Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Businesses

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Businesses

I know last year was a tough one, especially for your small business. The continued pandemic has largely moved the business world entirely online, and pivots have been necessary to navigate unprecedented circumstances. Likely, your business started and ended the year with very different sets of goals, challenges, and experiences.

So, as you look forward to a “new normal,” first, pat yourself on the back because you made it this far! While running a business during a pandemic (and through the resulting economic and societal challenges) has not been ideal, you’ve endured to the end of the year. You’ve likely come away with several business survival skills that have made your business stronger. 

But now is the perfect time to let bygones be bygones. Let’s start 2022 with a bang, starting with some smart business goals. So what are you resolving to do in the new year?

Update Your Business Plans And Goals 

#2-Update-Your-Business-Plans-And-Goals

Hopefully, you wrote your business plan as one of the first steps of starting your business. Now is a great time to revisit it and update your plan with the latest financials, goals, competitor research, marketing ideas, and more so your business will continue to grow in 2022.

A good business plan can serve as a roadmap to success when you need guidance. It can help keep you organized and on track.

A good business plan can serve as a roadmap to success when you need guidance. It can help keep you organized and on track. If you decide you want to pursue an investor, seek a business loan, or take on a new partner, a business plan can also act as a tool to illustrate your business’s worth to outside parties.

In other words, a business plan is crucial to your success. But it isn’t meant to be a one-and-done document. 

Use your goals and plans to decide what to focus on and what you can move further down your list of priorities. When everything is a priority, nothing is. Not only will this make your life easier, but you’ll also actually be able to focus on what’s important and start seeing results.

Refresh Your Marketing Plan

#3-Refresh-Your-Marketing-Plan

Just like with your business plan, you’ll want to take a closer look at your marketing plan. What worked well for your business last year? What didn’t? Where did your marketing budget stretch the furthest? What channels worked best for you?

Your new plan should cut out anything that didn’t work and prioritize what is working best for your business.

Now that you’ve identified what marketing efforts helped your business the most last year, and which didn’t make as much of an impact, you can update your marketing plan with your insight and knowledge. Your new plan should cut out anything that didn’t work and prioritize what is working best for your business. Feel free to add in new strategies as well. This will help dictate where your marketing budget should go in 2022 so you get the biggest return on your investment.

Your Small Business Needs You To Use Social Media More 

#4-Your-Small-Business-Needs-You-To-Use-Social-Media-More

Social media is invaluable to a small business. It has become the new playground that unites all demographics. It’s every marketer’s dream come true: It offers free access to such a vast audience of potential customers for any product.

In 2022, make a resolution to use social media daily: interact with customers and other users, answer questions, and post engaging content. There are several free social media scheduling tools you can use to schedule a week’s worth of posts at once, making social media a breeze.

And if you are unsure which network(s) to use? Don’t worry. Just don’t jump into all of them! Prioritize the network your customers are already using. For example, for most businesses, this is Facebook and/or Instagram. Build your following on one of these platforms and then, if you feel comfortable, you can branch out to Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, Tiktok, etc.

Read More: Businesses: Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Build A Website For Your Small Business

#5-Build-A-Website-For-Your-Small-Business

Many small businesses, especially new small businesses, run a lean operation. They focus on necessities and urgent matters, only spending money when they need to. So, it’s easy to see why some entrepreneurs might think a small business website is a luxury item they can afford to live without.

They might even believe a Facebook page is enough for an online presence, that a sign with their phone number will generate calls, or that a traditional mailer will help them sell products.

If your small business doesn’t already have a website, now is the time to invest in building one. A professional website isn’t an expensive luxury or a frivolous endeavor – it’s an affordable, fundamental tool that every company needs.

A good small business website can do wonders for sales, audience growth, brand recognition, and customer service. Even if you don’t sell products on an eCommerce website, a good business website can at the very least allow new customers or clients to find you via search engines, share examples of your work, and provide contact information to anyone who may want to work with you.

Read More: Different Types of Websites You Can Build

Learn To Delegate

Learn to Delegate for your small business

One of the most difficult transitions for leaders to make is the shift from doing to leading.

If you choose only one new year’s resolution for your business, make it this one. As a business owner, there are probably a thousand things on your to-do list, but you don’t have to do them yourself. Learn to delegate and let others do some of your work this year.

Ask trusted employees to handle day-to-day tasks you get caught up on, hire an agency to handle your digital marketing, or even find a house cleaning service to handle some of your chores at home. The idea is to outsource tasks that others can handle so you can focus on the parts of your business – and your life – that you want to.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs are used to doing everything, but should they? Shifting work to someone else can be difficult, especially for those who are accustomed to wearing every hat needed to run a business. However, delegation can open you up to focusing on what you love and what you do best.

