This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
By Alex Held, Small Business Manager, BizLaunch
While the new year provides business owners the opportunity to reflect on their successes of the past year and adjust for the future, 2020 offers a unique opportunity for new beginnings.
Not only are we entering a new decade, but also in 2020 we’re entering a new 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac with the year of the rat, the first zodiac animal. As with any new beginning, it’s important to ensure you’re on solid ground, here are some BizSolutions for success in the new decade.
1. Protect Your Business
In the new year it’s great to look at your insurance policies with your agent. As businesses grow insurance needs change and as you take on more assets you’ll want to ensure they are protected. Additionally, it’s a good opportunity to look at what you’re paying to see if there are any savings that you can leverage.
One thing we can be assured of in the new decade is that small businesses and startups are continually going to be targets of cyber criminals. Luckily our first Brunch & Business of 2020 on January 29, called “Keeping I.T. Real” will help prepare business owners with easy steps that they can become cyber compliant as well as protect their business from future attacks.
2. Automate Simple Tasks
Business owners wear a lot of different hats and can get consumed by all the competing priorities. However, with new automation technology increasingly becoming available, small business owners can automate many of the small tasks that can consume their work day and get back to focusing on what’s important while improving work/life balance.
BizLaunch is hosting a workshop on January 9, called “Get Work Off Your Plate“, to help business owners reclaim their workday by automating administrative tasks.
3. Plan Out Your Marketing
While sometimes overlooked, marketing is the lifeblood of any business. The new year serves as a terrific opportunity to plan out your marketing strategies. One thing I enjoy is when businesses’ digital marketing activities mirror or compliment their offline activities. In partnership with Score, BizLaunch is hosting several marketing workshops to help such as:
4. Learn Something New
Learning something new in 2020 doesn’t have to be related to your business or your industry; however, learning something new does equate to improved work/life balance while adding to your skills. At BizLaunch we believe providing access to low cost educational opportunities improves the chances for business success, and whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a seasoned small business owner there is an opportunity that can benefit anyone and help your business thrive such as:
- “Perfect Product Pitch — Mastering the Art of Persuasion“
- “Writing a Winning Business Plan“
- “Using QuickBooks Online Accounting“
- “Launch & Learn on the Pike” — A new partnership with CPRO (Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization).
In partnership with BB&T BizLaunch en Español is hosting a seminar on financing to grow your business called “¿Como Crecer su Negocio Optimizando sus Finanzas?”
5. Meet Someone New
Many believe that business has gone digital; however, I’m of the opinion that in an ever-increasing digital age, it is a business owners’ relationships that differentiate. Keep in mind while networking business cards have the shelf life of bananas, and it’s a good standard to follow up with a contact within a couple days of meeting them after an event.
Not sure where to start networking in 2020? Many of our partners such as the Arlington Chamber of Commerce (Pro Tip: The Chamber and BizLaunch are partnering on the first “Breakfast Connection” of the new decade) and Arlington’s three business improvement districts (Ballston, Crystal City and Rosslyn) offer opportunities to connect.
Additionally, BizLaunch is hosting several opportunities to connect with new clients such as:
- “Business Opportunities Seminar: How to Plug into Opportunities with the Asian Development Bank“
- “weTHRIVE Women Entrepreneurs’ Conference” — Includes a networking reception and a conference designed to support all businesses regardless of whether you’re starting, scaling or soaring.
Happy New Year!
Implementing any of these BizSolutions will not only set your business on solid ground as we begin a new decade but also improve your work/life balance. We’re excited to begin a new trip around the sun with you, keep in touch by signing up for our newsletter or submitting your listing to our Small Business Directory.
On behalf of BizLaunch, BizLaunch en Español and Arlington Economic Development, we wish you a Happy New Year!