The New Year brings out a little extra drive in all of us. Whether it’s because we took a few days off to recharge our batteries or because it feels like a clean slate, we tend to use the changing of the calendar as a chance to reassess our goals and set new resolutions.
With that in mind, here are 10 New Year’s resolutions every business owner should consider in 2019.
1. Improve Your Connection with Your Customers
Make 2019 the year you make more of an effort to connect with your customers and keep that connection going throughout the year. Your customers choose you because you offer a great service and part of that service is showing that you listen and you care. Start out the year with a customer survey and then use the survey to improve your service throughout the year.
After that, check in periodically. See how your customers like the item they purchased. Ask them if there was anything you could have done to make the service better. If you make a change based upon the customer’s suggestion, then point it out so the customer knows he or she is being listened to.
2. Improve Your Connection with Employees
Take the time to listen to your employees and make changes so they know they are being heard. You have employees because you simply cannot do it all. That means there’s someone that takes on the tasks you don’t have time to do yourself. Listen to your employees when they suggest a change to a procedure or offer a suggestion to improve your service. After all, you hired them because you trust them.
Employees appreciate it when their opinion is taken into consideration and acted upon. When an employee feels appreciated, they are more likely to stay engaged with their job.
3. Work on Your Website
In this internet age, your website is like your resume. It’s the first thing your prospective customer sees and if it’s not impressive, a customer will move on without giving you a call.
Use the start of 2019 to do an in-depth website review. Does it look good? Does it portray the image your company represents? Does the text make sense? Do you offer your best self to customers and prospective customers? Have your friends and family review the site as well. Maybe ask your employees to take a look. Get input and adjust accordingly.
Also, if you’re not mobile friendly, get mobile friendly. I would say 75% of the websites I look at are through my smartphone.
I know it probably hurts just reading this, but it’s a must do. As a small business owner, it’s easy to think that you need to do it all yourself. You may argue, every little project needs your special touch or taking the time to explain what you want takes longer than just doing it yourself. There are plenty of excuses that we make in order to make sure we keep our hands on every little aspect of our business.
Make it your mission to start delegating. You’ll thank yourself for it.
5. Make New Friends
I have yet to meet a business owner who says networking is a waste of time. Whether it’s joining your local chamber of commerce or finding a business networking group, make it a point to meet fellow small business owners and entrepreneurs. You never know which connection will lead to new business or a new network of future business.
6. Charge What You’re Worth
When you started your business, it was all about getting business. As a result, you charged less money. In 2019, make it a point to start charging what you’re worth. Your work is valuable and you should be paid accordingly. When you raise your rates, be prepared to tell your customers why you and your service is worth more.
You may lose customers, but the smart ones know you’re really worth the money that you’re charging and so will the new customers that walk through the door. When you charge what you’re worth, you’ll find you’re less upset about working on difficult projects and happier with the work that you do.
7. Learn Something New
No matter what business you’re in, I can guarantee there’s some way technology that is changing how your business is done. Keep up with those changes and learn something new. Maybe you need to figure out how to utilize social media in your business. Maybe you need to learn new software that your competitors are already using. Maybe you just want to improve your professional knowledge. Whatever the case, take the time this year to learn something new. Sign up for a community college class or find an online university course. Even if it’s just buying a few ebooks or audiobooks on Amazon, make some time to learn something new.
8. Schedule Free Time
A burned out business owner does no one any good. Your clients are hurt. Your employees are hurt. Worse yet, your business can be hurt. Change your habits in 2019 and start scheduling in free time. Put it on the calendar and stick to it. Schedule your calls, meetings, and appointments around that free time. Treat your free time as a meeting you can’t miss and make sure you don’t miss it. Everyone will thank you for it.
9. Set Company Goals and Revisit them Monthly
Goals are an easy way to benchmark how your company is doing. Set short-term and long-term goals at the beginning of the year and then revisit them monthly to help keep you on track. Hold yourself accountable or reevaluate if you miss your goals.
10. Build Up Your Goodwill
Last week, I wrote a post about ways to make your business more ethically and socially sustainable in 2019. I think it’s a growing trend and something you should get in on if you haven’t already. Find a way to volunteer in your community and get your employees in on it too. Find a way to make your business more environmentally friendly. Build up goodwill within your community and people will start to take notice.
Good luck and happy new year!
Written by Erika Towne