The new year means a fresh start for your business. It’s a time to look back on all that you accomplished in the last year, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity to set new goals and challenges for yourself and your business.
Maybe this is the year you’re going to revamp your marketing approach: Hire a PR firm, have outside content created and work on bringing in new customers. Or perhaps you’re going to focus on having a healthier work-life balance and finally take that vacation you’ve been talking about.
Whether it’s for your business or for you, the business-owner, we have a number of goals that will help you make this new year the best one yet.
- Take stock of what has been working (and what has not):
Before you jump ahead into the new year, take some time to look over your business practices of the last year. Were there particular things that successfully drove higher profit margins, like a social media campaign? Did a company outing help coworkers get to know each other a little better and foster better collaboration in the workplace? Note which things worked well and think about how you can integrate more of the same this coming year.Less fun, but nonetheless integral, is looking at what didn’t work — and there will always be something that didn’t. We know how difficult it can be to give up on projects that you’ve put hours of work into, but the bottom line is if it didn’t work, it’s time to move on to something else.
- Set (achievable) goals:
Setting goals is a good habit to get into, but you should ensure that they are a) achievable and b) specific.Achievable goals are ones you are relatively confident your business can make. When you set pipedream goals, like increasing profits by 150%, you are only setting yourself up for failure. This can not only have a negative impact on your financial margins, but can also put a real damper on morale for you and your employees.Making your goals specific is just as important as making them achievable. Vague goals, like improving your marketing, aren’t going to be very helpful or achievable, for that matter. Want to improve your marketing? Maybe you should focus on creating new or updating old emails. Be specific, and think about steps you can take to potentially reach those goals.
- Establish weekly meetings:
As a business owner, you need to be up-to-date on everything. That’s a lot of information and goings-on to keep track of, and sometimes monthly or even quarterly meetings aren’t enough. That leaves you constantly running around to check up on things.Lessen your stress by setting up quick and efficient weekly meetings with your team. It doesn’t always need to be a formal meeting — everyone should just be ready to talk about what they’re working on and where the projects are at. Simple. This lessens your burden and also gives your employees a greater sense of ownership and responsibility for their work.
- Make time for learning:
Setting aside time to learn new skills should be at the top of your New Year’s to-do list. Even better: Make sure your employees have the time to do so as well. Learning new things and meeting new people will help broaden your and your employees’ horizons. Having new skills and garnering ideas from new people will only help to boost creativity and make your employees (and you) more valuable and knowledgeable.
- Give back to your community:
Make time this new year to give back to your community. Supporting the town or city where you’re located is important, and you it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to donate money. Volunteer at a local shelter, sign up to help out at the nearest humane society, organize a fundraiser for a home-town charity group, etc. You could even make a designated volunteer day for you and your employees to take time to give back.It’s a great way to show commitment to the community and prove that your business intends to make a difference.
- Become part of a business organization:
Look for a business organization or group that you find interesting and become a member. It could be related to your business or be something completely different — it doesn’t matter, so long as it piques your interest and gets you out to meet new people. You’ll be networking, getting your business out there, learning new ideas and coming up with new and invigorating projects all at the same time.Joining an organization will require time on your part, but it’s well worth the connections and inspiration you’ll receive in return.
- Make time for you:
We know that as a small business owner, you spend almost every waking moment working and thinking about your business. It takes ambition and a strong work ethic to make a small business succeed. That being said, you also need time to “be you” outside of work — a difficult feat when you’re in charge of everything!The best way you can achieve this is by learning how to delegate better. Handing off responsibilities, while it will be hard at first, will give you the time you need to take for yourself. The team members you hand those tasks and projects off to will greatly appreciate the responsibility and trust that you show in their abilities as well.Another way to guarantee you make time for yourself is setting appointments up on your calendar. It may seem silly to set an appointment with “me,” but it’s a good way to avoid being endlessly pulled into something else that needs your attention.Try one or all of these new year’s goals for you and your business and see just what kind of a difference it makes. Here’s to a successful 2017.
Morell, Katie. December 31, 2011. 7 new year’s goals that every small business owner should have. Retrieved December 15, 2016, from https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/7-new-years-goals-that-every-small-business-owner-should-have/
Ward, Susan. November 8, 2016. Top 10 new year’s resolutions for business success. Retrieved December 15, 2016, from https://www.thebalance.com/top-new-year-s-resolutions-for-business-success-2947126