Whether it’s eating healthy, saving money or spending time with family, now is time for making changes to improve happiness. This applies to business too.
As we settle into 2018, it’s the perfect time for small business owners to re-evaluate old processes and implement new ideas for a happier and more productive year ahead. Here are 5 goals that every small business owner should set this year:
1. Plan ahead financially
It is important to develop a financial plan for your business for the year ahead. Without a solid plan that includes a budget, forecast and objective, it’s hard to increase sales and income.
Once you’ve got a plan set up, make sure to keep tabs your progress. Checking key performance indicators daily will enable you understand if your financials are on track. If you’re consistently hitting your targets, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that everything is working well. If you’re not meeting your goals, constant tracking will help you make changes before your business heads too far off course.
2. Focus on your employees
Concentrate on taking better care of your employees for the year ahead. Keeping employees happy at your company is not only important financially, but it impacts everything in your business. If your employees enjoy coming to work, they’ll be more productive, and that attitude is contagious.
Ask your employees where they see themselves several years down the road and do what you can to accommodate their wants and goals. Perhaps you have to rearrange job titles or task assignments. Furthermore, re-evaluate your office culture. Look into offering occasional happy hours or team-building activities so your team can get to know each other better on a personal level.
3. Re-evaluate your business strategy
This is the best time to step back and take a look at what could make your company better. It’s easy to forget that there’s always room for improvement when you’ve been running your business the same way for a long time. But, now is the time for change. It’s a good idea to rethink your business strategies every so often, so your business stays relevant and your consumers don’t forget about it.
Every decision, whether large or small, plays a role in determining the future of your business and its level of success. To help ensure you’re making the right decisions for your business, it’s important to not only set initial goals in your business plan, but to take the time to periodically reevaluate them.
4. Talk to your customers more
Customer needs and wants change continuously. Your company’s product or service might be on target right now in terms of customer demand, but don’t get too comfortable. This year, make it a goal to talk to more customers. Whether it’s one-on-one conversations, focus groups or surveys, try to get a better understanding of where the customer mindset will be in the next year.
Once you’ve taken the time to understand your customers better, re-evaluate your product or service. Maybe it’s time to make a few small changes to stay ahead of your customer demand. Consider testing new products or services in addition to those that are already working. Maybe offer discounts to get customers to try something new.
Don’t make extreme pivots that will take your business off track. Make sure you’re still able to focus on your core offerings that make your business successful.
5. Devote More Time to Social Media
Some business owners love social media while others avoid it. Whether you love or hate social media, it’s undeniably an effective way to market your business.
Once you get started with social media — or revamp your existing social media marketing efforts — you could experience a significant return on investment. Just remember that you might have to spend several months building your presence and acquiring followers before you see results.
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