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20 Things To Do Before 2020 – Part 2

20 Things To Do Before 2020 – Part 2

By James Barnes, February 1st 2019

Embracing Those Business-y Tasks

With the year 2020 fast approaching, we've assembled 20 things for you to try out before the clock strikes twelve on New Years Eve, so you can take on the new decade like a true business guru. Whether you want to improve your skills, productivity or your business' efficiency or marketing impacts; our tips will give you a helping hand.

Great, you've started looking out for number 1. Now it's time to embrace those business-y tasks. When you dreamt of starting your own business, you probably didn't envisage that your daily to-do list would be full of daunting projects and conquering those irritating small tasks that actually become your whole day. But grab yourself a cup of coffee, and with the help of a this next set of tips, we're sure you'll achieve it.

6. Thoroughly Review Your Business Plan

Your business plan may have been written within the last 6 months, or perhaps even 6 years ago but, it's vital that you review it on an ongoing basis.

The reviews will help you ensure that your business stays on track for its short and long-term goals, and it'll also point out the necessary steps that need to be completed to make your business succeed.

Tip

A good business plan includes projected goals and results, guided by strategy, not tactics. 

7. Embrace Technology & Digital Tools

Technology is constantly evolving and many tools have been designed to help businesses overcome particular challenges. You need to make sure that you're embracing them both as much as possible as they are likely to make your life easier.

There are numerous tools, all with different aims, that will help you work more effectively and efficiently. For example, Trello and Google Docs help organisations collaborate and manage projects together, and there are also tools including MailChimp and Dotmailer that help teams automate emails.

Tip

Many digital tools offer free trials for their services. Give these a go and decide which one you prefer.

Having a ‘digital spring clean’ can help you declutter your computer, which can often help it run more smoothly; and, in turn, help you be more productive!

Delete any unnecessary applications and files, backing up anything that might come in handy to an external drive; then, make sure your computer’s operating system and applications are all up to date.

How up to date is your hardware? Sometimes even a digital spring clean can’t help sluggish, outdated computers. Things like hard-drives and memory are replaceable, so don’t worry if you don’t have the budget for a whole new computer.

Embracing digital tools and technology will help you deliver a better service, giving you the opportunity to grow your business if you wanted.

8. Financial Planning

This is an area that all businesses should take a closer look at. Nearly all the time, there's room for improvement.

Over time, additional costs can creep in and trends can be recognised as part of spending. Recognising these trends will also help you prepare for the future.

You should also review your own profit margins. Can you make a little bit of extra profit by putting your product's price up slightly? Or are your products a lot more expensive than your competitors? Could you be losing custom?

Tip

Look into different suppliers every now and then to make sure that your supplier remains competitive. You could find that you're able to purchase the same material for a cheaper price elsewhere, giving your own profit margins a boost rather than your supplier's.

Financial planning and reviews will help guide your business. Your business's financial positioning will become obvious when comparing the budget to results.

9. Automate Tasks

Just because you've always worked in a certain way doesn't mean it's the best way. Some tasks, and a few of those boring admin tasks, can be automated – you should take full advantage.

Example: If you use Slack and Jira, why not connect the two? If somebody 'slacks' you an issue, add it to Jira directly from Slack – this saves you time copying and pasting the content across.  

Automating tasks will help you work more efficiently and gives you time to work on those tasks that robots can't complete; making you and your team more productive, whilst also saving you time.

Watch as Despatch Bay automatically combines your marketplace orders into one, convenient location.

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10. Implement New Ideas

Although you probably already have a few processes to follow, you need to have a process for implementing new ideas. You need to make sure that ideas are transformed into something great.

You don't want to have lots of new ideas stacking up with no way of implementing them. One, because who doesn't want to improve their business offerings? And two, your team may become demotivated when they realise that their ideas aren't being implemented.

Check out part 3 of 20 Things To Do Before 2020, to find out how to build a solid foundation for your business.

Read Part 3