As I reflect on 2021, I almost feel a little guilty about stating publicly what a great year it was for me. I was busy. I won new clients. I traveled. I spoke. In public.
And I know from dozens of print companies that I work with that many feel that it was an important and remarkably successful year for them as well.
With so many experiencing so many kinds of loss, it can be hard to focus on positivity, and that is why it is so needed right now.
Regardless of where you stand today, whether your 2021 was a record-breaking momentous year or one that you cannot wait to close the books on, it is always a promising idea to reflect and plan.
We can extract the concepts and ideas that can help us build our future success.
There are four common issues that come up repeatedly, both for me personally, in my partnerships, in my family, and with my clients and community.
So here are four areas to examine. If you can identify how these ideas affect you and your business, how you might harness them to build and develop your teams and build stronger connections with clients and prospects.
Flexibility – Then worst possible answer to the question, “why do we do it this way?” is “Because that is the way we have always done it.” There has never been a better time for you to reexamine everything you do, why you do it, and whether there is a better way. This is true if you are an owner, a manager, or a salesperson. Been resistant to social media? Now’s the time to get comfortable with using social to advance your brand and forge better relationships with your customers and prospects. Not using a CRM. Sounds like a perfect New Year’s Resolution. It is never too late to try something new.
Resilience – According to a Forbes article earlier this year, “Resilient organizations have sound leadership at all levels and strong cultures founded on trust, accountability, and agility.” (“Are you ready for a business change? – Blog – GBS Corporate”) You can read the full article here. Resilience is all about bouncing back. In a big strong way. And if there was ever a scenario in which being able to recover was crucial, the last 2 years have been it. Here are some common characteristics of resilient people:
1. Maintain composure and control emotions. This can be tough but is something everyone can work on, no matter what point you are starting from.
2. Get perspective and control panic
3. Communicate confidence and steadiness amid uncertainty
Who wouldn’t love a boss or co-worker who can boast these traits? Look at the article and rate yourself based on the criteria of people who are resilient and see what minor changes you can make to attain a higher sense of bounce-back-ability.
Remote Work – Not everyone in your organization can work remotely. A press must be run in the plant by actual humans. For all other roles, being flexible and TRUSTING your people to get their work done, from home, is a crucial key to attracting new talent and retaining the talent you already have. It is time to decide that you are embracing this new phenomenon and that you will do everything in your power to support the idea of at last part-time remote work when it works for your organization.
Transformation – It is a powerful word, isn’t it? People love the IDEA of complete metamorphosis, especially when facing extreme challenges like increased competition, technology, and an aging workforce.
Here is a different way of thinking about it. When something needs to change, whether it is adapting to social media, implementing a CRM, or weeding out employees who refuse to be a part of fresh solutions, the change does not need to be radical. What it DOES need to be is clearly communicated, modeled from the top down, and rewarded.
Now is the time for you to spend time visualizing. Who do YOU want to be moving forward? What skills do you need to acquire or sharpen to take yourself to the next level of your career, wherever that might be.
And for those of you who are managers and owners – the same question. Who do you want your team to be? Who do you need to add to the team to help realize your vision for the future? With an eye on flexibility, resilience, fostering transformative concepts, 2022 could be the year you set it all in motion.
As a sales and marketing coach and consultant at Success In Print, and Girl #2 at #GirlsWhoPrint, Kelly Mallozzi advocates for graphic arts companies to keep fighting to keep print relevant. She may be irreverent, but what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in smart-assery.
Kelly is a regular co-host on the #GirlsWhoPrint Podcast along with Deborah Corn. She is also a mentor to several future sales stars. Check out her book, co-authored by Bill Farquharson: Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How. Kelly also occasionally guest blogs at Printing Impressions and you can see her most recent posts here.