While nearly two-thirds of people make New Year’s resolutions, perhaps it’s time your small business did too. As we bid adieu to 2015, here are some suggestions for your 2016 business resolutions:
- Make this the year I learn to delegate: Many entrepreneurs are afraid to turn any aspect of their “baby” over to anyone else resulting in a horrible work-life balance and a business you can’t take to the next level. Make 2016 the year you decide to hire smart and delegate tasks that aren’t your strengths to someone who can do them better.
- Learn something new: You can never go wrong learning something that will help your business or enrich your personal life. Not only will you gain skills, you’re likely going to meet new people who could potentially become customers or colleagues.
- Network more: If you’re in marketing, don’t just join marketing groups, join groups where you can cultivate new business. Think about the industries you serve. If you work with hospitality clients, join hotel and restaurant groups. In addition, don’t discount the power of online network through social channels like LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Give Back: According to a 2013 study, 89 percent of Americans say they will switch brands to work with a company that gives back. If nothing else motivates you about getting involved in the community, that one statistic alone should make you realize that karma is alive and well in business.
- Set Goals: If you don’t know where you’re going, you will never get there. Successful goals are a stretch, but achievable and written down. Make sure to revisit your goals quarterly to check off if you’ve achieved it, need to tweak it or determined it’s no longer a goal.
- Keep Prospecting: Even if you have a steady stream of existing customers, you should never bank on the fact that they will always be there. Make it your goal to talk to one potential new customer a day. This doesn’t have to be a hard sell. Talk to people at your gym, the coffee shop or a party.
- Get rid of bad customers: Sometimes the customer isn’t always right. Every business has a client who takes up more time and energy in relation to what they bring to the bottom line. The exhaustion from dealing with them is preventing you from acquiring customers who will be a better fit. Don’t be afraid to drop a bad apple from your tree.
- Schedule “Me” Time: A burned out entrepreneur doesn’t run a successful business. If you can’t leave the office behind, make sure you schedule down time into your calendar.