Did you make the regular New Year resolutions for 2017? Add these business ideas to your list to help your business strive forward.
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, set goals that are aspirational, but also achievable, so they help drive your business forward. Here, we outline the 10 New Year’s resolutions we think every SME business owner should make.
1. Understand your overall finances
From paying off bad debts to lowering business costs wherever possible, start the New Year with a clear understanding of where you stand financially. It’s especially important to small businesses to also collect on money you’re owed, so have a clear collections process in place and make sure you adhere to it.
2. Don’t forget to follow up
So often, with pressing deadlines, administrative tasks and dealing with existing customers, leads can slip through the cracks. Create a clear and effective way to follow up with potential customers and other new leads.
3. Test a new marketing strategy every month
Despite the fact it might require a little extra time and money, testing a new marketing strategy each month is a worthy investment as it’s an ideal way to learn what does (and, just as importantly, doesn’t) work for your business. Try launching a podcast or starting a new social media campaign, or even running simple A/B testing within your customer newsletter.
4. Use technology to your advantage
From the more mundane tasks like collections, to ‘welcome communications’ with new customers, leverage the technology that’s available to you and automate these tasks where possible – it’ll leave your time freed up for other things!
Take this opportunity to de-clutter and streamline your inbox as well. Whether it’s deleting emails that you don’t need, or cleaning up the pathways through folders, it will allow you to be more productive and hopefully enhance your mental clarity.
5. Don’t spread yourself too thinly on social media
As you launch into the New Year, focus on doing a few things really well, rather than being average at a bunch of different things. This includes social media – don’t feel pressured to be across every platform. Be careful and considered; select the platforms that best suit your business. Not every business is fit for Snapchat, or needs a Pinterest page, so select the most effective platforms for your business and build a strong community from there.
6. Let go of employees that are bringing you down
Take the start of the year as an opportunity to look objectively at your company, and the employees within it, and tackle any problems head-on. This could mean making difficult decisions and letting an employee go, but it will be of benefit in the long run as unruly or ineffective employees will create problems for your business and lessen your ability to lead a team.
7. Recommit your business to your mission statement
Having a clear mission statement is vital to all aspects of your business and will help drive your team forward as it gives employees a clear focus. When was the last time you went back and assessed your original mission statement? Are you actively meeting this mission in every aspect of your business, or has the business strayed?
8. Find inspiration in new ways
Make a resolution to get inspired! Whether it’s signing up for a free online course or attending a local conference, finding inspiration through learning a new skill or hearing peers and leaders in your industry speak will make you more productive and motivate you.
9. Celebrate your successes and be solutions-focused
“Don’t give your problems more airtime than your solutions,” said the co-founder and director of successful social enterprise Thankyou, Justine Flynn, during the recent Kick.Start.Smart conference. Remember this tip as you launch into the New Year, so you don’t get bogged down in the problems that your company is facing but instead focus on finding a solution to overcome them.
10. Make your own health and wellbeing a priority
So often, for those running a small business or finding success as an entrepreneur, you can feel overworked or stressed and put employees and your business first. Remember, you need to look after yourself in order to look after your business; this includes staying healthy mentally, physically and emotionally.