Every year you or someone you know may make New Year’s resolutions. It is a way for some to feel like they are starting with a clean and blank slate.
For some, it may involve going to the gym, saving money, or learning something new. What are some ways you can be “out with the old and in with the new?”
Albert Einstein said, “You never fail until you stop trying.” Was this a tough year on your business? Did you have to become very creative to determine what you could do to stay open?
Here are some New Year’s resolutions to consider making for you and your small business:
1. Write or Rewrite Achievable Goals
Sometimes when we make New Year’s resolutions, we aren’t great about keeping them because they are too much of a stretch. For example, if you want to go to the gym every day or you want your business to increase your profit margin by 100%, that may not be achievable for you.
What goals are achievable for your small business? According to one study, nearly 65% of small businesses reported meeting half their goals, but only 5% met all of them in the last year.
But, in the same study, only one-third of small businesses created goals.
Whether you have no employees or fifty employees, think about setting a strategic plan as one of your New Year’s resolutions. Furthermore, think about each area you would like to improve. For example, if you trained your staff on great customer service, how could that improve your sales?
2. Improve Your Business Relationships
Some businesses make goals or New Year’s resolutions to make a certain number of connections per month at networking events. But, is there a way to improve your current relationships? This would help increase sales and develop more relationships as well.
For example, if you have a landscape business, how could you go that extra mile for your current clients? When you are mowing a yard and see a bush that is dead that needs to be cut down, could you offer to cut it for the homeowner for free? If they see how well you did on something small, they may hire you for something large like trimming all their bushes and trees.
If you have elderly or disabled clients, how could you help them even further? They might like to know what other services you offer.
Improved relationships may help your business with referrals, and it also makes you feel good about yourself as well. It’s a great feeling when you can help others in some way.
3. Automate Your Processes
What are you doing that could be done quicker and faster by automation? For example, if you are maintaining your books by hand, a program like Quickbooks can help you with bookkeeping. This frees up your time to focus on other things.
Do you have employees? There are some great apps and software for your small business to help increase your productivity. One of them is ezClocker for time tracking. It is an affordable, scheduling software that is easy to use. It will save you money and time by allowing you to view your employees’ timesheets in real time. Employees can use their own mobile device as a timecard, and it has GPS support where your employee’s GPS location is captured when they clock in/out so you can verify their location.
Research ideas that help you manage the tasks which are the most bothersome. You will find in most cases these are affordable and will free up a lot of time.
Need an Affordable Time Clock App for Your Employees?
4. Try to Have a Work-Life Balance
Owning a small business is hard and you may think about it even when you aren’t actively working. How could you achieve a work-life balance?
If you are spending too much time on multiple tasks, think about what you can do to delegate to others. Sometimes it may seem easier to just do it yourself but could someone else do it just as good as you? Maybe you need to spend a little time training them, but what tasks could you delegate to free up even more of your time? Think about outsourcing some activities like writing social media posts or blogs. Sites like Upwork have experienced freelancers who know how to do these tasks well and they are affordable.
Restrict your email responses to working hours only. If your work email is on your phone, you probably want to respond to everything all the time. But that will ensure your mind is never leaving your work. Also, sending late-night messages to your team may cause them to stress about things when they are off work too. Make notes of things you want to talk to your team about the next day if you get ideas. However, try not to send any emails after a certain time of day.
There are many other ideas to achieve a work-life balance so list the ones you think you could achieve.
5. Develop Good Morning Routines
Developing good morning routines is a great New Year’s resolution for you to work on yourself. Learn from other successful people and see what routines they have. They have many ideas in which you may like to implement in your own life.
How you start the day can set the tone for the rest of the day. If you develop some good routines for your morning, you may find it will help you organize your day. For example, some people do the hardest tasks on their list first, so they don’t have to worry about it later. Completing hard tasks early in the morning will have your full attention and you may have fewer interruptions.
Regardless of what routine or practice you choose, you should come up with your own morning routine and allow enough time to find what suits you the most and what will make you the most successful.
6. Hire Great People
Some small businesses will hire someone as soon as they walk in the door with an application or after a few minutes talking to them. Do you do this? If so, how is that working out for you?
If you have great people working for you, you will have great customer service. Think about developing a world-class system for hiring.
By developing a thorough hiring system, you will eventually have a team that works hard for your business. Most employees want a good boss and will stay somewhere where they feel respected.
It can be a process to develop a great hiring system, but once you do, you will only have to tweak it every once in a while, when laws change or if something isn’t working properly.
7. Develop a Great Company Culture
Company culture is defined and viewed by your company’s mission statement, your core values, your policies, and your goals. It is your approach of how you handle such things as employee, customer, and vendor relations that makes a difference.
When you have engaged employees, they might talk about it to everyone. They may tell others how great it is to work there and encourage them to apply. However, they may also tell others how bad it is too.
Does your business have a good reputation for working there? You can hire top recruiters and spend thousands on advertisements, but if you are considered a bad place to work, you may have a tough time hiring. Now former employees leave reviews online and share their bad (and good) experiences.
Take a look at your business and review it honestly. Could you improve your company culture?
Brainstorm ideas to improve your company culture. Ask for opinions from others you trust as well. When you have a good reputation within the community, hiring becomes easier and more projects will come your way.