With all the frenzy surrounding Christmas it’s easy to forget about the year (and in fact the decade) coming to an end. But for small businesses, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the ups and downs of the last 12 months.
Whether your year’s been filled with successes and triumphs or it’s been challenging for one reason or another, you’ll want to make sure the next is one of growth and happiness both personally and professionally. So, we’ve put together nine nifty new years resolutions for small businesses to help ensure 2020’s your best year yet.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and while it might be something that gets spouted out left, right and centre, when it comes to your business it’s bang on the money. Why? Because planning’s essential if you want your business to be healthy and growing.
Take stock of what worked and what wasn’t so great over the last 12 months and use this information to set your direction for the next year. You can look back over sales, the success of marketing campaigns, and use tools like Google Analytics to glean this knowledge.
Businesses can fall foul of only doing this once a year and we can’t say we blame them considering how full-on it is to run your own company, but if you make a plan to take stock and review once a week going forward you’ll stay on track, avoid expensive mistakes and ultimately feel more focused and less stressed.
Buying in or making stock is great, displaying it attractively is wonderful, hiring staff to sell it, bravo, but if you don’t regularly and consistently promote your business it’s about as useful as holding a candle up in the wind.
The end game for any small business is attracting and retaining customers and you do that by making them know you exist and promoting yourself. So, a key resolution should be to do this throughout the new year.
How? There are loads of ways you can get your name out there - by creating ad campaigns, using social media, window displays, flyers and so on and so forth, just ensure promotion is a priority to attract new customers in 2020.
Top tip: For everything you need to know about promoting yourself on the web, head to our guide on how to advertise your small business online.
Did you just shudder? Your business is your baby, we totally get it, it’s difficult to let go and relinquish control to other people and much easier to convince yourself you can do it all. But the reality is if you don’t let people in you’re going to end up frazzled and exhausted - and that’s not good for business.
Work-life balance is super important and if you’re not putting your sanity at the top of your priority list it’ll be reflected in your bottom line. So, hire great people who’re as invested in your business as you are and let them take a load off your plate. Trust us, it’ll all be fine.
Now you’ve given yourself a bit of free time, use it to benefit your business by joining a networking group or new business organization. A simple Google search will show you all the options nearby and there’s nothing quite like talking to like-minded business owners and comparing notes.
Networking is the perfect opportunity to:
Top tip: To really make the most of networking opportunities take the time beforehand to write down a few ideas on topics of conversation, and don’t forget to take some business cards along!
Take time in the new year to learn something new. It doesn’t have to be business-related (although that’s entirely up to you), but adding a new level of interest to your life and improving your skills will boost your work-life balance, which’ll improve your overall happiness and ultimately increase your business’s success.
Although it could be argued this falls under the umbrella of planning, we think it deserves a resolution of its own because it’s super important you don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Setting business goals that are quite frankly unrealistic and unattainable is a recipe for disaster and will only leave you feeling deflated, disappointed and frustrated. So, set goals that with hard work and determination can be achieved within 12 months or sooner, and that way when you hit the target you’ll be left feeling proud, accomplished and more motivated than ever.
Your business might be your baby but without you, there would be no business to begin with, so taking care of yourself should be top of your to-do list. Allow yourself the time to recharge and refresh when you need it and you’ll be giving your business the best chance to thrive.
All work and no play is a one-way ticket to burnout and that’s much trickier to come back from than finding the time for a little self-care to begin with. Ahead of the new year, set some time aside each week or month for some ‘me time’ and stick to it, after all, if you won’t invest in yourself, why would anyone else?
Ever heard the saying ‘you reap what you sow’? Well, nothing will plant and grow feelings of positivity towards your business more than giving back to your community. There are loads of organisations, charities, groups or clubs worthy of time and/or investment in every area, so do some homework and find the right match to your business.
If your accounts aren’t at a stage yet where you can afford to make donations, don’t be put off, consider volunteering your time, serving on a committee, being a mentor or hosting a fundraising event instead. You’ll be fostering goodwill amongst consumers, getting your name out there, and all while making a positive difference.
Have you been making do with outdated equipment for longer then you’d care to admit? Then make 2020 the year you do something about it. The latest technology will help your business in two important ways:
A more productive and profitable business, what’s not to love? Whether it’s your till systems, computers, printers, card machines or otherwise, be out with the old and in with the new - you’ll make your life easier and keep customers happy.
If your methods of accepting payments need freshening up for the new year then let us help make your resolution a success. From contactless and mobile card machines to POS till systems and payment gateways, we provide all the latest payment options and we’ll even be offering text payments very soon.
So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with our experts today on 0808 274 2017.