It’s time to start preparing for 2022 and one of the best ways to do that is to look at what worked and didn’t work for this year. Today we are going to look back at 2021 and the mistakes made and lessons learned.
Not Being Adaptable
If Covid taught us anything, it’s that you have to be adaptable. The lesson most businesses learned from this is to not be afraid to try new things. What kinds of new things? It could look like remote working for your staff. It could be encouraging more collaboration. If you see another small business in your industry doing something that is working, don’t be afraid to be an early adapter. A good example of this would be restaurants that started doing curbside service quickly in 2020. Those who didn’t make the shift or didn’t make it quickly enough many times ended up having to close their doors. The point is you have to be flexible. Don’t be afraid of change.
Not Having a Plan
You have to have a plan. The lesson learned from not having a plan is that it’s hard to stay top of mind when there is no plan in place. What do I mean by that? Measuring your ROI by social media can be a challenge. Gary Vee says, “What’s the ROI of social media? Your business will still be around in 5 years.” He compares that to the ROI of your mother. Of course, there is no way to measure that but it’s something you’d never give up. People have to see you repeatedly before they trust you enough to do business with you. Social media makes that possible and levels the playing field.
Don’t be afraid to use storytelling. If you haven’t heard of Donald Miller with StoryBrand, you should definitely check him out. His work is incredible. The way you tell your story and communicate your brand is what people remember. The StoryBrand podcast is also a great resource I’d highly recommend.
You don’t have to do the planning alone. Let it be a team thing. Your team will come into contact with things that you have no idea about. They can bring those things to your attention so that you grow as a company instead of it just being about you.
Don’t get so focused on new clients in your planning that you lose focus of your current clients. It’s always easier to go deep than it is to go wide. That is just a statistical truth. It is easier to add on a service to a current client than it is to go get a new client.
Not Doing Any Marketing
Not doing any marketing at all is definitely a huge mistake. We see this mainly with small businesses who think they don’t need marketing or can’t afford it. The lesson learned from this is that it’s time to transition to online. If your business doesn’t have a website, now is the time. I am shocked and horrified by how many small businesses don’t have a website. If a prospective customer is looking you up and you don’t have a website and you don’t have a Facebook page, you don’t exist. If you’re not on the first page of Google, people are done. They’re not going to the second page. When was the last time you went to the second page of Google? You have to have a website so you can be indexed by Google so people can find you.
Not only do people want to find you online, but they also want future business to happen online. They want to make transactions directly from the platform they’re on. Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or something else, they want to be able to purchase right from the app. That’s online sales. They want to be able to contact you and get engagement from you online. You can’t do that if you’re not online.
As a side note, meetings with clients don’t have to be in person. You can do those online too. By the time you put on pants, drive to the location, and drive back you’ve wasted time that wasn’t productive. That time can be eliminated by using online meetings and unlike phone meetings, you can see each other’s faces so things translate much better.
Go ahead and update that website if you haven’t done so in the past couple of years and make the most of your online presence.
You Don’t Track Your Results
Not tracking your results will leave you in the dark when it comes time to make changes. The lesson learned from that is how are you going to respond accordingly when you don’t know what you are responding to? You have to see what works. You can’t just keep doing the same thing over and over and hoping for better results. For example, if you know every time you post a video with your face it gets 30% engagement but every time you post a community photo it gets 5% engagement, you’re going to want to use more face and less community. The numbers will tell you what works. You have to know what works so that you can integrate it into your marketing plan for next year so your stats will go up. That’s how you get better stats. Spoiler alert: Video is always going to be great.
Not Having Enough Cash Flow
Covid has shown us that you have to have reserves in place and the big lesson here is you have to prepare for the unknown. That sounds almost crazy to say because how can you prepare for something when you don’t even know what it is. Well, cash will fix a lot of problems. They say money can’t buy happiness but I’ve been broke and not broke and I’d 100% rather be not broke. Knowing payroll is covered has a calming effect that may not be happiness but is pretty close.
So to prepare for the unknown one of the first things you need to do is diversify. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. For instance, as a social media company, we do consulting, audits, social media management, training, and other services. During Covid, we did a lot of training online that took care of our payroll for months.
Ideally, you want to have reserves in savings and a disaster plan in place. One of the first things we did when Covid hit was to come up with a crisis message for all of our clients. It was a game-changer. By having a PR plan in place and being able to implement it quickly, our clients had a plan.
Learn from the Past and Move Forward
We learn from the mistakes of the past so we don’t repeat them in the future. This way we can continue to make our business better and better. If you want help taking your business to the next level in 2022, we are here to help. Set up a discovery call today!