We all make them at the beginning of every year, only to slowly let them slide as the months go by. Individual resolutions are a person’s to make or break. However, a few simple resolutions could help a small business owner keep their priorities in line and the end goal in view as they go through the daily activities of running a business. Here are some intuitive, but sometimes sidelined ideas for things you can start doing in the New Year:
Reach out to your customers:
Between all the pressure involved in planning and managing your operations, it is easy to ignore one of your most important guiding elements: the voice of the customer. Take some time out to find out what the customer wants and thinks through email surveys, social media, or face-to-face conversations.
You may find that you need to rethink certain services or products that you currently offer. Whether or not it results in any change in the way you operate, establishing this communication channel with the customer is critical for a small business.
Keep an eye on cash flow:
As a small business, you can’t afford to let your receivables run high especially when they are matched by bigger and more frequent bills that you need to take care of. Communicate your ‘no delay’ payment policy to customers in no uncertain terms. Being upfront with them about your ‘small business’ financial status will help them understand where you are coming from.
Hire with the future in mind:
Try to avoid a knee-jerk, reactive approach to hiring. Rather than aiding your growth plans, such an approach will prove to be counterproductive and distracting if you find that you have to cull and prune the deadwood in your team from time to time. Hiring with a view of where you want to take the business will yield you much better results.
Explore a new form of marketing:
A new look for your website, getting on and regularly using a social media platform, a blog, mobile advertising….try something new with your marketing strategy this year. You may hit gold with one or more of these ideas in the form of increased visibility, positive online traction and a direct, authentic line to your customers.
Give yourself a breather:
It is easy to get consumed by the demands of running your own enterprise. Schedule periodic breaks for yourself during the course of the year to allow you unstructured time to both unwind and think about where you want to take the business.
You will find that you come back from these breaks feeling recharged and more clear-eyed about your business goals and strategy.