As we dust off the shock and awe of the year that was 2021 and look to plan for the year ahead, Kochie’s Business Builders (KBB) asked seven successful business owners what they’ve learnt from the last twelve months and how it will impact their strategy for success in 2022.
What was your key learning from 2021 and how will you use it in business in the new year?
Jonathan Moody, CEO and founder of national allied health business, Physio Inq
Patience is paramount, but eventually, you need to make a call one way or the other if things aren’t working out. Don’t be too reactive, but don’t procrastinate either!
As an owner or senior manager, make sure that you are transparent with those who report to you that you want to deep dive into their teams to help understand issues to help them. Don’t just rely on your reports keeping you informed. This isn’t micro-managing, but rather staying connected to the people on the ground and hearing it from the horse’s mouth.
Matej Varhalik, founder and CEO SpeedFit
It would definitely be about people. I made a mistake and kept some people around that I shouldn’t have, hoping issues would resolve themselves and get better because they were a fundamental part of our business but culturally it wasn’t the right fit and it was holding me back. As soon as those people left, everything started to fall into place and we moved forward big time. I have learnt it is best to not wait to make those hard decisions, as soon as you feel something’s not right you need to act.
Jill Berry, CEO and co-founder Adatree
That things are all relative. You always think “once I get through this or get done with this, then life will be easier” but you end up growing and having different problems. You learn year to year in business and every year is totally different from the last.
Maria Halasz, CEO & Managing Director, Cellmid
n 2021 I have developed a healthy respect for a pandemic. I started 2021 with a sigh of relief that 2020 was over. Then I realised that it is hard to run an international business when Australia is still completely closed down and a second wave of lockdown can be worse than the first. Strong supplier and employee relationships have been critical in ensuring that we pulled through relatively unscathed.
I have also underestimated the mental/emotional impact on the staff and myself. There was so much more heavy lifting all around. Ultimately it made me a better leader; coming from behind leading with compassion resulted in a stronger, more resilient organisation.
Ben Lipschitz, Managing Director and cofounder, FoodbyUs
Never underestimate the power of culture to hold your team together during a crisis, as well as its ability to help attract new staff
Jeanette Cheah, CEO and co-founder, HEX
A top learning for me was to better recognise and respond to my own emotional and mental capacity – and to talk to my team about theirs. Bringing these conversations into the open can help to flag potential burnout and increase empathy in the team. Another top learning of mine is to not delay chasing your goals, because you’re probably ready six months before you think you are.
Dale Brett, CEO and cofounder, Fl0
Balance. My co-founder Rani Adam and I launched Fl0 in March 2021 and for the first few months I really didn’t pay much attention to my work-life harmony. It was easy to forget about exercise, and catching up with friends and family. Lockdown didn’t make it any easier.
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