New Years Resolutions for Small Business Owners

Personal Development

This time of the year is the time to celebrate with your family, enjoy the snowfall and spend some moments away from the usual frantic activity of the year. This is the time when you have the opportunity to think and reflect back on what went well during the year and what did not go well. You do this for yourself and your family. There is every reason you can do this for your business also, especially because you do not have a dedicated team of specialists to look after the same. You must yourself think through things and plan accordingly.

Here, we look at a few possible New Years Resolutions for your business:

Have a look at your credit score:

Your credit score determines the interest rate you will pay if you decide to take a loan from the bank. A lower score means you will be charged higher. You can purchase your report from agencies such as Equifax, Experian or D&B. A timely review of the report will give you the opportunity to take corrective measures if necessary. A good score will let you negotiate for better rates from the credit lender.

new years resolutionsSet weekly review mechanisms:

Most of our New Years resolutions – personal or professional – are set on an annual basis. When we sit down to review and think what we achieved or lost, there is no time left to make any amendments. A weekly review on the other hand addresses this. Every weekend, you should check your progress against the annual target you will set. Are you on your way to meet it? If not, what did you miss out on? Weekly reviews will give you a real time picture of where you are so that you can take corrective measures.

Learn to delegate:

If there are people who work with you, then learn to delegate some more tasks to them, especially to those who have been working with you for some time and are good at work. This will serve two purposes: it will free up some of your own time that you can invest to learn something new, and your team members will feel a greater sense of ownership and achievement. Perhaps, they will even come with an idea that can grow the business!

Learn something new:

In business both large and small, it is important to evolve yourself and develop new skills. It can be a short term course in accounting, marketing, event management, customer service – anything. It can even be meditation because it helps to calm your mind. In the process, you will meet more and more people who can be useful contacts. Develop a relationship with them.

A new product or service:

Just as you will add something to your capabilities, your business can get a fresh breath of life if there is a new offering in the New Year. Think of something that is associated with your core offering but you have not thought of selling so far. For example, if you sell sports gear, selling approved food supplements and energy drinks will be a good idea. If you have a shop for electrical equipment, you can open an authorized service center. The idea is that if the customer steps into your store, he sees a lot more than he wanted to, and is thus compelled to buy more.

Join an industry alliance:

This will help you understand the market from an entirely new perspective. There are associates and trade bodies at every level – city, county or national. If not, there will most likely be a local chapter at least. Joining such groups will also expose you to what others are doing in a similar trade elsewhere in the country. You can use their experience to your advantage. Most such alliances provide a member directory on their website and people often visit that section, so make sure your contact details are always updated there. You don’t want to lose a potential client just because your phone number was incorrect there!

Learn to take hard decisions:

There is a good possibility you have continued so far with a few things that have not been working as you liked them to be. Perhaps, a supplier is always late with his truck. An employee takes too many leaves. The location of your shop can be better. Or, your online business needs to be reorganized. You need to come to a firm decision on such aspects because they hamper your business’ growth. Worse, they stand a good chance they will take your business downhill from where you have brought it so far.

Develop a new way for customers to reach you:

In this ever changing world, you need to be innovative and develop newer and better ways for your customers to reach you. Today’s people have very little time for anything, so you must be present when they need you. So think of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, mobile phone apps, SMSs in a new light and see how you can market yourself better through them. Engage a professional if you need help.

Have you decided on your new years resolutions?

2 Comments

  1. I wish my boss would take your advice and make her 2014 New Year’s resolution to delegate some of her authority to me. I can’t tell you how bogged down in the mundane details of her business she gets when I am ready, willing and able to handle certain tasks. I think my boss is too afraid of losing something to risk delegating some of her workload to me and her other marketing assistant.

    • Andrew says:

      Its a shame Ken to hear that. Many business owners and bosses suffer from this need to “do everything”. Failure to delegate is often a fear based behavior as you say but if you can find a way to address her fears and show she won’t lose anything then it could work well for you. Wishing you all the best for the new year!

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