10 New Year’s resolutions for social entrepreneurs
18 January 2021 at 5:31 pm
Now is the time for social entrepreneurs to put some steps and plans in action. Social Change Central shares some top tips to help you do just that.
We can breathe a collective sigh of relief – 2021 is here! 2020 was challenging for a plethora of reasons and while we’re still dealing with the aftermath of some of them, we’ve been dealt a new hand. Now is the time to put some steps and plans in action for our social enterprises.
Just as we might be thinking of New Year’s resolutions for our health and relationships, we can add to our goals of quitting smoking, spending more time with loved ones, or picking up a new hobby. The beginning of the year is the best time for social entrepreneurs to start visualising what they want to achieve and consider the steps it might take to get there.
To get those visionary juices flowing, here are 10 New Year’s resolutions for social entrepreneurs.
1. Step up your social media efforts
It’s likely that with the social distancing we grew accustomed to (kind of) in 2020, you’ve become aware that connecting with people in the virtual world is more important than ever. If you’re not already on social media, now’s prime time to set up an account or two.
Then, once you’re established, spend some time optimising your social channels. Post engaging and informative content, use your platform to share your brand’s voice, connect with your customers and encourage them to share your account with others.
Yes, this will take resources (especially the most valuable one: time), but if you’re not active on social media, you and your social enterprise may get left behind.
2. Get familiar with your finances
For the past year, many of us were just getting by. In-depth financial thinking got replaced by survival planning. Now that things have slowly started to return to normal, we can once again focus on our financial health.
Regardless if you have an accounting team or not, you should take some time to understand the basics of your finances. Start by examining your revenues and operating costs, and pay special attention to where you’ve fallen short so that you can make plans to pay off debts. A more intimate understanding of your finances might help you reduce expenses and determine if and how you’re meeting your financial goals.
3. Consider our connected and changing world
While it’s easy to get caught up with what’s happening for our team and in our local communities, we live in a world that’s increasingly globally connected. While it may not seem like what’s happening in Ghana or Germany will have an impact on your organisation, it’s a good idea to keep abreast of current events.
Similarly, of who’s making up more and more of our changing world, namely, Gen Z. This tech-savvy generation is the first to have grown up with the digital world and, as a result, they’re more informed and empathetic. While time still has yet to tell what exactly this means for the world of social entrepreneurship, Gen Zers will make up more of the social impact world in the coming years, so it’s a good idea to consider their values, demands, and influence now.
4. Think back to your ‘why’
With everything that’s happened over the past 12 months, it’s been easy for a lot of us to grow more disconnected from our “why”. As one of the best ways to stay connected to your organisation and keep a strong sense of entrepreneurial spirit, being clear on your “why” is a good way to start out 2021.
So, sit down with a cuppa and journal, have a chat with your team, or take a look at the photos and documents you’ve accumulated over the years. Become reacquainted with your “why” and use it to drive the new year.
5. Stop avoiding your website
We know, making any changes or upgrades to your website is a monster of a task, and something many of us prefer to keep putting off. It could be assumed then that many of us have some work that could be done.
If you don’t have a blog, start one. If you haven’t optimised for SEO, consider an online course and a few easy-to-make changes to make it happen. Because more than 50 per cent of online traffic comes from mobile devices, check that your website is mobile-friendly, too!
6. Invest in your team
This New Year’s resolution is two-fold: you’ll want to support your team directly, and also by being a better leader. For the former, ensure that your team has the support and encouragement to take a difficult year and turn it into action. Provide them with educational resources, mental health support, or benefits – should finances allow it. Even if you don’t have a budget for it, writing a kind thank you letter or chatting over a free coffee can go a long way.
Then, become a better leader yourself! Online learning platforms like Udemy are a great place to find free or low-cost courses to improve your leadership skills.
7. Revive remote work
Many companies (like Google) are continuing to be entirely remote or are making working from home an attractive option. If you’re able to, keep remote work going and use the challenges and barriers of 2020 to develop strategies that keep everyone feeling productive, connected, and supported.
8. Look at failed attempts with fresh eyes
We all have projects that lack the momentum, resources, or innovative ideas to keep going. A new year is the best time to revisit old (and failed) plans to give them another go. Don’t assume a once-failed plan isn’t meant to happen, many times it just requires a fresh approach and an open mind.
9. Let the empathy from 2020 carry over
Empathy was the big winner in 2020. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australian shores, compassion and empathy were reported – and not just for our friends and family. Many people in our local and global communities are still experiencing hardships, and the need for an empathetic approach is still there.
10. Prioritise your life outside of social entrepreneurship
As important as it is to have empathy for others, it’s just as crucial to show empathy to ourselves. It’s all too easy to get caught up with our operations and impact, and sometimes self-care and rest come in at second place – or not at all.
It might seem counterintuitive to spend a weekend totally offline or turn off your email notifications, but if that’s going to be the difference between a successful 2021 or burnout, then listening to your mind, body, and loved ones is always a good idea.
This article was first published on Social Change Central.