11 Practical New Years Resolutions for Small Businesses

 In Featured Stories

To expand your small business and make more money from it, you’ll need to raise the bar with clear goals for 2018. That’s why we’ve put together these 11 New Years business resolutions to help your company reach its financing goals without breaking a sweat.

The best part is, they’re realistic New Years ideas that you can actually accomplish instead of that rainy-day list of tasks that makes you anxious to look at. Let’s dive in!

1. Stay on top of your cash flow.

You can’t get better financing in the future unless you can build enough capital to invest back into your company. To get there, start with small steps. Simplify the way you monitor your profits. Get a software program like QuickBooks, FreshBooks or Wave. If your enterprise is very small, just start a simple Excel spreadsheet with two columns to total up your daily profits and losses. Take a few minutes each day as part of your routine to look at these numbers and reflect on what caused your profit boost or what increased your losses. You’ll develop a habit of trying new ways to boost profits and reduce losses naturally this way by changing the way you think about your business. Before you know it, you’ll know if you’re reaching your monthly goals so that you’re not suddenly hit with losses at the end of the year.

2. Stick your head out more in the digital world.

You absolutely must do these three things if you haven’t already:

  • Have a friend who’s good at search-engine optimization validate that your website is mobile-friendly. If it’s not, then make it so!
  • Start an email-marketing list with your best customers on it and send them thoughtful, good content instead of just promos.
  • Start reading up on easy digital marketing tools and explore a new online platform you haven’t dipped into yet.

3. Get a productivity app to track how you spend your business time.

Did you know that three out of every four startups aren’t successful simply because they don’t focus well and try to do too much all at once? Avoid wasting time by paying attention to where your time is going and evaluating how you could use your time better. Apps like these help you do just that on your smartphone: RescueTime, OmniFocus and My Minutes.

4. Revise your rates to raise your cash flow.

Compare your rates to others in your field and reevaluate how much you’re charging. If you offer more perks and features than your competition and have a list of clients waiting for your attention, then charge more because your demand is higher! If you offer less, then offer smaller package deals that are easy for you to produce at a lower price. That way, you’ll attract more business and make more money by selling greater quantities of goods or services that are easy for you to make.

5. Improve your customer feedback connection.

Open up another channel that makes it easier for your customers to leave feedback about how you’re doing. Review what they say and respond to whatever issues that you can reasonably do something about to show them that you care and build customer loyalty. In your digital business channels, take polls to get input about if your customers like your current specials or want something else from you to find out what you need to develop in your offerings.

6. Go paperless.

Without paper cluttering up your workspace, you’ll avoid paper cuts; you won’t struggle to read illegible handwriting from others; you won’t have to struggle to replace faulty ink cartridges and un-jam papers in your printer; and you’ll help the planet while saving money! Did you know that personal computers use about 115 billion sheets of paper every year, and at least half of these papers are not recycled? Let’s face it: Anything you need to print is possible to share faster and easier through emails and digital photos.

7. Switch to green energy.

Did you know that your small business can get solar-energy funding in the form of grants or tax credits when you switch to solar energy? You’ll reduce your energy bills in the long run too.

8. Invest in a chat-bot program.

if you don’t have so much time to answer calls or can’t afford a receptionist, using something like ChatFuel helps you create a Facebook-ready, artificial-intelligence-powered chat bot. The program can interact with customers for you, send them relevant information they’re searching for and ask them questions. You get to see all the data they collect later in your free time. You can even get a chat bot to collect payments for you too.

9. Diversify your income streams to protect yourself from a future economic crisis.

This step is easier than you think. Start by looking at where your main income sources are. Now spread out your offerings to appeal to new demographics or new neighborhoods and online platforms. Then you’ll have a cushion to handle any sudden changes in the markets and adapt to them before losing everything because you relied too much on one income source.

10. Get better online security for your business.

Change your passwords once a year! Also, don’t use the same passwords for multiple applications and users. You can organize your passwords with a password-manager program and generate new ones faster with an automatic password generator. Update firewalls on your network. Another key step to keep your most highly confidential data safe from hackers is to make regularly scheduled backups to several hard drives when you go offline and keep these encrypted hard drives off of any device that’s online.

11. Give yourself more delegating freedom.

In small businesses especially, you get too used to doing everything on your own. That means you’re also more likely to take on more tasks than you need to as your business grows. Instead of losing your mind from overworking, develop your staff to help them carry more of your weight. Have at least one training session every couple of months to share your knowledge on something that you want one of them to be able to handle in the future.

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