It’s a new year and a time of renewal. The slate has been wiped clean, and we all get to start over with new hope, goals, and ideas for the new year. While so many adopt resolutions for their personal life, why not bring this sense or renewal and determination to your business as well? We have several important tasks to add to your to-do list for the coming year, with reflection, reassessment, and moving forward at the forefront. Take on these resolutions for your business, and make 2013 your best year yet.
- Reflect on 2012:
Although the new year is a time of moving on, it’s important to consider your year in review. How was 2012 for your business? Did you reach all of your goals? Anything left over to tackle in the new year? What happened in 2012 that you want to build upon or do better this year?
- Set goals for 2013:
While you’re reflecting on the past year, look ahead. Consider which goals you’d like to achieve in 2013. Create trackable goals with measurable progress that you can monitor throughout the year and reflect on in 2014. Goals don’t have to be a year-long affair: you can set them for weekly, month, or even three month achievements. And if you don’t have a business plan yet, now is a great time to get started; they’re not just for companies seeking funding.
- Clean house:
Start anew with a fresh workspace in 2013. If you’re drowning in clutter and baggage, clear it out. Sacrifice a day for your sanity, using your time to organize, recycle, file, and make your work space more comfortable so that you’re able to be more productive this year. You may even want to upgrade your space with new paint, a better chair, or some homey touches like art and small plants.
- Give new life to old ideas:
Which ideas got left behind in 2012? Surely, some of them weren’t worth pursuing, but let’s not forget about the ones that had merit but, for whatever reason, didn’t get followed through with. Find out how they slipped through the cracks and consider how you can pursue them now.
- Make 2013 the Year of the Customer:
With new technology and a wealth of choices, customers are now more choosy and vocal than ever before. Is your business ready to make them happy? Step up your customer service this year, ensuring that you’re doing everything you can to make customers happy, bringing them back for repeat business and encouraging them to share their good experience with others.
- Assess your marketing methods:
Now is a great time to reassess your marketing strategy. Are your marketing methods working, or do you need to take things a step further? Consider what new types of marketing your can take on this year, and analyze your data from past campaigns. Consider updating tour website, and find new ways to connect with customers.
- Re-evaluate your pricing:
It’s a new year, is it time for a new price list? Take a look at your expenses and income needs. Have your suppliers raised their prices in the last year? Consider starting a rate increase for all new clients effective 2013, and give yourself a raise for the new year.
- Get creative with credit:
Experts are concerned that the small business lending climate will get worse in 2013 as banks continue to hold back on loans, including small business loans. Consider turning to a credit union, or even alternative financing like crowdfunding or microfinance.
- Value your time:
Small business owners tend to work tirelessly for their ventures. And while this is admirable, and often good for your business, it’s not good for you. Remember that your time, whether it’s personal or business, is valuable. This year, consider how you can outsource and delegate to free up more of your precious time for what you really need to be doing. Don’t have enough staff to help take a load off? Now is a great time to hire, as a sluggish economy has opened up a wealth of talented people who are happy to accept a moderate salary.
- Keep better records:
Tax time is here. How is your stress level? If you’ve kept accurate records all year, you’re probably feeling pretty good. But if you haven’t, you’re in for a world of hurt. Although there’s not much you can do to fix the damage of poor record keeping in 2012, you can make things easier for the future by getting a fresh start with documentation in 2013. Enlist the help of a trusted accountant, or try out software like QuickBooks or FreshBooks.
- Commit to your personal goals, too:
Great businesses are made up of great people, and you’re one of them. Build upon yourself by committing to achieving not just your business goals, but your personal ones as well. A happy and satisfying personal life can offer great motivation and productivity at work. Plan to spend more time with your family, take up a new hobby, or finally get back in shape. You’ll be glad you did, and your business will be, too.