Farewell 2020, it’s been a hell of a year! Now 2021 stands before us like a fresh chapter in a book, and it’s time to think about the resolutions that can help make this the best year yet.
With the stroke of midnight on January 1, we say farewell to an especially challenging year and welcome in a new one. This is a great time to reflect on your company’s success over the past 12 months, and to start thinking about resolutions and how you can get better in the year ahead.
While every business owner wants to increase revenues or win more clients, it’s worth looking at your New Year’s goals through a wider lens. No one knows how the pandemic might play out, so all you can really do is focus on the big-picture activities that will keep your business resilient and competitive in the face of change.
With that in mind, here are some ambitious-yet-achievable resolutions to get you moving in the right direction in 2021.
1. Be an attentive business
Around the world, virtually every customer agrees that customer service is the most important factor in their choice of loyalty to a business. In fact, customer service is so important that consumers will pay 17 per cent more on average to do business with companies that have great reputations in this area. Making customers’ needs your number one priority is a top goal to have in 2021.
Sadly, delivering on your promises to customers has not been easy this year. COVID restrictions have taken away a lot of our face-to-face contact, which means it can be difficult to connect empathetically with customers, communicate with them using their preferred channels, and follow up with them after a transaction. It’s hard to give the level of service your customers deserve when staff are stuck at home with patchy WiFi signals and customers are scrabbling around trying to find a mobile phone number so they can reach the right person.
If this area of your business needs improving, then investing in a good all-in-one business communications system is a great resolution for you. Scalable, cloud-powered VoIP systems like RingCentral offer a ton of features to simplify your communications. Some provide a ‘Contact Centre as a Service,’ meaning even the smallest business can offer their customers the enterprise experience.
2. Improve your internal comms
Internal communication is the cornerstone of your organisation. Think about it: what other business function has such a direct impact on employee productivity, collaboration, staff motivation and teamwork? What other business function feeds so directly into the employee experience you deliver? Getting your internal communication right can benefit your business in so many ways, from stopping email overload and enabling knowledge sharing to making sure that remote employees can do their job from anywhere (without feeling like they are missing out on company news).
2020 has been a big year for office software platforms, which isn’t surprising given that one out of every four UK workers has been working exclusively from home. Microsoft 365 remains the colossus of office suites; one that much of the country uses by default. We like it because everything runs from the cloud, and staff can use their mobile devices to login and use it from anywhere. It comes with a lot of features and possibilities, and pricing can be very reasonable, too.
3. Trim the fat
Almost one-half of people who made New Year’s resolutions in 2019 wanted to lose weight, according to a survey by YouGov. Trimming the (financial) fat can make a business healthier too, by cutting unnecessary expenditures and optimising costs from the bottom up. Reviewing everything right down to granular line items tells you exactly where your hard-earned cash is going, so you can cut spending where it’s getting out of hand.
At TFM Networks, we support our clients’ expense management strategies by giving them unprecedented insight into their mobile phone usage and charges. Our in-depth billing reports show you how your mobile plan is breaking down by device, department, function or feature, so you can see exactly how much cash is leaking through the cracks. From there, it’s easy to adjust usage to optimise spending—so you can plough the savings back into the business where they belong!
4. Look after your employees
As the New Year begins, resolve to spend more time supporting your employees and making sure they have everything they need to do their jobs properly. That sounds like a no-brainer. But research shows that 85% of employees think there’s a gap between the tools and resources that employees need to do their job properly, and the tools and resources their employer thinks they need to do the job properly. And 36 percent of employees say they don’t know where to find the information they need to do their work. Employees get demoralised when they are stuck wasting their time compensating for broken systems.
One of the most common frustrations is not being able to work effectively—and thus hit targets—from anywhere, whether someone is working in the office, at home or from the road. A lot of businesses have been ‘making do’ in 2020, but hybrid home/ remote working arrangements look like they may be here to stay. That demands a big box of mobile tools, so if your tech is not up to scratch, now may be a great time to invest in some quality hardware and tools.
Remote work hinges on reliable internet access, for instance, so you may want to think about giving everyone on your team a mobile hotspot for internet access on the go—and also to serve as a backup in case their wired internet goes out. Even relatively small investments, like providing your staff with noise-cancelling headphones, can make a big difference to their day. Every team is different, so shine a light on where the frustrations are in your business, and choose tech that aligns with your people’s needs.
Over to you!
Every new year is an opportunity for improvement—for businesses as well as individuals. Consider implementing some of the resolutions above yourself, and make 2021 the most successful year for your business to date. Happy New Year everyone!