Let me start by wishing you all a Happy 2013! Yes, it’s that time of the year when most of us are busy making plans and a list of things to achieve over the next 12 months. There’s a buoyant feeling that leads us to believe that we can work towards our aspirations with new vigour.
This feeling is of course no different in the small business ecosystem too. Numerous small businesses out there will be chalking out their goals for the coming year. Here are 10 resolutions that small business owners could adopt in order to help you stay on track and reach your goals.
1. Be Realistic
Start by setting realistic goals in terms of financial profits, the number of employees and the number of clients you want by the end of this year. While you can be ambitious, biting off more than you can chew could leave you feeling burnt-out even as early as mid-year. Another way to keep yourself grounded would be to further divide your yearly plans into monthly targets.
2. Communicate better
Make an effort to communicate better – ask questions, listen more and be concise about what you want and what you can offer. As a small business good, communication helps you set clear expectations and improve your overall relationships with all stakeholders.
3. Be approachable
Be easily accessible and approachable to your stakeholders – employees, customers and vendors. This increases interaction and makes the environment around more conducive for exchange of ideas and work. Also, this saves you from being a lone ranger at work and your colleagues will feel more in-sync with your long and short term business goals.
4. Embrace social media
If you have still not jumped on the social media bandwagon, then do so now! Social media networks are here to stay and almost every day there is a new development. It helps you become more attuned to the small business ecosystem. Your business is plugged into the now of things and you can always leverage social media platforms to raise your small business profile.
5. Learn something new
Learn a new skill – a new language, get certified in project management or any other subject that catches your fancy. Every new skill you add to your arsenal helps your business grow and invigorates you to be better. Formal education or certificates also validate your business acumen.
6. Join a professional organization
While what you know is important, as a small business owner, who you know is equally important. Joining a professional organization increases your network and contact database.
7. Give Back
Give back to the community in some way on another. You can even source locally and help other businesses around your neighbourhood this way. Integrate corporate social responsibility initiatives into your small business right from the word go. It adds to business goodwill and your image as an attractive employer.
8. Move on
Make sure you move on to keep moving forward. Close on projects that have been stuck in limbo for far too long, part ways with clients who are abrasive and vendors who do not pay up or deliver on time. In essence, bid goodbye to people and any elements holding you back from reaching your full potential.
9. Invest in tools
Invest in tools and technology that can ease your workload. Move your accounting to the cloud or catch up on work while on the move by using a smartphone or tablet. In short – get tech savvy! This improves productivity and helps you get more things done.
10. Work-Life Balance
Strive for a better work-life balance, simply because you’ll be a happier entrepreneur and will be more productive. Wish you all a superb 2013 once again and keep me posted on how you are doing with your resolutions.