
We all know that the internet is a HUGE time waster, so what can you do? The app Freedom helps to block distracting sites when you need it. This has already saved people an insane amount of time a day, which helps you to be more productive at work!
3. Collaborate and Communicate Within Your Team
Remote working has risen, so now more than ever, it is important to ensure you have the right systems and tools in place to allow collaboration and communication to happen effectively within your team. Microsoft Teams is an excellent choice, especially as it integrates so nicely with your other Microsoft 365 software and apps. It keeps all files and documents all in one easily accessible place and it also allows for video conferencing and instant messaging.
Microsoft Projects is also a great app to use when it comes to project planning and management.
It could also be beneficial to set up a company intranet, this is another way to keep people up to date with what’s going on within the business at all times and a place to store documentation. It is worth looking into SharePoint for this.
4. Engage and Communicate with Your Customers
How would you rate your communication with your customers? Do you have regular contact with current customers? Do you follow up on potential clients?
It’s important to be visible with your customers to heighten their experience and brand loyalty. There are different ways you can connect regularly with your clients and customers. Whether that’s through email marketing campaigns, using a platform like Mailchimp, or utilising social media scheduling platforms, like Hootsuite, to ensure consistency with your social media content.
Contact should be made between once a week to once a month, so share your news, information, offers and helpful tips. By sharing valuable content with your customers, they are more likely to return and use your services or buy your products.
5. Address your Cyber-Security Posture
This is important. Make increasing your cyber-security protection one of your top goals.
Start off with getting a good password manager (we really like the one we use) to help create strong and random passwords for your software and apps. Some of these apps go a step further and do dark web scanning to see if your password is out there for the bad guys to use. A password manager is safer and more secure with the added benefit that it will save the frustration of forgetting passwords and struggling to come up with new ones! You also should be thinking about implementing multi-factor authentication for logging into apps and software. Your IT service partner will be able to advise you on both of these.
Do you have an IT service partner? Are you happy with them? Do they work proactively? If you have answered no to all or any of these questions, then it’s time to find a reliable, reputable and expert IT service provider just like BlueGrass Technology. We were voted best IT Company in Owensboro last year, contact us to find out why!