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21stDec2016

The Ultimate 2017 New Year’s Resolution for Small Business Owners Broken Down Into 15 Steps

The Ultimate 2017 New Year’s Resolution for Small Business Owners Broken Down Into 15 Steps

According to Statistics Brain, only 8% of Americans that make a New Year’s resolution, achieve their resolution. Even though that’s a disheartening statistic, we want to help you be successful in keeping your business goals this year.

As such, we bring you the ultimate 2017 New Year’s resolution for small business owners and break it down into small pieces; making it easier for you to follow through.

New Year’s Resolution Tips for Small Business Owners:

  1. 1.) I will reflect on important events and milestones that occurred in 2016.

Take a moment to investigate your business’s annual activity and build a general 2016 timeline of key events. Glance through your website traffic, profit and loss statements, marketing campaign results, in-store foot traffic, etc. Make a note of all dramatic increases and decreases in numbers.    

Creating this timeline will allow you to assess the strengths in your business and the weak areas that need improvement.  

  1. 2.) I will organize all of my business’s 2016 data and backup my files. 

Psychology Today teaches us that, “Clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.” Your computer files and cloud data react to clutter the same way. Take time to organize your digital and hardcopy files for easy retrieval. As you organize, perform an annual backup of your data so you start the new year fresh and protected.     

**Keep that timeline from Step 1 handy cause you’re going to be able to update it when you organize your data. 

  1. 3.) I will make a pros and cons list that’ll help shape goals for 2017.

Review the notes you made while organizing your data and creating your timeline. Try to make conclusions on why there were certain increases and decreases in your business’s 2016 activity.

Dig a little deeper into your numbers and find the best and worst selling products/services.

Writing this basic 2016 summary of your business will allow you to see how you can improve in 2017. Allow this to start shaping your business goals for the upcoming year. 

  1. 4.) I will mystery shop my business as well as my direct competitor’s business. 

Understand how your business operates by stepping into the shoes of your new customers. Start with looking at your website as if you were a consumer researching your product or service. Follow the website as a potential customer and make note of content that should be added to make the user experience better and as simple as possible. 

Buy a product and note how easy the purchase was; how fast the deliver was; what customer service was like; and, your overall satisfaction levels. Do the same with your competition.   

  1. 5.) I will focus on creating a niche business with my products and services. 

You may not realize, but at this point, you’ve done a whole lot of market research. Take your timeline, notes on raw data, 2016 business summary and mystery shopper experience to refine your business.

Based on your findings, focus on narrowing down your products and service to a niche market that makes sense.

  1. 6.) I will wake up an hour earlier on workdays.

This step is incredibly personal and customizable based on your lifestyle. What you do with that extra hour in the morning is up to you. You can commit to exercising each morning with that time or, you can enjoy a healthy breakfast while reviewing your agenda for the day.

Whatever you choose, just make sure it’s something that will be a positive influence on your resolution to grow your business.   

  1. 7.) I will manage my time better and be more productive in 2017.

Read our article, Innovative Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners, and get a crash course on modern time management tips that’ll help you structure your workday. You will learn:

  • • To define why (exactly) you waste time;
  • • Why multitasking is no longer considered effective;
  • • More about popular apps that help you manage your time; and,
  • • How long it takes to learn a new habit.
  1. 8.) I will scroll through my contacts once a week and reach out.

If you’d like to grow your business, you need to make time to reach out to your current contacts. Make a reoccurring appointment on your calendar to go through your client, affiliate and business contact lists. You don’t have to spend a great deal of time each week, but commit to at least 30 minutes of touching base with people you haven’t communicated with recently.

Continued communication is a crucial step in this ultimate 2017 New Year’s resolution for small business owners. Creating this routine to support your upcoming goals will help you build and sustain constant brand awareness.

  1. 9.) I will find a mentor and/or socialize with positive professionals. 

“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” –Bob Proctor

Find someone that you admire to help hold you accountable this upcoming year. Surround yourself with other business owners and professionals that inspire you with their positivity. If you don’t have anyone in mind right now, it may take a little time to execute this step fully.

  1. 10.) I will sign up for a newsletter or purchase a book to educate myself. 

Remember that goal list you made for 2017 during the steps listed above? Go ahead, pick a goal to start with. Take apart how this goal needs to be accomplished and create a simple task list. Most likely, there is a task on that list that you don’t know how to complete.

Sign up for newsletters from content leaders that’ll teach you what you need to know so you can move forward. If you prefer reading books rather than a collection of articles, go ahead and purchase a book that’ll arm you with the knowledge you need in order to complete the goal. 

  1. 11.) I will write about subjects that I’m experienced in or passionate about. 

A big business trend for 2017 is making sure your content is informative and concise. The goal for 2017is, “to ensure that when customers search for risks, challenges, and implementation strategies associated with your solutions, they will find your content to address their questions.”

Make a realistic goal of how many articles you can write about your industry each month. Stick to the goal and write about subjects that you’re most experienced with and passionate about.

  1. 12.) I will post on social media and/or send out a monthly newsletter.

Take the articles you write and share them on your social media profiles. If you don’t post often, this small step can help you to stay relevant using your company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram page.

Snap a quick picture of your happy employees hard at work and post it to your social media profile. Quick posts like this can take as little as 5 minutes so don’t be overwhelmed; just do it.  

  1. 13.) I will coordinate volunteering programs for me and my employees 

Make a commitment to give back to the community this upcoming year and get your staff involved. Adopt the mantra, “A team that volunteers together stays together.” Employee volunteering programs not only help to build your reputation in the community, it’ll also improve your employees’ productivity.

In our article, Why Your Small Business Should Embrace Employee Volunteering, we breakdown why employee volunteering is good for business and how encouraging charitable work will improve your office’s morale, productivity and reputation.

  1. 14.) I will attend one networking event in my community each month.

As a business owner, you have a responsibility to network and spread brand awareness. Don’t wait for business opportunities to come to you; go out and make those connections by attending networking events.

One event a week would catapult your business’s name in new business circles at an alarming rate. But if you don’t think that’s a realistic commitment for your schedule, sign up for at least one event a month.

  1. 15.) I will delegate more and/or outsource non-revenue generating tasks.

Review your day to day duties and try to delegate as many non-revenue generating tasks as possible. Any administrative, accounting, legal, marketing and customer service jobs are frequently outsourced to an expert. Learn more about outsourcing these tasks to qualified contractors here.

Being a business answering service, we can help you to fully understand and explore the top 10 reasons you need to outsource your business calls. Give us a call at 1-800-785-6161 to speak with an account specialist about how we can help you with affordable administrative support.

Make 2017 the Year of Your Career With These New Year’s Resolutions!

Referencing a fantastic article, A Psychologist’s Secrets to Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick, here are some great tips:

  • • Clearly Define Your Goals
  • • Track Your Progress
  • • Have Patience
  • • Publicize Goals to Family and Friends
  • • Put It on Your Schedule
  • • Stop “All or Nothing” Thinking
  • • Get Up When You Slip Up

We hope that by breaking down this New Year’s resolution for small business owners into 15 easy to follow steps, you’re more successful in keeping and exceeding your goals for 2017. Good luck and we hope you have your most prosperous year yet!

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