Remember, delegation is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of a strong leader.

Beat Burnout And Find The Work-Life Balance

#7-Beat-Burnout-And-Find-The-Work-Life-Balance

It can be rather exciting to return from a holiday break with the energy to hit the ground running in January. It’s great to capitalize on the energy that comes after taking time to rest and spend time with loved ones, but before you dive headfirst into work in 2022, consider creating a plan for beating burnout this year.

It’s no secret that many small business owners work themselves to the bone. Working as a small business owner is rewarding, but it can also get emotionally draining. You are constantly in the spotlight with decisions that could make or break your company. But, burnout is not good for you, your business, or your personal life. Setting clear boundaries, knowing when to take a break, and learning when to ask for help are all great ways to beat burnout

We all have different thresholds for how much we can work and varying ways of coping with stress, just make sure you’re running your business in a way that is good for you.

Fine Tune Your Customer Service

#8-Fine-Tune-Your-Customer-Service

When it comes to customer service, people remember the really bad experiences as often as the really good ones. Identify what your biggest missteps were in 2021 and outline how you and your employees can avoid them in the future. At the same time, highlight what went well and how you can build on those experiences in 2022.

By providing customers – and potential buyers – with a killer customer service experience, you’re setting your business up for success.

By providing customers – and potential buyers – with a killer customer service experience, you’re setting your business up for success. Better sales, repeat customers, strong relationships, a distinguished brand reputation, and those coveted five-star reviews. So start putting your best (virtual) face forward by demanding gold-star customer service experiences from your business.

Read More: 10 Ways To Connect With Customers

Your Small Business Needs You To Network (A Lot)

#9-Your-Small-Business-Needs-You-To-Network-(A-Lot)

A key element to effective networking is to make you known. The premise is that the more people you meet, the more people there will be to get to know and remember both you and your small business. 

While not everyone you meet will be a potential customer – in fact, some may be competitors – you’ll meet people who can be referrals to their business associates or others who may need your services. In fact, the more involved you are, the more people get to know you and will be inclined to help open doors.

Networking isn’t only for business leads. You’ll be able to get referrals for services or vendors; discover alliance opportunities; and find prospective job candidates, which most small business owners indicate is their number one HR challenge.

Associations are also a great forum in which to glean and share best practices that are relevant to your business. You can choose an industry-specific group or a regional or local chapter of a national trade or professional association. Or, maybe a local business or merchant’s group; and even a group with a particular focus, such as one for start-up entrepreneurs or small business owners.

Extend A Hand To Other Small Business Owners

#10-Extend-A-Hand-To-Other-Small-Business-Owners

This one is very important. Small business owners have to stick together as they face increasing competition from gargantuan online retailers or rapacious internet platforms that take ridiculously high percentages of sales from small restaurants or suppliers. Put your money where your heart is and support your local small business.

Think back to when you were first starting out in your career. You were probably excited and hopeful while simultaneously feeling nervous and unsure. Did you have support, or could you have used more?

One of the best new year’s resolutions for small business owners is to pay it forward. Reach out to someone in your industry just starting out and who could use mentoring or a sounding board for advice. Your generosity will not go unnoticed, and you will be seen as both an expert in your field and as a person people want to work with.

Wrapping Up: How to Keep your New Year’s Resolutions

#11-Wrapping-Up-How-to-Keep-your-New-Year's-Resolutions

We’ve all been there: we make amazing New Year’s resolutions and…we don’t achieve them. Lucky for you, I spent some quality time thinking about this. So I leave you some things I follow to reach my goals:

  1. It is impossible to achieve your resolutions if they’re not written down! Try to write them somewhere where you can see them constantly. That way they’ll inspire you every day.
  2. Track your progress. It’s important that you know how close you are to achieving your resolutions, so track your progress so you know which ones require more work!
  3. Commit yourself to your resolutions. If you don’t make a plan you can easily follow to achieve those New Year’s resolutions, you won’t achieve them. Make sure you make a list of the steps you need to complete to keep your resolution.

And what if you can’t keep one or more resolutions? Don’t beat yourself up. If the year ends and you couldn’t complete a resolution, don’t worry! Make a list of what stopped you from achieving it and what you can do differently for the next year!

Author:

Biljana Martinić

Captain of Red Hair Pirates. Song Sommelier. Dragonologist. Talks to animals and they often talk back. Shyness that is criminally vulgar. Bounty hunter. And a nostalgia consultant.

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