Not all New Year’s resolutions need to be about giving up Starbucks, walking more or curbing your spending. January 1, provides you a great opportunity, to sit back, reflect and decide where you want to take your business. Here are 10 resolutions that you can adopt to push your business forward for growth in 2015.
- I Will Decide How to Grow My Business. A business growth strategy is a personal decision. Whether it’s diversifying your market, creating a new product line or service, or acquiring a new business, you need to create a plan. Your first task is to do your market research and find out where the opportunities lie. Then use that data to decide how much money, time and resources you’re willing to invest in achieving those opportunities.
- I Will Make My Business Loan-Ready. No matter how you want to grow your business, it is likely you will need financing. So now is the time to work with your accountant and make sure you have a strong business plan, a good credit score, that your accounts are in order, and that you know where all your money is going. No matter if your financing is coming from, it is important to know where your business is now and how this new money will be accounted for.
- I Will Update My Technology. Take a look at your common processes: order taking, customer tracking, customer communications, accounting. See if there are efficiency to made, and look for a suitable technology. There are many products that can help automate your processes, now is time to evaluate if they will be as cost efficient as time efficient. And remember to make decisions based on where you want the business to be, not where it is right now, otherwise you will be making another large investment in the future.
- I Will Create a Promotions Calendar. Gather your sales sheets investigate what makes your sales fluctuate. Then sit down with a calendar and start looking at ways to promote to promote your business. Look to see if there are opportunities around the holidays or industry events. By looking at the whole year, it will give you time to plan your social media updates, blog posts and advertising campaigns in advance.
- I Will Be Known as an Expert in My Field. Your personal branding is a great tool for your business. The more places you appear to share your knowledge, the more you will regarded as an expert in your industry. Dedicate time to writing guest blogs, speak at tradeshows or events and ramp up your social media.
- I Will Create a Tradeshow Plan. Tradeshows and conferences are great networking opportunities for your business. They provide an opportunity to network with your peers and potential customers, as well as learn from industry experts. Sign up for our Community and stay up to date with the key small business events of 2015, or take a look at our events calendar to see what is already planned for the coming year.
- I Will Look to Grow My Team. Growing a business often means growing a team. After you have created your growth plan, start creating your hiring strategy for 2015. Remember, growing your team doesn’t mean that you need to make a long-term commitment. Consider temps, freelancers and part-time workers as an alternative to full-time employees, if your budget is tight or if your business is seasonal.
- I Will Make Time to Learn. Improving your education will not only give you the tools to work more efficiently, it will give you a boost personally. Find time when your business is quieter and use it to learn. Whether it’s an hour at lunch to read industry blogs, or that you register for an online course, keeping up to date on industry trends will help improve the marketability of your business.
- I Will Appreciate My Customers. Being a sustainable business relies on the loyalty of customers, so customer appreciation should feature on every business owners list. Whether it’s improving your customer service, or creating new opportunities or promotions, show your customers how much they mean to you.
- I Will Make Time for Myself. No matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey, it’s likely that your work/life balance, leans a little more to the work side of this balancing act. Make a commitment to a certain number of hours sleep per day, it will make you more productive and allow you to find down-time. Then use that down-time to turn off your phone and spend time with friends, family or doing your hobbies. After all, what’s the point of creating a business, if you can’t enjoy the life you have built?
The New Year is your chance to start fresh and make changes to better your personal and professional life. So make 2015 your business year of growth!