As 2021 draws to a close, it is time to begin implementing a strategy for the first quarter of 2022. Due to the increasing economic turbulence, we have experienced over the past two years, successful businesses must embrace flexibility – setting quarterly goals can help keep you on track for your bigger long-term aspirations. Here are five goals you should set for your small business for Q1 2022.
Evaluate the Prior Year
Your first goal for Q1 should be to fully analyze your business’s performance over 2021. Review your prior year’s financial statements, assess your inventory, and review your current product or service mix. Additionally, review your marketing strategy and compare that to what you know about your customers. Based on the prior year, are buying behaviors changing or remaining consistent?
Determine How to Measure Success
Another essential goal for Q1 of 2022 should be to determine your criteria for business success. While you may have the goal of “growing your business,” but what does that actually look like? The best goals are both practical and specific. Some possible Q1 goals could include:
- Increase staff size from 12 to 15
- Increase conversion rate by 3%
- Reduce average hold time for incoming calls by 4 minutes
Create a Budget
Creating an annual budget is an essential activity for any business of any size. A well thought out budget can help you manage expenses and deal with unexpected costs. Additionally, having a budget in place can help secure funding from traditional and alternative lenders. Make it a goal to create this budget in the first week of 2022, then revisit it at the end of each month. Compare your total Q1 projections to the actual expenses incurred – how close was your estimate? While budgeting is not always fun, it can make a world of difference in your business’s performance and longevity.
Review Your Insurance Coverage
Another goal you should set for Q1 is to review your business insurance policy to ensure that you are adequately covered. There are many different types of insurance that different small businesses may need, such as:
- General Liability Insurance
- Professional Liability Insurance
- Business Income Coverage
- Worker’s Compensation Insurance
- Data Breach Insurance
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance
Every business has different insurance needs – consult your local agent to ensure that your business is properly insured. Having the right insurance policy can give you peace of mind, allowing you to focus more on your business.
Improve Employee Morale
Your final goal for the first quarter of 2022 should be to find a way to improve the lives of your employees. Take the time to meet with your people and talk with them about their experiences working at your business – what goes well, what doesn’t, and what could be improved? While all business owners should continually strive to make their business a better place to work, begin systematically tracking how your employees feel on a quarterly basis and take the actions necessary to improve employee morale and retention. While everyone appreciates a raise, there are many ways to improve employee morale without increasing expenses. Depending on the nature of your business, you could:
- Offer remote work options
- Allow a more casual dress code
- Offer additional incentive-based PTO
- Make an effort to recognize employee contributions at least once a month for all of Q1
There are many more goals you could set for your small business in 2022, but these five will help ensure that the year starts off smoothly. By evaluating the prior year, setting standards of success, creating a budget, reviewing your insurance policy, and improving employee morale, 2022 could be your business’s best year yet.