Last year has been a challenging year for all of us. The global COVID19 pandemic caused great disruptions in our day-to-day working lifestyles. Luckily, technology is continuously improving and adapting to our needs, which makes it easier for us to, among other things, work remotely. While working in the cloud, we can easily access, view and edit our projects, while at the same time communicate and collaborate with our colleagues. Knowing that the current situation might go on a while longer, we should prepare ourselves for another challenging year. Lizard Global provides you with a few tips and tricks to optimally prepare your business for a new year and stay ahead of the crowd.
1. Reflect and learn
One of the most important things to do before focussing on the future is to reflect on the past. When looking back at all the things your business has been through -the good and the bad- you can learn how to do things differently in the future. Create insights for yourself with all implementations, events, partnerships, etc. of the past year, and list all the things that went wrong, and the things that went right. By listing these items, you can look for repeating patterns, which alert you to look for ways to avoid or trigger these patterns in the future.
Ideally, you’ve been tracking your product or business growth with tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or other services that give you insights into your business’ data. Make use of the information you’ve collected over the year, and look at the impact of certain strategies you’ve implemented on your traffic to make data-driven decisions to tweak your strategies and align them with your current and future objectives. Focus on the data that matters most, and create strategies that fit the current status of your business.
2. Look around
Currently, most of us are bracing ourselves for the next year. After a year with so many setbacks, many businesses are taking extra measures to ensure that 2021 is a better year. Take your time to look for strategies and methods you can use to improve your business processes in 2021. Naturally, your competitors may not share their secrets for success, but you are free to roam the internet to look for trends, tips, and tricks that can help you create a list of focus points for your business in 2021.
3. Review your objectives
New year, new resolutions. Usually, people start the year with a long list of things they want to achieve that year, which is mostly something along the lines of working out more, eating healthier and stopping bad habits such as smoking or drinking. Especially for businesses, there’s a notable difference between resolutions and objectives. Generally, resolutions are things you want to keep, while objectives are things you want to accomplish.
As a business, you probably have a list of recurring elements you want to keep up or achieve. However, as the situations around our businesses tend to fluctuate, it’s a good idea to reconsider your objectives. Create a list of the objectives you’ve set during the past years, and ask yourself the following questions:
- Did your goals change over time?
- Did this change result in success?
- What do you want your business to achieve in the next year?
- How can you adapt your objectives in such a way that it stimulates growth?
When reviewing your objectives, it’s good take a look at the specific metrics you’re focussing on in order to make the right data-driven decisions for your business. Within the practice of Lean Analytics, continuously following your progress by tracking the metrics that matter is a key practice. When reviewing your objectives, it’s essential to also review the metrics you’re tracking. If you decide to adapt your most important business objectives, you must shift your focus towards the metrics that are aligned with these new goals.
4. Write a plan
When you’ve acquired the information you need in order to create a business plan for the new year, you can start creating your plan. The best way to start this off, is by simply jotting down all the ideas and plans that pop into your mind. If possible, do this together with your team in order to collect as many different insights as possible. It’s a good idea to consider about two or three main objectives over the entire year. These main objectives are usually quite broad, and can be related to financial profit, your customer base or web traffic numbers. Once you have your goals clear, it’s time to plan them in and figure out when you want to see your first results. Many businesses are using so-called SMART goals to achieve their objectives. SMART goals include the following elements:
SMART goals are focused on concrete plans and eliminate vagueness. Having clear goals can greatly stimulate the success of your business strategies. Once all the ideas are on the table, it’s time to prioritize and turn the mess into a concrete list of achievable goals. After that, you can figure out how to achieve these goals. A list of objectives is one thing, but without a solid strategy you’re getting nowhere. Based on the experience of you and your team you can figure out which steps to take in order to reach your goals. This can be inspired by strategies you’ve used before, which you can update to the current situation and status of your business. Usually, businesses create strategies per quarter of the year, or per every three months. This way, you can continuously adapt your strategies in such a way that it stays aligned with your goals and current situation.
At Lizard Global, we work with roadmapping, which indicates what our development team is working towards, and outlines the vision, direction, priorities and progress of a product over time. Every time Lizard Global reviews its objectives and plans ahead for the coming time, we take a look at our product roadmaps and take the chance to create new roadmaps, or adapt/update the ones we’re using.
5. List the risks
Looking back at last year, we’ve faced many unexpected challenges. When setting up our business strategies for 2020, the thought of a worldwide pandemic breaking loose was not high on most people’s risk matrix. Besides the fact that it’s very unfortunate, situations like these do make us aware of the risks our businesses face on a daily basis. Make use of this awareness by creating a list of potential risks and their potential impacts. Stay realistic, and don’t try to figure out every minor thing that might go wrong. Focus instead on the situation at hand, and see what about that situation might potentially harm your business. Use this opportunity to also look back at what your identified risks were from previous years. Once you have an insight into the vulnerabilities of your business, make sure to have a strategy ready for when things get difficult.
Need a hand?
At Lizard Global, we’ve also faced the unforgiving face of 2020. However, we’ve done everything in our power to keep our heads above the water, and with success. We’ve managed to develop and deliver beautiful digital solutions, and walked the path to success hand in hand with our clients. Are you still looking for a digital partner, but are you unsure how to proceed in trying times like these? Don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us a message on WhatsApp or our social channels. We gladly give you advice over how to proceed, and the possibilities of having your innovative app idea turned into reality. At Lizard Global, we can help you with the digital conceptualization of your business and app idea, as well as guide you through the process of product roadmapping. Once the plan is there, we gladly partner up with you to design, develop and grow your application.