Top New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Your Business Performance

There’s nothing like the New Year for spurring us to improve, grow and change. The feeling of a fresh start as January arrives can be a powerful force that helps people focus on new habits and routines, or encourages them to adopt new practices aimed at personal growth.

If you’re looking for something (or several things) to help the performance of your small business in the year ahead, here are several resolutions intended to make your 2017 more productive, profitable, and pleasurable.

Join a professional organization or attend a conference

Many different fields have professional organizations that allow their members to share ideas and expose each other to new developments and innovations. If you don’t already belong to a group like this, resolve to find one that fits your business. Not only is it a great networking opportunity, you’re likely to learn something inspirational and informative by attending meetings. If you can’t find the right group to join, or you already belong to one, consider attending a conference, seminar, or similar industry event instead.

Start a blog for your business

This is one idea that many small business owners know they should be doing, but never seem to have the time to get off the ground. Now that 2017 is on our doorstep, don’t delay any longer in building a place for brief, conversational articles that tell everyone how great your business is and what it has to offer. Besides making your website a better place to visit, adding a wealth of quality content over time will also increase your ranking with search engines, giving your business better online visibility.

Adopt one or more new payment processes

The idea of a customer digging into his or her wallet and handing over physical cash to pay for purchases seem increasingly quaint these days, what with the myriad of options now available. But if your business hasn’t kept up to date with the latest technologies, you risk losing sales to shoppers who demand the latest in modern, convenient payments. Whether it’s a phone-based app, a mobile card-processing unit, or a contactless system, resolve to offer as many payment options as you can to keep your customers happy.

Get on top of your finances and devise a plan to make them work

How well do you really understand your books? Staying on top of finances might not be the most fun task for many small business owners, but there’s certainly no denying its importance. Rather than simply delegating the responsibility to your accountant or chief financial officer, resolve to take more of a lead role in your financial situation. While you’re at it, work on a plan to manage your cash flow in the coming year, with a focus on ways to cut costs and increase revenue.

Take the time to learn a new skill

Each of us has a blind spot in our professional abilities, something we’re not so good at and avoid having to do as much as possible. Rather than continuing to struggle, why not resolve to finally tackle that issue by signing up for courses, reading books and articles, or finding some other appropriate training?

Look for opportunities to automate

Do you often find yourself taking care of the same repetitive tasks over and over again? Save time and streamline your workflow by automating common procedures. Whether it’s emails to customers, social media updates, data backup, or something as simple as the daily office coffee order, there are many ways to automate that will end up having a positive impact on your daily productivity, not to mention your sanity.

Mend fences and make time for team bonding

While it may often feel as though the business world is driven by technology, personal relationships remain at the core of nearly everything important. If there’s someone in your working life with whom your interactions have consistently been strained, resolve to overcome your differences and repair the relationship. Likewise, take the time to sit down with your staff and solicit their feedback on how policies and procedures can be updated and improved to better suit their needs.

Replace some of your emails with handwritten notes

We’re all reliant on email these days, using it to communicate with people across the planet and people down the hall. Still, there are some messages that lose meaning when delivered electronically. This year, resolve to replace some of your more important emails with handwritten notes. Writing to a client to thank them for a recent order, or checking in with a customer who’s been with your business for a while? Push the keyboard aside and put pen to paper instead. It might seem old-fashioned, but it’s a superb way to separate yourself from the competition.

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