What I learned in 2021 that you can apply to 2022

OPINION: Here we go – a new year, with new challenges? Will 2022 be more the same as 2021? You should assume.

As they say, “information is power”, so knowing that we are in the same situation, what do you need to change to go through 2022 in great shape, both commercially and personally?

Working with so many great business people from all kinds of industries through Business Changing, I learn from each one of them.

I’m able to look under the hood of so many companies, and it really shows me why some companies outperform others, even in times of pandemic and uncertainty.

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These are the key lessons I learned from 2021 that you can apply to 2022 for a better chance of success with your business and yourself personally.

My biggest lesson from the last year is that you need to take care of yourself even better than before Covid.

Many of us think we’re invincible and hoard the hours – to the detriment of our health, our family, and our general well-being. Since 2022 will feel like 2021, the first thing I’ll do better is make sure I have real downtime to disconnect from work 24/7.

Zac de Silva is a business consultant at Business Changing, a company he founded in 2011 to provide practical business advice.

PROVIDED

Zac de Silva is a business consultant at Business Changing, a company he founded in 2011 to provide practical business advice.

How good are you really at disconnecting and getting enough downtime so you don’t feel stressed? No need to check your email, phone, think about the business. Are you able to take all of your annual leave and have a life outside of work?

Business success begins with leadership. It’s amazing how many business people (i.e. owners, managers, team leaders) just aren’t that good at being a leader. They don’t lead by example. They are not brave. They can’t have difficult conversations. They don’t know how to become the best leader and manager possible.

In these times of shrinking talent pools and the so-called ‘big quit’, 50% of people who quit do so because they don’t like their boss – and I’d venture to say they don’t like their boss because their boss is an average to mediocre chef. Something we can all work on.

50% of people who quit do so because they don't like their boss, says business adviser Zac de Silva.

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50% of people who quit do so because they don’t like their boss, says business adviser Zac de Silva.

State the obvious here: you need a good (preferably excellent) culture for your business to truly thrive. The easiest way to have a great culture is to have super strong, living core values.

The best way to bring core values ​​to life is to agree on the behaviors that fuel those values. If you haven’t written core values ​​(and behaviors) for your company, make it a priority.

I consistently see superior financial performance from my clients who have a winning culture – the ROI is huge. Don’t be like the typical company that may have written core values, but that’s where they end. How can you make your company’s core values ​​even more known and “lived” in 2022?

I was very aware of the need to be innovative, however, this is an area where I personally did a lot of formal learning over the course of 2021. The profit of companies that have truly embraced innovation is d ‘about 50% better than a ‘good’ company. And remember: innovation isn’t just about shiny new things – it also includes improving existing things.

What I learned is that innovation is a process. If you apply the right innovation process, you are likely to come up with more ideas and give yourself more opportunities to have game changers, compared to an ad hoc approach to innovation.

Your culture is a huge determinant of how innovative you are. Note: an innovative company does not need to be “tech”; innovation can happen even in the most traditional industries.

While innovative companies are the most profitable, the second most profitable are those that provide excellent customer experiences. Although we are all aware of the need for good customer service, we really don’t spend enough time on how we can take our customer experience to the next level.

Your culture is sure to be a huge driver of customer service. We have some amazing companies as customers that we rate and rate as the top 2-4% of all companies for their customer service and they all have common themes. It would be interesting to know how your customer experience compares to the best.

Ultimately, your success will depend on all the mini-habits and behaviors you live through, day in and day out. This also goes for your team. I believe it is our duty to help our team become better. Better at their jobs and better at life after work. Help them aspire to even greater heights.

Helping your team become the best it can be will inherently allow your business to grow, de Silva says.

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Helping your team become the best it can be will inherently allow your business to grow, de Silva says.

It’s no coincidence that my top performing clients have teams full of motivated people – it really makes a difference. This is however not the norm – most of the new clients we work with struggle with motivation and engagement from their team.

There are many ways to improve the motivation and capabilities of your employees, starting with a personal annual plan to excite and inspire them. Help them set goals (not just New Year’s resolutions) for their careers and personal lives. Remember: you are only as good as your team, so how can you help your team improve?

Of course, you need a well-defined and agile business plan. Without a plan, you will never achieve the level of success that is truly possible for your business. How will you ensure you have the best-defined business plan possible for your business in 2022? The clarity and accountability that a decent business plan will bring is immeasurable.

My last key lesson is about efficiency and systems. So much time is wasted on bad systems. So much potential is wasted because of bad systems. What systems in your business are letting you down? Where are you wasting too much time on average systems and fighting too many fires?

We only have a short amount of time – you might be shocked if you got a real breakdown of how much time you spent on productive, value-added things versus fixing and fighting fires and doing cleaning. be generally unproductive.

I apologize that there is nothing groundbreaking and groundbreaking here, but my general lessons of 2021 that I want to leave with you are that you don’t have to be groundbreaking or groundbreaking to succeed in business and achieve your goals.

Simply tweaking and improving the key points I shared above will really make a difference to your business performance in 2022 and beyond. Do the important things and do them well.

Zac de Silva is a business consultant at Business Changing.

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