Another year has (almost) come and gone. Soon, we’ll be gathering with family and friends, stuffing our faces with leftover sugar cookies and raising a glass of (probably) non-alcoholic cider to toast 2018. Just remember: A new year means new resolutions, too.
Maybe you want to hit the gym to work off those sugar cookies, travel or take up a new hobby. As important as your personal resolutions are, though, you also need to make out a list for your small business.
As we prepare to bid farewell to 2017, here are a few things you should consider committing to next year.
#1: Set Measurable Goals
We all have goals for our small business. They’re usually pretty simple: Get more customers, sell more stuff, make more money.
The problem with these goals is that there’s no substance to them. You want to get more customers … but how many? You want to sell more stuff … but do you mean selling more units of existing products, or expanding your offerings? If you make $100 more next year, that’s technically more money … but does that mean you’ve meaningfully grown your business?
Setting measurable goals gives you something to work toward and makes it easier for you to quantify your success. Be sure to check in with yourself often, and celebrate little milestones.
#2: Promote Your Business
Promoting your business seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations and just forget.
When was the last time you updated your social media pages? Hosted a contest? Wrote a new blog post? Ideally, you should be doing at least one thing each day to get your small business’ name out into the community and beyond.
Make the marketing side of your business a priority in the new year. (Or let us handle it!) Good, consistent marketing — as opposed to the “whenever I remember to do it” variety — really does make a difference!
#3: Create or Expand Your Network
No one gives advice quite as well as people who are walking in your shoes. Your network is a treasure trove of resources, tips and solutions for potential problems.
Join your local chamber of commerce. Be active in the many small business forums found online. Talk to other local corporate leaders in your area. When problems arise or you’re not sure what to do, these people can be your lifeline.
#4: Try Something Different
Even if your small business is sailing smoothly, there’s always room for improvement. Set a goal to try something new next year. Whether it’s a new marketing tactic you saw online, a new shipping service or a new social media platform, you won’t know whether it works until you try it.
Keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Experiment. Tweak things. Get feedback from your clients and customers. Trying something new can take you down a path to a place you’ve never been before.
#5: Take Time for Yourself
When you eat, sleep and breathe your small business, it can feel like it owns you instead of the other way around. This leads to burnout. Burnout leads to frustration. And like it or not, your customers will sense your frustration, no matter how hard you try to hide it.
Take some time for yourself occasionally. Book a vacation. Take a long weekend. Ask someone to cover you for two hours every other Tuesday while you attend your professional Sudoku tournament. (We don’t judge.) There is nothing wrong with taking a break. In fact, it makes you a better business owner!
Ready to Create Your Own Small Business Resolutions?
You have rocked 2017. Now it’s time to make a plan for the new year. Whether you adopt one of our resolutions or strike out on your own, creating a plan for 2018 before the ball drops in Times Square can ensure that next year is the best year yet for your small business!
Looking for more inspiration? Get in touch! Mischa Communications is ready, willing and able to work behind the scenes as you celebrate 2018. (Please bring sugar cookies. We’re out.)