Take Stock, and Make It a Great Year!


As women business owners, we’re constantly dreaming big, setting goals, working to power those goals and assessing wins and areas for adjustment. Still, there’s nothing like the end of a year to take stock in a big way—a way that not only makes us feel proud of how far we’ve come, but reignites our excitement, creativity and drive for what lies ahead for us in the new year.

At NAWBO, there’s so much to be proud of as we wrap up 2019. We’ve welcomed more women business owners into our chapters to make us all stronger. These new members bring fresh ideas and perspective, support and encouragement and opportunities to collaborate. Together, we’ve powered our voices across the nation. We’ve welcomed new partners who embrace our NAWBO mission and are dedicated to bringing us tools and resources to succeed and reach even higher. And that’s just the beginning, as part of a national organization that amplifies our reach and impact and provides us with access to incredible events, advocacy and educational opportunities all year long.

Looking ahead, 2020 is shaping up to be an incredible year. There’s so much to celebrate as NAWBO turns 45 and we honor this milestone and legacy. It’s also a year of incredible opportunity to be heard leading up to the election as NAWBO identifies and endorses candidates based on their legislative track records demonstrating support for small business. We have tremendous events planned for 2020, too, to connect, educate and inspire you, from a Leadership Academy that only happens once in 2020—on February 6 in Albuquerque, New Mexico—to the National Women’s Business Conference that heads to Austin, Texas, on September 21-23. We hope to see you at as many of these events as you can make!

As you begin to look back and forward for your business, I want to leave you with some great tips from a Forbes article to help inspire the process:

Map Out Your Goals: Focusing on what you want to achieve, documenting it and setting up an annual, quarterly and monthly plan to achieve those goals is a great way to get your year started.

Define Potential “Big Wins”: Take time to define big wins for your organization in the new year. This could be making a key hire or landing a contract worth a certain amount.

Ask Your Team: Ask your internal customers what they need and what is a priority for them. Priorities shift over time, so it is important to check in. And, giving your team input on the organizational goals and priorities helps them achieve “buy-in” as you execute the strategy throughout the year.

Focus on the Customer: There are so many ways to exceed expectations and build loyalty with customers. Create a customer-first strategy for delivering exceptional experiences.

Understand the Trends: Evaluate your market and tangential markets to determine likely changes during the year that you will need to be prepared for. Plan for the most likely scenarios.

Set an HR Strategy: Prioritize your HR needs, decide on your desired culture, create the tactical piece of the plan and then determine how you will implement it.

Be Ready to Adapt: Address economic and demographic shifts, global pressures and ever-changing technologies. This will help you face complexity head on.

Think, Think, Think: Great leaders recognize the importance of carving out time to think, whether it’s to develop a new strategy for customer acquisition or to reflect on a personnel issue. I plan monthly “CEO Days” where I take time away from the office to get up at 36,000 feet to think through strategy, review goals and look at the big picture.

See What’s in Front of You: A new year often has people looking for new bright and shiny objects. Take a step back and assess what is already in front of you. What are you taking for granted or underutilizing?

Revisit Your Five-Year Plan: It’s a great time to think about updating your five-year plan, including financial projections, key strategic goals, tactical support for those goals and planned investments.

Make Reviewing and Adjusting a Habit: Too many people put too much emphasis on January as the time to focus on aspirations and goals. Any truly successful person is taking daily assessments and making regular adjustments as needed. Make this a regular habit. Schedule your quarterly goal-review days on your calendar now!

When I started my company in 2001, I received the best advice that still sits on my computer today – “Plan the Work and Work the Plan.” 

Have a wonderful holiday, and let’s make it a great year!

headshot of Jeanette Armbrust

— Jeanette Armbrust

NAWBO National Board Chair
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