Start the year off right and set some important New Year’s resolutions to improve your quality of work life and bring your business to the next level.
It’s that time of year again… recovering from the Holiday rush while making a little time to take stock, reflecting on the past year while planning for the New Year to come. This year, let’s see if we can be in the fortunate 8% of us that will actually stick to and achieve our New Year resolutions, personally and when it comes to our business.
Here are a few resolves that should be relatively easy-to-keep, providing for some serious bang for your entrepreneurial buck.
Update your company website
When was the last time you made a thorough review of your website? How long has it been since the last update? For many business owners, this is an easy task to neglect. You’ve paid to create a beautiful website, then it’s forgotten. Reduced to a simple, digital business card.
Given Google’s penchant for fresh content, it’s important not only to consider a redesign if your online presence harkens back to 2004, but to provide consistent updates (ie. blog) to keep the search engines, and your placement on them, happy.
Set deadlines. Meet them!
Deadlines are important, no question, but for 2019 let there be no ‘whoosh!’ as deadline after deadline meets the same desperate fate. A particularly common mistake among business owners, entrepreneurs, and contractors is giving customers and colleagues unrealistic completion dates that either simply can’t be met, or add so much to the plate as to leave you overwhelmed and under undue stress and pressure.
You may be surprised to find that most people will be happy to wait a little longer for a project to be completed thoroughly and high quality.
If you’re in the habit of promising deadlines that are too aggressive, make this the year that you step it back, and take the old adage, “under promise and over deliver” to heart. Give yourself more time and you’ll be not only fulfilling your promise but bringing your A-game with far less anxiety.
Revisit projects put on hold or abandoned
Most businesses, and individuals for that matter, have files or notepads chock full of unfinished outlines, plans for potential new endeavours, and ideas scribbled.
This may be a great time to go back and review the ideas and concepts of past potential projects, both for inspiration and possibly even new direction. Chances are, one of them could be a viable project to revive and execute.
Face fears head-on
Despite stepping out into the unknown as an entrepreneur, there will still be fears that hold you back from fulfilling the potential of your business. Chances are there is probably something that you know will be good for your business, but are just afraid to try it.
Fear of failure is a biggie! As hard as it may be, embracing failure is vital to the growth and evolution of your business. It will fuel learning and exploration as well as help to propel you forward. Failure means movement – it will be an essential step of your path to success!
Fear of change, or upsetting the applecart, also trips up entrepreneurs. For instance, you may be feeling the need to hire – a move necessary for your growth – but are fearful of the investment. Perhaps, this year, take another look at your circumstances as well as the role you need filled and take the leap!
Consider improvements or innovations to your service or product
No business can survive if it remains static. An object in motion stays in motion, after all. Your clients expect from you the best, up-to-date and relevant product or service. As an entrepreneur or startup, you need to keep vigilantly aware of trends and innovations in your market.
Don’t wait for a crisis to motivate you forward! Innovation needs to be part of your business philosophy and plan to ensure you remain competitive. Develop and initiate a plan that includes regular brainstorming and idea sharing. To continue to progress and grow you need to approach your business, service, or product in an iterative, ever-evolving, and dynamic manner.
Where’s the money?!
If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at the books – examined the budget – it’s high time! Analyzing your budget could identify over, or unnecessary spending, for instance, potentially saving your business significant amounts of money.
Cut costs wherever you can!
Proficiency = Efficiency
This is a great time of year to evaluate where you could improve your own skills and abilities to contribute more effectively to your business. Identify your weaknesses and spend a little extra time to overcome them.
Look at some of your business activities. Do you rely on advertising to grow your business? What is the status of your campaigns? Are they effective? There are online courses and, likely great training opportunities right in your community, to help you manage your advertising streams more efficiently. Are you adequately up-to-date and in touch with your market or target audience? Look at what the competition is doing and see what they might be doing to stay on point.
Probably one of the most challenging to resolve, particularly for entrepreneurs, startups, and business owners. Unsurprisingly, we’re typically workaholics, so wholly motivated by our work that we don’t know when to stop working.
There’s always something that demands a business owner’s attention, but the key to success is understanding that the exhaustion and stress that come with working constantly, with few or no boundaries, won’t be in your long-term best interest. Either for your health or that of your business.
Determine a consistent time to STOP work each day. And, unless there’s a fire to put out – which there occasionally can be! – you will be otherwise unavailable to address work calls, retrieve or answer emails, or run work-related errands.