2021 has been quite a year. After a complete shutdown in 2020, we were fortunate to open our businesses for the entire year, but it was not at all ‘business like usual.’ With the ongoing pandemic causing financial stress and emotional strain, changes in the market, and problems with employment, it was a tough year, to say the least. If you made it through, I applaud you! What you are doing must be working, so I encourage you to keep moving forward.
That said, with the new year on the horizon, there are probably some ways you could tune up your business in 2022. I’m talking about the kind of fine-tuning that brings you from ‘good’ to ‘great’ and helps you reach your next milestone. In this article, I’ll share 5 areas to tune up your business in 2022 to give you some ideas to start with.
5 Areas to Tune Up Your Business
I’ve divided my recommendations into 5 common areas of your business. Don’t try to tackle them all at once! I suggest you choose one area (your weakest?) and make that the focus of your fine-tuning efforts.
Schedule a meeting as soon as you can with your accountant/CPA and small business lawyer so you can get a plan together and get your accounting in order in the new year. Do you have debt you can renegotiate? Can you get a new lease or payment terms with your creditors? Identify financial areas where you can improve and make strategic business decisions for how to tackle them.
If you haven’t done so yet, also make a plan in 2022 to start saving regularly. Take 5-10 percent out of every check that you earn and set it aside for emergencies. I recommend that you keep this money in a separate bank account that is not your business bank, just to make sure they are separate and cannot easily be mingled. Learn more strategies in Profit First by Mike Michalowicz.
There are many things you can do if you are looking to tune up your business in the way of sales. Here are some you can try:
- Get Clear on Your Customer: Who might benefit from your product or service? Find them and tell them that they NEED you. If you’ve been targeting a particular segment of the market, perhaps you may try others? Remember, you have not because you ask not.
- Change Your Channel: Where are you selling your product or service? Maybe it’s time for a change. If you’ve been relying on your website, maybe you should consider selling on Amazon. If your landing pages aren’t performing up to your expectations, maybe it’s time to hire a copywriter for some new text or a designer for a new look.
- Be Collaborative: 2022 is the time to see your competition in a new light. Do they have to be competitors? Or could they become collaborators? With the pandemic shaking up the small business landscape, you may find great partnerships that lead to profit for both of you.
- Improve Your Customer Experience: It’s easier (and cheaper!) to keep an old customer rather than get a new one. What can you do to add value to the customer experience? Can you shorten the shipping time? Upgrade your packaging? Create a loyalty program? Delighting your customers is the best way to increase sales.
One way to tune up your business in 2022 is to expand your social media efforts. If you started focusing on one social media platform in 2021, consider adding one more site to the mix. Or, if you want to stay focused on that platform, consider adding a new type of content (such as video, going live, or something else that is ultra-engaging).
You can also start to think about what you can automate in your marketing operations to help things run smoothly. Those social media posts could be scheduled in advance! You may also consider automating your emails. Some of my favorite tools include Aweber.com, Keap.com, Mixmax.com, Drip.com, and ZohoCRM.com.
There is a lot of fine-tuning you can do to improve your online presence in 2022. Start with your own website and review your keywords and hashtags. Are the ones you are using still relevant for your target audience? Stay up to date and remember that keywords can change over time.
It is also a good time to do an audit of your presence on other parts of the web that are not your own. If you haven’t done so yet, claim your Google Business profile – and if you do have one, review it to make sure everything is correct. “Near Me” searches are growing exponentially, so you want to make sure customers find your correct information.
You can also spend some time checking out customer reviews of your products or services. Here, Neil Patel shares 25 different review sites that businesses should keep an eye on. You can boost loyalty with a simple response to reviews, even a “thank you!”
Maybe the best way to tune up your business in 2022 is to start with yourself. If that is the case, it’s time to forgive yourself for any mistakes you made in the past year or two and let them go. Stop looking back at blunders and missteps you’ve had during the pandemic—everyone has had them! Reliving your mistakes is not helpful. Take some time to jot down the biggest lessons you learned and then move on, positioning yourself for a better 2022.
In that line of thinking, I want to remind you not to let your hustle hurt your health. Don’t buy into the idea that ‘hustle never sleeps.’ Although you may have to pull the occasional all-nighter, you should aim to get proper rest and take care of your body with the right food, water, and annual checkups. Make your health a priority in 2022.
These are just some of the many ways you can tune up your business in 2022. If what you are doing is working, keep doing it! But always be on the lookout for areas where you can make small improvements that will make a big difference.
How will you tune up your business in the new year? Let me know in the comments below.