It’s a new year – a new start. Every year many of us set goals to better our future selves, and every year most of us don’t quite hit the mark. Maybe we skip the gym that one time, or perhaps we take just a bite of that double chocolate delight, but before we know it we’ve reached the end of another year without success and resolve to try it again next year – so the cycle continues.
Owning a small business is kind of like making New Year’s resolutions all year around – you set goals, fall short, try again, and hope that eventually something will stick and improve the business.
Setting goals and failing is okay – in fact, it’s a natural human quality, how we learn and grow as individuals – but failure can be discouraging, and the trick is to continue making goals regardless.
So, here are some New Year’s resolutions you can make for your small business this year, and advice on how to implement them successfully. Put your hand over your heart, sit up straight, and repeat after me:
1. I will learn how to delegate and do more of it
One of the key ways to successfully balance your life and work is to understand the finer aspects of delegation. Especially in a small business, owners often feel the need to do everything to get the job done right, but this is an exhausting way to run a business that usually leaves people running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Determine what you can delegate and how much you can afford to spend on the help, and make it happen. I’m sure your spouse and family will thank you for it.
2. I will make business marketing a top priority
As simplistic as it sounds, business owners need to remember to constantly promote their services and/or products to new clients and customers. Too often, marketing becomes an afterthought and falls to the bottom of the to-do list.
Don’t let this happen…
Do whatever you have to do to regularly advertise your businessâ€”hire a marketing expert, create a specific marketing plan (then follow through on said plan), or start using one of the many free marketing tools like Twitter and Facebook.
Also, consider finding a way to help your community. One of the best ways to gain visibility is to make a contribution of goodwill to local groups. And the good feeling of helping someone who really needs it is a pretty great perk.
3. I will engage in business planning every week
Humans need structure. If I don’t set aside a specific time every day to work out, then it’s probably not going to happen. Similarly, small business owners need to schedule a time every week to review, discuss, and map out their business plan. Planning is crucial for a healthy, growing business. It clarifies where the company is headed and allows owners to constantly set new goals for the future.
Don’t just plan once a month or quarter – take it one week at a time…
4. I will join a business organization or networking group
Bouncing ideas off fellow business owners is a great way to brainstorm and rejuvenate your company, as well as establish contacts. Find an organization or group that is specific to your type of business and get involved.
5. I will learn something new
I grew up with the phrase, “You learn something new every day.” While this is generally true in life, it isn’t necessarily in business. Most times it takes effort to learn new business techniques. Make the effort.
By learning new skills and strategies to add to your repertoire, your business is bound to be positively impacted. Even if you learn something that has nothing to do with business, the knowledge will enhance your life, and thus carry over into your work. Congratulations! If you’re reading this post, then you have a great start. Now keep it up. For starters, you can read through our blog, or one of our sister blogs on web marketing and SEO.
These are just a few suggestions on how to make your life and business more successful in 2013. Don’t sweat if you fall short – the important thing is that you continue setting goals and striving to accomplish them.
After all, there’s always next year.