At the beginning of every year millions of people nation-wide commit to a new year’s resolution. These resolutions often focus around personal growth- but what if you could take that same commitment and resolution and apply it to growing your small business? A new year’s resolution can get your business off on the right foot this year.
To get started with your new year’s resolution, consider how you want to grow or improve your business. What do you want to focus on? What do you want to have achieved by 2019? Then, consider the following steps and how they can help you get started on your small business new year’s resolution.
Wrap up 2017
Before you can even get started on 2018, you need to make sure 2017 is all wrapped up and reviewed. Start with your invoices. Make sure that not only are all invoices sent out, but that they’re paid, too. If they aren’t, take the time to follow up and receive payment by January first.
Once you’ve received all of your payments, review your 2017 finances. How did things go? Did you make as much as you expected to? Did you have any expenses that ended up not being used or not being worthwhile? Consolidate all of this information into a report. This report will help you plan your 2018 strategy and will provide something to compare against at the end of the year.
Start the New Year off with a Plan
For your new year’s resolution to be successful, it’s important to have a clear cut plan with your goals in mind. Sit down and contemplate your business. What do you want to see change over 2018? Whatever you decide, it needs to be an achievable and measureable plan. If your goal isn’t concrete enough, it will be impossible to measure.
Once you’ve outline your plan, set milestones throughout the year. These milestones will help break your goal into manageable pieces and will also help you understand the progress you are making.
Review Your Business Relationships and Tools
Every relationship that you have impacts your business. Relationships include everything from customers, to vendors, to bankers, and to employees. Sit down and make a list of every relationship that you have. Then, consider if this relationship is working for you or not. Any changes that you would like to see in your relationships will become part of your strategy.
For instance, it may come to light that your repeat customer base is shrinking. Maintaining and growing your customer base should then become a part of your 2018 strategy. Make sure that you’re getting what you want out of every business relationship you have. And, if you aren’t, it may be time to re-evaluate having that relationship.
Take the same approach to evaluating your tools. List out the tools and software that you’re using, including your office appliances, your Point of Sale (POS) system, your computer, and any business software you’re using. Once you’ve listed these out, consider how they’re positively impacting your business. If they aren’t, consider an upgrade or seeking out a new provider.
Evaluate the Holes in Your Strategy
Your strategy will make or break your new year’s resolution. Take the time to evaluate your strategy and see what’s missing. For instance, have you been focusing on direct mail but ignoring social media? Are you using both paid and unpaid media? These small holes in your strategy can make a big impact on your success. Map out your strategy to see what you’re missing and what strategies you’d like to implement in 2018 to help you meet your resolution.
Create a Measurement Plan
Your final step will be to create a measurement plan. The measurement plan should take your milestones into consideration and include a method of when you will measure, how you will measure, and what you hope to glean from these measurements. Once your measurement plan is complete, make sure to mark your calendar to remind you. Measuring can seem like an unimportant task that you can push back, but if it isn’t completed you will be unable to learn and change your strategy to meet your new year’s resolution.
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