With the new year comes a fresh start and 365 days of opportunities. Many people make resolutions that involve improving their health or gaining more control over their finances. While these goals can be applied in our personal lives, small business owners can also apply them to their companies. As a small business owner it’s likely you’re implementing various growth strategies throughout the year, some of which may include boosting company morale or increase traffic to your blog, but utilizing these next few weeks to reflect on your successes and failures of 2019 will allow you to go into the new year with a clear mindset and defined goals. If you’re stumped in terms of where to start, or just looking for some inspiration, keep reading for some tips you may find helpful while planning your small business resolutions.
Set SMART Goals
SMART is an acronym used to describe a method in which people can take their goals even further. The acronym stands for specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, time-based. In order to obtain a SMART goal, you must first set a broader goal. For example, a broad goal you may have is to grow your business. A SMART component of this may include acquiring new clients, which would be specific. You may also say to yourself, I will recruit five new clients over the next six months. This would point back to the timeline piece of the SMART goal setting. These goals will vary depending on the type of business you’re running, but the end result will help you to create more specific and achievable goals which can in turn increase profit and productivity.
As the old saying goes, “if you fail to plan, plan to fail.” While this rings true in many areas of life, it is especially important to keep in mind when it comes to your small business. Planning ahead is necessary when it comes to the financial aspect of your business in particular. Crafting a solid financial plan requires you to analyze the main components of your business and make assumptions regarding cash flow. A few questions you’ll want to ask yourself may include, what are my biggest costs? Where can I cut costs? How is the competition impacting my business? Once you have answers surrounding these topics, you’ll have a better idea of where you need to shift your energies as far as a business plan goes.
This may be one of the simplest, yet most overlooked things you can do to help your business become more financially fit. When you really think about it, just about every aspect of money management can be completed online. The biggest advantage of going paperless, aside from saving trees, of course, is that the practice can be implemented across your business. From online bill pay to setting up an mobile bank account to streamline your finances, the benefits of ditching paper are endless. Not to mention, you’ll have access to the tools necessary to manage your business needs at your fingertips at all times. This means less time waiting in lines at banks or spending hours writing out bills and more time to devote to increasing your revenue.
Bonus Tip: In addition to going paperless, consider carving out some time to research and download business-centric apps to your mobile device. Many apps are easy to use and help tremendously when it comes to keeping your business organized. For a list of a few of our favorites, head here.
Avoid Drastic Changes
After all the planning and goal setting, you may be excited to hit the ground running this coming year, but it’s important to remember that change takes place slowly. Setting smaller, more attainable goals and spreading them out over a span of time will help to ensure you don’t do anything to put your business in jeopardy. Take these next few weeks, or even the entire month, to lay out some goals you’d like to reach and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to get there. You may have smaller goals in mind, in which you can accomplish in a month or two, but it’s also good to set some long term goals, giving you six months, or even a year, to work on them.
Setting goals for your business in the new year will not only provide you with a clearer picture of where you’re at, but layout a roadmap to depict where you need to be. The best piece of advice is to keep these goals reasonable and keep in mind that you want to achieve success over time rather than all at once in order to maintain the foundation of your business.