New Year Resolutions for Your Small Business

happy new year bfs capitalYour small business doesn’t need to lose weight. Well, at least it doesn’t literally need to since, you know, it’s not a person. And though losing weight seems to be the default New Year’s resolution for most people, it sadly won’t work for your business. With 2016 knocking on the door, however, there are definitely some big picture resolutions that’ll make your business the best it can be in the New Year. No matter what your industry, here are ten things to consider as your small business’s New Year’s resolution.

  • Resolution #1 – Resolve to Cut Ties with Anyone Who Hampers Your Business

This means taking stock of your employees, and figuring out who’s not pulling their weight so you can fire them sooner rather than later. It also means taking a look at your customer and vendor lists and seeing who needs to go. This might be late-paying, high maintenance customers, or vendors who routinely are out of stock or deliver late.

  • Resolution #2 – Resolve to Give Back

It’s an old cliché that giving back to others makes you feel good about yourself. And while that may well be true, you don’t need to be completely altruistic about it either. The networking opportunities you’ll get while volunteering stretch outside your usual sphere of associations, and it never hurts to have your business’s name attached to charitable work.

  • Resolution #3 – Resolve to Meet in Person

In the electronic world, it’s too easy to never meet anybody face to face. The relationships made with those you meet in person are always stronger. So instead of an introductory email try and meet people for coffee, or just a desk side chat if time allows.

  • Resolution #4 – Resolve to Learn More About Your Industry

This falls under the old adage of “work on our business, not in your business.” Resolve to attend at least one major industry event this year, and read at least two books or publications on your industry every quarter.

  • Resolution #5 – Resolve to Perfect Your Website

Your website is the face of your business, even if you don’t do much of your business online. And if potential new customers go to research you and find an outdated website, you’ve just killed your first impression. Hire an outside developer or consultant if you need to, and make sure the online version of your business is as sharp and updated as the physical one.

  • Resolution #6 – Resolve to Delegate More Work

You’re not the only small business owner who has “if you want something done right, so it yourself” tattooed on your chest. But in order to focus on the big picture, sometimes you need to trust people to take care of the minutiae. Let this be the year you make it a habit to delegate some of your small business’s tasks.

  • Resolution #7 – Resolve to Get Up to Speed with Payment Methods

We already told you about why you need to get on board with EMV technology as soon as possible. But beyond that, developing a POS with the technology for mobile payment, and creating one-touch online ordering systems will make this the year your business goes to the forefront of payment options.

  • Resolution #8 – Resolve to Start (and update) a Company Blog

Content marketing is hot, so resolve to post to your blog at least two to three times per week. If you don’t have time to create blog content, find a freelancer. By making your company’s name an authority in the industry, finding new business becomes much easier.

  • Resolution #9 – Resolve to Get Your Workforce in Shape

Because at least 2/3 of your employees have weight loss as THEIR new year’s resolution, make it a team effort. On your part, resolve to sign your company up for a different event (5K race, obstacle course, etc.) every quarter. Then, create a company-wide wellness plan in January to track who’s made the most progress. Also, it’s an appropriate time to make sure your small business’s benefits package is updated.

  • Resolution #10 – Resolve to Take Time Off

This will be, without a doubt, the hardest. But vow to take at least one week-long vacation when you leave everything from work behind, including your phone and laptop. Do your best to achieve some much needed work-life balance. Your business will still be there when you get back, and you’ll be surprised how much more productive you are when you return.

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Matt Meltzer

Matt Meltzer is a professor of business communication at the University of Miami. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and holds a bachelors degree in business administration from UM, as well as a Masters of Mass Communication from the University of Florida.