Create Your 2020 Small Business Playbook for Success

(Part 1 of 3)

Happy New Business Year! It is time to create your 2020 Small Business Playbook for Success. As the new decade dawns, it is a time for us to reflect on what has gone before and to contemplate what is yet to be.  It is a time to refresh and rearrange our business lives and create our 2020 Small Business Playbook for Success.  Many people (like me!) look upon this as a time of renewal and approach it with excitement!!  Others feel it is overwhelming, daunting…..just plain tough.  It does not have to be! 

“One important key to success is self-confidence.
An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”
~ Arthur Ashe


To create your small business playbook for success in 2020, we will start with your mental preparation in this post, Part 1.  It is a key step in preparing for success and getting the most out of your 2020 business year.  In Part 2, we will tackle goal setting, and in Part 3, goal achievement.  So, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and contemplate the three steps outlined here.

Step 1.  What do you need to let go of? 

What did you try in 2019 that just didn’t work?  Once you have given a new business process, approach or product line enough time to really test it, if it is not working, let it go. Learn from your experience and say good-bye.  Is there a competitor that gets under your skin?  Let them compete their way and you compete yours.  Did you make a mistake that cost you money in 2019?  Okay, you did.  It’s done.  Learn from it and get on with 2020.  This step alone, if you do nothing else, will energize you. It can be, literally, like dropping a backpack of bricks you have been carrying around. 

Step 2.  Use your freed-up mind space for positivity. 

When you let something go, you free up precious space in your mind. Fill that space with positive thoughts and actions, be grateful for the wonderful things in your life, and strive for daily happiness and peace, regardless of how chaotic your life or business might be at the moment.  A wonderful way to start down this path (just in case you are stressed and a bit rusty about it all!) is to do something good for someone else.  Why is doing good for others important?  A article about the scientific benefits of doing good states that it decreases stress, increases life expectancy, makes us feel better, makes us happier at work, promotes mental health, leads to happiness and will motivate us to do good again. This is a super win-win. Start small.  Smile at someone.  Have you ever thought something nice about someone, reinforcing their good behavior or choices, but did not voice it?  Well, tell them! Find a charity you want to support in 2020.  There are many ways to do good. Give it a try.

Step 3.  Create time to be creative.

I used to think I was not creative.  I was wrong.  I can’t draw or sing, but I am very creative in business. This helps me help my clients be creative in their business worlds and also helps me grow my business.  However, there came a time when I was so stressed at work that no new, creative ideas came to me. Not one! Panic!

My solution:  After that experience, I found that, for me, taking walks in nature frees up my creative side. I walk with pen/paper, charged cell phone, or some other way to capture my ideas when I go for a walk.  And I don’t feel guilty for even one second of my walks! They are an enjoyable part of my job.

So, when I hit a dry spell and do not come up with a new idea or thought while on my walk, I now know that I am wwwaaaayyyy too stressed.  So instead of pulling back and cutting out my walks, I take twice as many walks until I am back in balance and have my creative side back.  Whew.

Your solution:  You will need to find your own way to free your creative business side.  Some techniques clients have used are music, journaling, exercise, yoga, meditation, silent time…you get the idea.  Find your path to creativity and let the ideas flow. 

And by the way, this does NOT mean you will use every creative idea you come up with.  Hardly.  However, write them all down and use them for brainstorming, planning, and idea generation as your company grows.  For me, sometimes it will be a few years before I use an idea…and sometimes I never us that idea.  Sometimes those creative ideas contain a kernel or an idea that sparks another idea that eventually grows into an actionable step for company growth.  Regardless, it all starts with creating time to be creative.

Next steps.

In our next post about how to Create Your 2020 Small Business Playbook for Success, we’ll tackle Goal Setting for 2020 in Part 2, and then Goal Achievement for 2020 in Part 3.  


Robin Suomi, MBA, Founder Startup to Growth, is a small business coach and trainer who has helped thousands of small business owners launch and grow their dreams.  Join Startup to Growth’s Facebook Page (for all small businesses) and/or Facebook Group (for Startups) for inspiration, resources and support.  Please send questions to  

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