As we enter 2024, there is no better time than the present to take stock of your business and figure out how it can be improved. Take time to reflect on how you and the business have fared in 2015, and put your thinking cap on.
All those lingering issues with the business that rattle around your head late at night should come to the forefront now. In addition, what new ideas have you been thinking about but not yet implemented?
Regardless of the type of business, here are five New Year’s resolutions every small business owner should make.
Small Business New Year’s Resolutions
Collect the Money You’re Owed
Small Business Deals
I’m not sure there’s one thing that makes a greater impact than this when it comes to kicking off your year on the right foot.
Small businesses are notorious for letting their customers slack on paying what they owe. Sometimes this is because the small business simply has a poor (if any) collections process. But other times small businesses are just bashful, and people don’t like to flat out ask for money.
Set aside a block of time each week dedicated to getting the cash owed to you in the door. You’ll see a big impact early in the year and fix any collections problem by end of the year.
Set Clear Financial Goals
Hitting a financial target requires more than wishful thinking; it requires precision and clarity. Set definitive monetary aims for your business this year. Whether it’s driving a 10% boost in sales, doubling those crucial profit margins, or maintaining overhead costs under a specified benchmark, having a concrete figure propels targeted strategies.
Start by analyzing your previous year’s data, identifying areas of growth, and setting milestones. Break these down quarterly to make them more achievable and reviewable. The clarity you achieve by doing so not only keeps you motivated but also offers a transparent road map to financial success.
Let Go of the Employee That’s Bringing You Down
When you allow a “problem employee” to hang around, it depletes your confidence as a leader. Co-workers get frustrated, and dancing around the issue won’t make the problem go away.
Remember, it’s never worth losing a good employee because a bad one pushes them out. It’s a bad thing for your customers and ultimately your business. Take the New Year as an opportunity to take a good, hard look at employees in your company that may have become a problem, and act accordingly.
Invest in Professional Development
The landscape of business is ever-changing. The knowledge and skills that got you here might not be enough to keep you ahead. Prioritize your professional growth. Dive into workshops, partake in webinars, or attend industry-specific conferences.
Maybe even consider getting a mentor or a business coach. Continuous learning is an investment that always pays off. As you enhance your expertise and adapt to the evolving market dynamics, you’ll find yourself making sharper, better-informed decisions, driving your business towards success.
Fix the Follow-up Failures in Your Business
Don’t let leads slip through the cracks. Set aside time to get back in contact with customers and partners to get them re-energized and re-engaged with your business.
If you can create new and effective ways to follow up with your customers, you’ll discover that you can sell much more to them. In addition, they will act as advocates for your business.
Test a New Marketing Strategy Every Month
You need time and a little money to accomplish this one, but it’s a great way to learn about what works in your business and what doesn’t. There are tons of ways to test new marketing strategies. You could launch a customer reactivation campaign targeted at those who haven’t purchased your product or service in more than a year.
Other ideas include holding a prospecting or educational event in the office or online, as well as doing some testing in your customer newsletter to see which content generates the most leads. Split your email list in half and send one group a version of a newsletter and another with a slightly different approach to see what converts better. Keep refining your messaging until you get an optimal conversation. Other ideas might be to launch a podcast or social media campaign.
Over the course of the year you’ll gain a lot more clarity into who’s attracted to your business and who’s spending money with you.
Automate What You Can
Make an effort to leverage technology to automate the mundane, daily tasks that sap your time and energy. Examples include collections, new customer welcome communications and lead follow up and nurture.
There’s opportunity for any repetitive workflow in your business to be automated, and the benefits can be huge. Dedicate yourself to investigating technology that can move you toward automation, and you’ll be on your way.
Go into 2024 with the attitude that this year can be the most successful ever for you and your business. It will take plenty of hard work to make that happen, but if you resolve to take the actions I mentioned above, I’m confident that you’ll get there.
