Many people are in the habit of making personal resolutions to kick off the new year: start a diet, exercise more regularly, finally reorganize that walk-in closet. The same concept should hold true for business owners. If you haven’t made a resolution for your business yet, it’s not too late. Now is the perfect time to reevaluate where you ended last year and what you can do to improve in the coming months.
These resolutions for your business can and should go beyond your bottom line. Thinking outside the box about what you can do to strengthen your business is important, and now’s the time to put those plans into action.
If it’s not working, leave it behind
Your first resolution should be to get rid of things that aren’t working for you. Whether it’s a system or process, a marketing strategy, a key vendor or client, or an employee, you have to be able to let go and try a new approach. As a business owner, it can be easy to get attached to the way things are—you’ve likely played a key role in making each decision that’s gotten your company to its current point, so it can feel like a knock on your pride and leadership abilities when something isn’t working.
In reality, the strongest move a leader can make is to admit something they’ve decided on in the past is no longer working, and take swift, decisive action to change things.
This is another one that can be hard for business owners who are deeply invested in their company’s success. You may have the urge to opine on every decision, from big-picture strategy to the kind of coffee you’re ordering for the break room. But as NPR notes, micromanaging can have a damaging effect on your employees’ happiness and leaves you with less time to focus on the important strategic decisions that should be coming across the owner’s desk.
Learning to delegate effectively can be challenging, but it’s essential to employee productivity and the success of your business. If you feel that you may have trouble letting go, check out these tips in “How to Stop Micromanaging” from the Harvard Business Review.
In today’s tech-saturated world, it is critical to have a digital presence for your business. If you’ve set up a website that you update once a year and have a Twitter feed that lies dormant, 2018 is the year for you to step up your game by undergoing a digital transformation.
Start small: Establish a Facebook page and claim your business on Yelp so that your customers can leave reviews. According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of online shoppers take reviews into consideration before making a purchase. If you’ve already mastered the digital basics, consider branching out into other forms of social media, or purchasing digital advertising.
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Join a networking group
As an entrepreneur, you probably sometimes feel like you’re going it alone. Making decisions about how to build and grow your business is stressful, and having the support of a network of people who are at the same stage of growth or who have taken their businesses even further can be helpful and inspiring.