Wouldn’t it be great if all small business owners had a big red button that would re-set at the touch of a finger, everything that needed our attention? It’s a nice fantasy, but I’ve never found restructuring my work strategy to be that easy. Ever. But with a new year and a new decade, it feels like a great opportunity to think about attainable goals and to plan a serious regroup.
Like I would do for any job review, I start by listing all the things my company did right this past year. I spend as much time as I need enjoying the list of work that went very well. I always hope the second list will be shorter: the List Of Things That Could Have Been Better. Long or short, I know that in order to change any of it I’m going to need a plan.
Thoughts About Baby Steps
After 18 years in business, I can say that I’ve seen some things. One of the things I see consistently is that many business owners don’t have plans. Many are successful because they are really, really good at some aspect of their chosen profession. But too often, beyond the area in which they excel, they are struggling. Plans don’t have to be complicated, grandiose, carved-in-marble productions. Perhaps a Step 1 would be to look at the things you did well, then brainstorm how to capitalize on those good moves. Something worked. How can we do more of that something? Spend some time thinking about how to expand what propelled you forward in this past year.
When you look at your second list of What Could Have Been Better, assess fairly what you ultimately left on the table. Weigh that value against your overall progress. Let that assessment be your motivation for finding solutions. For example, are you confident that your technology scales most efficiently to your business needs? Is it contributing to your success, or is it a simmering OMG in the back of day-to-day processes?
Here Is My Best Advice For 2020
Decide to control the variables—all the variables. For example, if it’s been hard to recruit and retain good help, decide to overcome that, whatever that means. If you feel your budget has gotten away from you, commit to sitting down with the right people to decide how to re-structure it. Whatever your challenges, is there a better time than a new year in a new decade to steps to overcome them? Name the issue. Grasp the possible consequences. Make a choice. Rise to control the variables. Then next year, do it again based on your 2020 lessons learned. It’s what we do.
Happy New Year to all, with a big emphasis on the “Happy”. Reach out to us at Aptica if you have questions about your information technology. It’s what we do.
Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 18 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.