It’s that time of year again, new year, new start, and we all make personal new year resolutions, but what about for our business? Sure, we set goals and targets, but what about all the other little things that could make quite a difference? I have decided to merge New Year Resolutions and Business Goals and set some Business Resolutions for 2016. The first time you think about doing this the idea of what to choose can be a little like trying to catch fog in a net, so to help get you thinking along the right lines I have 20 suggestions for you, what would you add?
20 Business Resolutions for 2016
- Be On Time.
In our busy world it can be tempting to do just one more thing, however punctuality is prized highly (I am one of the worst culprits for not being on time this is definitely on my list this year!) If like me you hate being late, it adds to the stress levels – then simple don’t be! This is it – time to get punctual!
- Social media marketing consistently.
Consistently is the key word here, if you are a dabbler set yourself this challenge, work on your social media marketing for 20 mins every work day.
- Ensure admin is kept up to date.
It’s incredibly tempting to put off small admin tasks, after all it’ll only take minute, right? But by putting it off, it just turns into a mammoth task later on, doing all those little admin tasks as you go along will eliminate the need for a massive admin session! If admin tasks are not your bag then considering hiring an outsourced PA – that has to count towards achieving a business resolution right?
- Declutter the office.
‘Tidy desk, tidy mind’, as the saying goes, well I’m not sure about that, but a nice tidy office does indeed lend itself to productivity and avoids distraction. Now where did I put the blue tack???
- Organise yourself with an online diary.
Online diaries are great for getting organised. Making sure you have the app on your phone too will ensure that you can check exactly what’s going on no matter where you are, and also add, change or move any entries on the go, ensuring your diary is always up to date. Combine this with the solution in number 3 and you are really knocking these business resolutions out of the park!
- Know exactly where your business stands financially all the time.
Analyse profit and loss to be able to respond to the ever-changing status of your business. Sounds complicated? Use software like Xero which will tell you at a click of a few buttons your financial situation. This will really help with your budgeting, your sales goals and will help your accountant to help you by having an accurate view of your business throughout the year rather than relying on January to get everything in on time!
- Invest in yourself.
Grab the opportunity this year to develop your knowledge or skills, there are always new skills to learn, make sure you get some personal development in that new electronic diary. Whether it is presentation skills, networking skills, bookkeeping skills (learn to use Xero and nail number 6)… learn something new.
- Dedicate an activity to team bonding.
This can be a social occasion, lunch together or a day team building exercise. The people are the backbone of any business, so making sure everyone works well together is worth spending some time on.
- Set yourself a goal to grow your business.
This could be adding new clients, up selling to existing clients or adding a new revenue generating string to your bow. You do want to grow don’t you?
- Do something outside your comfort zone.
We can all be a little guilty of sticking within our comfort zone, after all, it’s called that for a reason, right? Stretch yourself to try something new. Perhaps that is a new form of marketing, perhaps it is a new supplier… Combine this with the personal development at number 7 to achieve ‘two birds with one stone’! Or perhaps outside your comfort zone is writing that weekly blog?
- Review your customers journey.
Is it all that it should be? Are they getting everything they need from you? Is the experience a customer receives from your business the best? Seems very obvious when I come to write it down, but happy customers are repeat customers. Repeat business costs 10 times less to generate than new business. Is there a step in the process the customer follows when buying from you that is the weak link? Are the phones answered in a timely and professional manner, are responses to email queries all they should be, do customers feel like they enjoy working/ordering from you? Do you make it easy for customers to re-order from you?
- Meet new people.
Meeting new people can give you different perspectives and new ideas that you might otherwise never have thought of. Join a new networking group or business club. Put yourself out there and see what you get back.
It’s far too easy to focus on the negatives, recognise you do a great job and so does your team. Add a reward into this business resolution, it doesn’t have to cost the earth, but everyone (even the boss) needs to feel valued.
- Finally get that business continuity plan in place.
None of us like to think about the ‘what ifs’ as a business owner you cannot afford the luxury of ignoring them. Set that plan in place. So what if no one can get to work because of snow? What if the internet goes down for 2 days? What if the office burns down? Put in place your solutions before you encounter the problem, when a disaster strikes you are prepared whilst everyone else flaps around. Business Continuity starts with you the business owner. There are plenty of resources online that can help you to plan.
- Review your time management.
Have a good look at our day, where do you leak time, and what can you do about it? Who are your time vampires? I bet if you recorded your day on a scrap of paper you will find whole chunks of time that could be better used. Not too hot on time management – then you have just found the area to invest in! Number 7 gets crossed off again!
- Take some time to enjoy your business.
We all became business owners for a reason, enjoy that, too many people focus on their goals without appreciating where they are right now, and how far they have come. Take a minute to enjoy your journey.
- Fight the overwhelm
Break things down when your completely swamped under. Consign that massive to do list to the drawer and give yourself 3 things you WILL accomplish today. You’ve done those? Great next 3 please, but only ever 3 – works for me – what works for you?
- Brainstorm with your team
Sometimes just the act of discussing a particular business situation can lead to lightbulb moments and you have a wealth of talent at your fingertips, get input into whichever subject you are tackling from one of your most valuable resources, your team! They will also feel like they have a valued say in the business.
- Review your spending
We all get complacent with our purchases; do we still need to be paying that membership when we never attend events or get nothing back from it? Are we paying the right price for our office supplies, are we getting the right value from the outsourced partners? All purchases should be reviewed periodically to ensure you are still getting what your business needs at the right price.
- Add value to your proposition
By this I mean highlight to your customers, both existing and potentials where your value is. If there are 20 firms all selling widgets what sets you apart, your knowledge, experience, customer service, contract terms, returns policy, customer satisfaction, after sales service, advice and support…. The list is long where do you shine?
What will be your business resolutions for this year?