Are you looking for a New Year Resolution for your small business? If you are anything like us, this is a hard task. Mostly because we don’t want to pick up a new goal without fully vetting it and ensuring it’s going to stick and improve the business.
New Year Resolutions are particularly difficult since we know many resolutions fail within the first month of the new year. Studies report that 80% of New Year resolutions fail by February and the overall success rate for achievement is about 8%. As a busy business owner, you don’t have time for failure, so the practical solution is to avoid a resolution all together.
This could be the end of the article, but business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals like us don’t take the easy way out. Here are a few simple resolutions that will have a positive impact on your business and will be easy to maintain in 2019 and beyond. (They also happen to be three of our New Year Resolutions.)
New Year Resolution #1: Stop and Say No
- Are you doing things in your business that are unproductive? Stop.
- Do you spend time and money on marketing efforts that are not providing a return on investment (“ROI”)? Stop.
- Have you been asked to do things that you don’t enjoy and that have little or no impact on your current business relationships or ROI? Say No.
- Are you constantly running to various events and unable to keep a regular schedule? Say No.
As small business owners, we have an obligation to wear many hats. It is sort of like having a split personality at times. We market, we perform IT, we do our “JOB”, we provide customer service and support, and we put on a green visor and knock out the books. It is easy for the marketing Scott to say yes to an after-hours event, even if it means the other personalities are going to suffer. Sometimes, saying No or Stopping an unproductive program is an easy solution to keeping our business (and brains) functional.
New Year Resolution #2: Improving Communication
In our article last month, here, we discussed several ways that working on your business would help you work in your business. Communication is a very broad term and can apply to many applications in a small business. Pick an area where your business struggles to communicate and spend the next year improving that one area. Here are a couple examples:
- Internal. Communicating to employees and sub-contractors to ensure projects get completed properly and on time. Using a continuity binder, implementing a tool like “Slack” to keep teams up to date, or simply holding a short 30-minute debrief at the end of the week can help.
- Customer Communication. Do you have solid follow-up systems in place? Email marketing, social media presence (more to follow below), or pamphlets and other hand-outs that help answer customer questions. This could be as simple as giving a customer a checklist or sending a monthly newsletter. What else can you, easily, implement to help improve customer communication?
New Year Resolution #3: Get Social
There are many platforms and tools that help business owners get social on social media. It is a complex world and it takes time to find your comfort zone. It can also be a very time-consuming venture, so where to start?
- Pick a platform. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and many others exist. We’d recommend picking a platform where you have some familiarity already and start exploring other business pages. What are they doing that you like? What are they doing that you do not like? Then start devising your own plan. Start with one, just one, platform and once you’ve mastered it, move on to the second and so on.
- Pick up a book or coach. There are social media experts that teach how to implement content, content strategies, video production, and more. You can usually find books online for a reasonable price that will help you develop your knowledge and perhaps give you insight on how to approach this new marketing world. (My friend, and social media guru, Mitch Jackson recently published this book and it is a great starting point).
There are many advantages to being on social media as a business owner. You can join professional groups with like-minded individuals to share and grow your ideas. Or location-based groups that work as referral networks for members that have an immediate need for some product or service. There are tons of thought-leaders and personal development pages where you can pick up new ideas on how to better improve your work-life balance and profitability. The sky is endless, just be careful not to fall down into too many rabbit holes and click-bait on your journey.
New Year Resolution – Final Words
Whether you have one, or several, New Year Resolutions for your small business, we wish you the best of luck and much success in 2019!
We encourage you to share your New Year Resolutions with us, your friends, and your business network. The more people that know, the more people that can help. If there is anything we can do to help you achieve your New Year Resolution, please contact us or call the office at (636) 352-1222.
Happy New Year!