How to Keep Your Business Resolutions

January is a great time to take stock of your small business’ performance and make some resolutions that will help set you up for a successful year.  The key is to choose resolutions that are easy to accomplish.  January 17th is Ditch Your Resolutions Day, but if you set realistic goals, you can avoid falling into this all-too-common trap.

If you are a small business owner, we have four New Year’s resolutions that you can easily follow for an entire year to ensure a happy and healthy year.

Tidy Up

The best way to trim the fat in your business is by decluttering everything, including your computer, your desk and your entire workspace. Start with your business’ computers.  There is free software available, such as System Mechanic or CCleaner, that will analyze how your computer is working, what things are running in the background that are slowing it down, and which applications aren’t being used anymore.

If your desk is a mountain of paperwork and post-it notes, start thinking digitally. Any upcoming tasks can be added to your computer’s calendar or if it’s a document that needs to be saved, it can be scanned and added to your computer’s hard drive in neatly labelled folders.

If your office is filled with paperwork and files that are of no use to you anymore, you can contact The UPS Store near you to arrange for secure shredding of your unneeded sensitive documents.

Communicate More

Even if your business is small with only a couple of few employees, walk around and chat with your staff throughout the day. Emails and online messaging services can be a good way to share information but talking face-to-face allows for a better exchange of ideas and keeps you up-to-date with your staff. At the beginning of the year, lay out your business’ roadmap and ask your employees for their input, which will not only make them feel involved, but may generate exciting new ideas.

Using different locations for monthly brainstorming sessions with your staff once-a-month is an easy way to generate new plans ideas for your business.  A free exchange of thoughts in a new or different environment may stimulate new directions or possible ways to improve all aspects of your business.

Meet New People

One of the best ways to open up your business is to have an active social media presence. These days, social media requires an ad spend in order for it to be effective. Luckily, you can see great results with a modest social advertising budget.  A small Facebook and Twitter campaign will allow you to reach audiences you haven’t before and allow for both existing and potential customers to interact with your small business. A boosted Facebook post along with a few tweets per day will position your business as an interactive, friendly company.

Use each social media platforms’ free analytics to see which posts and tweets are getting the most interaction. How many people are seeing them at a given time? Which types of posts are the most liked, shared or commented on? What time of day do your posts get the most interaction? Learn what times your followers are most likely to interact with you and tailor your posts to appear at those times, supplemented by a small advertising spend.

Learn Something New

As a small business owner, you must stay up to date on what’s happening in your industry. Keeping an ear open to what your customers, competitors and industry leaders are saying will allow you to ensure your business is always evolving. What are other business in your industry talking about on their social media pages? Create Twitter lists of your competitors or industry experts to easily monitor what is being said. What are the up-and-coming trends in your field?  Create or join a related LinkedIn group to converse about and share information regarding any possible new directions in your industry. What are the people purchasing your products most concerned about? Create a brief online survey for your customers to provide you with direct feedback.

Resolutions do not have to be a promise that you struggle to maintain in January before you start to regret it and eventually give up. Instead, they can be excellent motivators to help your small business grow and adjust to emerging trends.

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