Commit to Sustainability
The business world isn’t just about profits anymore; it’s about responsibility. As environmental consciousness rises among consumers, it’s vital to evaluate your business operations through a green lens.
Where can you reduce waste, conserve energy, or perhaps even support local eco-friendly initiatives? Adopting sustainable practices not only benefits our planet but also showcases your brand’s responsibility, earning trust and admiration from today’s discerning customers.
Embrace sustainability as a core principle and watch it become a unique selling point, setting you apart in the marketplace.
Diversify Revenue Streams
Relying heavily on a single product or service is akin to putting all your eggs in one basket – risky. This year, brainstorm ways to diversify your offerings. This could be as simple as introducing complementary products, tapping into a different demographic, or venturing into online platforms.
Diversifying safeguards your business against unforeseen market downturns and opens up exciting avenues of revenue. It’s strategic growth at its finest.
Business, at its heart, is about relationships. This year, pledge to expand your network. Engage in local business associations, chambers of commerce, or specialized industry groups. Frequent networking not only provides insights into market trends and innovations but can also pave the way for collaborations, partnerships, and referrals.
Every handshake, every conversation is a door to a new opportunity. Remember, your network is your net worth.
Reassess Your Business Plan
Remember that business plan you made at the outset? It’s time to revisit and rejuvenate it. As industries evolve and markets fluctuate, it’s vital to ensure that your business’s direction aligns with the current environment.
Reevaluate your mission, vision, and strategies. Adjust your targets, integrate feedback, and foresee potential challenges. An updated business plan is not just a document; it’s a reflection of your adaptability and preparedness in this dynamic business world.
Improve Work-life Balance
Success is not measured solely by profit margins; your well-being is paramount. Overworking can stifle creativity, drain enthusiasm, and lead to burnout. This year, be diligent about taking regular breaks, indulge in vacations, and carve out moments for activities that rejuvenate your spirit. Your business thrives when you do, so ensuring a balanced life is ensuring a prosperous business.
Cultivate a Positive Workplace Culture
Businesses aren’t built by a single individual; they’re built by teams. Cultivate an environment that fosters respect, open communication, and appreciation. Recognize achievements, invest in team-building activities, and keep the channels of feedback open.
A content and cohesive team is your strongest asset. They’re the engine behind your vision. In nurturing a positive workplace culture, you’re not just building a business, you’re building a legacy.
Small Business New Years Resolutions Summary
|Collect the Money You’re Owed||Ensure consistent and timely collections. Schedule weekly blocks of time for this crucial task.|
|Set Clear Financial Goals||Analyze previous year's data and set quantifiable financial targets. Break down goals quarterly for ease of tracking.|
|Let Go of Problem Employees||Address issues with non-performing or disruptive staff members to maintain a positive workplace environment.|
|Invest in Professional Development||Keep up-to-date with business trends through continuous learning opportunities like workshops and webinars.|
|Fix Follow-up Failures||Re-engage with past customers and leads. Strategize on improving customer interactions to boost sales.|
|Test New Marketing Strategies Monthly||Dedicate resources to explore and refine various marketing techniques to identify what resonates best with your audience.|
|Automate Where Possible||Implement technology solutions to streamline repetitive tasks, improving efficiency.|
|Commit to Sustainability||Introduce eco-friendly practices and operations to meet consumer demand and reduce environmental impact.|
|Diversify Revenue Streams||Expand product or service offerings to cater to a wider audience and minimize risk.|
|Network More||Engage in community and industry-specific networking opportunities for growth and collaboration.|
|Reassess Your Business Plan||Regularly review and update your business strategy to stay aligned with current market conditions.|
|Improve Work-life Balance||Ensure a balance between professional obligations and personal well-being to maintain productivity and creativity.|
|Cultivate a Positive Workplace Culture||Foster a supportive, open, and appreciative environment for employees, which in turn benefits business operations and outcomes.|
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