So, this is the time- time for a New Year and for making “New Year’s Resolutions.” While enjoying with family and friends, stuffing your faces with leftover chocolate cakes and raising a toast to 2018, you are more likely to take resolutions to lose weight, travel more, quit alcohol or possibly vowing to enjoy life to the fullest, right?
But as you are entering into New Year, your resolutions should not be confined to your personal lives. With 2018 on the horizon, a new year is a perfect time to set new business goals and missions for small business owners worldwide. Creating an impactful resolution can, after all, boost up your sales, efficiency and productivity and streamline success for your business. This can be achieved with setting the right goals and avoiding vicious decisions in 2018.
To embark on setting resolutions, small business owners should take a diligent look at the past as there could be certain practices that might have not worked well in 2017 or you might have failed to notice its complete impact. This is right time to analyse those practices and strategies for constantly pursuing things that worked well while modifying the disgruntled practices to ensure continual growth and success. It is critical to employ changes and innovative strategies in order to see its impact on your business, as unlike traditional practices, probably, new strategies can impact your business in a positive manner.
No entrepreneur wants to run their business in a vacuum. Think about the lessons that you, as an entrepreneur, can learn from your customers, possibly by recollecting feedbacks that they have shared with you over the last year or recognizing their responses to any new campaigns or promotions? The more you will try to anticipate your customer’s demand, the more easily you can nail your pitch in your industry.
To outline the process, start with adopting small-small business resolutions. Like, there’s a new technology you’d like to get your hands dirty on or new software you’re yearning to offer your potential clients in the New Year. There could be numerous “to-do” items written in your business plan for the next year, but definitely there few “to-don’ts” that you want to put aside off your list.
So, if you have decided to embrace major yet impactful changes in your small business, here is a list of “must have” resolutions you should consider committing to this year.
Keep a regular check on cash flow while managing your finances
No other resolution could be as great as managing finances for small business owners who fail to monitor their finances and have drastic ebbs and flows in their cash flow. Due to lack of attentiveness and proper planning, owners become incapable of creating enough investment capital for their business. Therefore, if you intend to have a big chunk of savings in your bank account, look to understand the day-to-day finances of your business.
Boost your digital presence
In this era of digitalization, if it’s been more than a year since you haven’t updated your website or overlooked your digital marketing plan, you really need to get your skates on the trend. Take the advantage of digital components and make your web presence mobile-friendly. Also, focus on email marketing, social media pages or SMS marketing to keep your digital presence alive.
Go social in your small business
If it’s been ages and you haven’t logged in on social media or didn’t even explore the best platform for your business, this is the right time to rethink it. Perhaps, you can start with a business blog or can emphasis on developing an intriguing content strategy. For example if you are an IT Company in Northampton having your business blog where you consistently talk about your services, latest technologies and marketing trends can be greatly beneficial.
Focus on measurable goals
Every entrepreneur has certain goals for their business. Few goals are though easily predictable like getting more customers, selling more stuff, making more money, planning strategies etc. But the problem lies in the fact that these goals don’t have any defined plan of actions. Like, you want more customers, which is obviously good, but how many? Does selling more stuff means selling more units of existing products, or expanding your existing products?
You may have $100 more by the end of next year, which means you are financially going well but it doesn’t mean that you’ve grown your business meaningfully. In contrast setting measurable goals, on contrast, you can quantify your success. So ensure that you check in with yourself often, and celebrate every little milestone.
Construct or expand your network
Don’t rely on the people who are walking in your shoes. Instead develop your own network which with their resources and tips can provide solutions for your potential problems. You can either join any local community or sign up for small business forums online. Contacting some potential leaders can also become your lifeline during critical times.
Get your hands dirty on different, yet latest techniques
Perhaps, your business is sailing smoothly, but you never know if implementing latest technologies in your small business can provide a room for improvement.
Also, you will find it appealing to experiment new tactics, whether it is a new marketing tactic or some appealing social network, get your hands dirty on a few things to analyse its impact. Monitor changes and seek feedback from your clients and customers to analyse if your experiment can actually take you down a path you’ve never been to before.
Expand your team and delegate more
As an entrepreneur, you are liable to manage several things altogether. But in reality, you can’t handle all things alone, so stop wearing all of the hats all the time and start-hiring people to pick up the slack. Take a resolution to build your team to handle day-to-day operations. In addition, learning how to delegate tasks to your employees efficiently should be right up your alley.
Besides, these “must have” resolutions, there are few resolutions you should definitely avoid this year:
Lowering the Costs
Businesses plan their marketing strategies on the fact that lower prices draw more customers into your store. Also, small business owners consistently feel the heat of beating the prices of their competitors. Though, low prices attract customers, but according to a research data, it is revealed that consumers are willing to put their money where their mouths are.
As a fact, millennials pay more at small businesses and will continue to purchase even in the New Year and beyond. Their support to small business despite the prices, suggests that consumers value factors in more heavily than price. Therefore, sacrificing your business’ strengths with lowering prices is definitely not a good idea.
Try to Control the Message
Since businesses have become more active on social media giving rise to interactive marketing; it’s become tough to control the message about your business. Certainly, small business owners should invest into comprehensive public relations and effective marketing strategy, to communicate your business’s message purely and authentically. If, you would embrace two-way messaging, instead of controlling the message, it could benefit you more.
Today, consumers not only read online reviews, but also share their feedbacks about your business and services on social networks like, Facebook, TripAdvisor and more. So, as an owner, you should read those reviews to know their prospective about your business and to communicate with them. Try to respond to their reviews and take the advantage of developing customer relations with fostering two-way conversation.