What are your New Year’s resolutions?
Probably, you are thinking of the things you would like to change or address for yourself. But how about your small business?
Have you been thinking of ways to implement related to your small business? You need to change things that are not working for your business and this must be the focus of your resolutions for your small business next year.
Planning Ahead of Time
Do you exactly know the importance of planning ahead of time? This must be the very step to ramp up your small business next year. 2017 will be an exciting year for you and your business. It is important to write a working plan. If you already have a plan, it is significant to review it so that updates will be made. Your plan must reflect your goals. Now if you don’t have such plan, do it right away because it’s already wee hours of the year 2016.
Writing a Business Plan
Writing a business plan is a big factor for business people. It determines the obstacles that happen in the current year. Then, major adjustments will be made for the year to come. This is how important planning is.
Don’t Be Afraid of Tight Competition
Every business owner must not be afraid of competition. Thus, you need to spend time to research, study, and understand the waves of your business landscape. It will undeniably help you understand your chosen market. It will then help you identify the potential customers or business partners. Through a careful process in this aspect, marketing through intense campaigns will properly be executed.
The act of comparing your own business to others can be taken as the starting point in crafting plans for next year. There are free resources, so to speak. There are online resources, which can help business owners acquire the needed key insights about competition and the market itself.
Take Necessary Steps to Enhance Digital Marketing Strategies
If you’re a small business owner, your digital presence is important. For instance, your business site has not been updated for two years now. Next year is the appropriate time to do the updating. You also have to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly, because mobile usage has been increasing this time.
Have you been implementing strategies for social media? Explore the things related to this. Why? Social media marketing is one of the most proven tools in the digital era to enhance sales and return-on-investment (ROI). Blogging is also effective to promote your business. That’s why you have to make sure that regular blogging is done. The content of your site should therefore be relevant to your business.
Managing Cash Flow
It is important to manage your cash flow. Otherwise, your business will experience recurring failures. Make sure to include this in your resolutions because those business owners with a weak cash flow are always experiencing drawbacks. Understanding the cash flow is to comprehending your day-to-day finances.
Manage Cash Flow More Effectively
You need to have a proper projection of your finances. This is to help avoid the failures you suffered in the previous year. Now, to keep such financial projection intact and on-track, you have to create a year-based or a 12-month Cash Flow Plan. You then need to update such plan and its strategies month after month. One very important thing to consider when updating is the reduction of the unnecessary expenses of your business. If you need new suppliers or vendors, find them because they’ll certainly boost the growth of your small business. By doing so, your financial health is taken good care of.
Be Organized Always
It means cleaning the physical and the non-physical areas of your small business. Check your official email always. Every now and then, you need to clean the Inbox of your email by deleting those already replied and not-so important messages there. You have to also consider that next year is the right time for you to go “paperless.”
Prepare Early for the Incoming Tax Season
Tax is always a business buddy. You cannot run your small enterprise without it. However, no one wants to deal with it always. All you need to do to ensure that you will make timely payments is to keep the records of your expenses, income, as well as the related deductions. Have a proper filing system so that when the tax season comes in, you won’t be surprised with the amount you will have to pay. Make sure, too, that you review everything about the applicable tax laws. If you can’t do it yourself, look for an expert to help you. You can also hire a registered accountant to prepare your taxation documents and report.
Handle the Invoices Well
Since it is New Year, everything must be NEW, including your invoices. Make sure all the due and overdue invoices are paid. This is to make your cash flow healthy this time.
Remember that all unpaid invoices can extremely hurt your finances. The good news now is there are steps to minimizing the unpaid payables. First, if you use paper-based invoices, you need to shift to a digital method. There are steps for your digital invoices to look professionally using your mobile gadget. Accepting online payments is also advised. This is hassle-free. This can make you and your customers comfortable in one way or another.
Make Money on the Side
Relying on one source of income is not good enough. Doing just one business is not helpful to meet everything you and your family need. There’s no harm in looking for extra cash. There are many options on how to do it. You can sell any unused or disposable IT equipment and even old furniture. There are sites you can use to sell these stuffs. One of those sites is eBay. Or if you have a space or building subject for rental, find people to rent it. You also have to understand that even your business website can be a source of income. There are moneymaking methods like Adsense and Amazon Associates you can try. You can as well do sell items online that give some more profit. Through having extra sources, your financial flow will grow dramatically.
Always check your suppliers and vendors. This is to ensure that you’re having the best deals from them. Let’s say you regularly need office supplies and materials, rental products, phone, internet and other things, by checking them always, you can avoid shortage of office supplies. Ask for discounts because every New Year these suppliers may offer a discount promo.
Increasing Business Productivity
Focus on things you can easily control and those that can help your business grow. The use of technology is highly evident. So you have to use technology as a booster. Every now and then, there are economic and political changes around the world, which means you have to be ready always. Be adaptive!
It’s been said that great business people have the ability to move things parallel to transition and to take advantage of whatever change that happens in the marketplace. On the other hand, poor business people always blame changes and transition.
Be More Focused and More Productive
If the previous years had made you lost control of either your business or your personal life, you have to be more focused and more productive. Don’t waste your time because this is your primary investment. Those hours you spent for social media for senseless things must be used to growing your small business. Avoid the things known as distractions. They will never help you succeed.
Joel Macdonald, CEO and co-founder of GetSwift, shares one of his 2017 business resolutions. He said, “I’d like to think that in 2017 I’ll be focusing on beginning new resolutions no matter what day of the year it is. But I would like to double my efforts around reading different books in different settings.”
Charge Just What You’re Worth
If you feel being underpaid and undervalued, then it’s time to have a resolution to address this feeling. Think of better ideas on how you’re going to market your product or service. Understand your audience well and implement strategies that are only fit and profitable.
To increase the incoming sales, you have to grow your working team. Delegate well the tasks to your people. Don’t work alone if you have more work to handle. Leverage the tasks by hiring diligent and trustworthy individuals. Stop wearing the hat of sacrifices and sufferings. Build a team that can execute the tasks effectively.
Communicate well as much as you can. Communication is one of the most significant ways to achieve success. When it comes to frequent problems or issues due to misunderstanding, you have to communicate well with your workers. Other issues like lack of morale and increase in absenteeism should be addressed through proper communication. This is an important part when doing changes next year.
Spend Every Morning Wisely
Adopt good morning habits. If you think this is only good for your health, you’re wrong. This is also good for your business. Every morning, you have to prepare the stuff you have to do for the day. Then, don’t forget to spend a minimum of 20 minutes for exercise. Include constant reading and meditation to start your day. When this becomes a habit next year, for sure, you’ll be amazed by the results. Your mind and body will be relaxed which you badly need when running your small business.
By also adopting a positive habit every morning, your energy level will go high. So if you may perhaps encounter problems next year, resolving them will be much easier because you’re cognitively and physically energetic. That’s why you need to include doing daily exercise and meditation every morning. Getting enough sleep and good eating routines will elevate your level of performance.
Managing Well Your Business and Workforce
There are certain resolutions on how you can excellently manage your business and workforce.
Hiring Procedures Must Thoroughly Be Reviewed
This is a salient point. You need to check some important aspects such as job ads, recruiting practices, application forms, interview questions, and selection processes. Ask this very important question: Are these aspects relevant to all applicable laws? This question should be answered well because they serve as your main guide to having a strong workforce.
Create and Update Job Descriptions
You have to identify some certain and key roles, as well as responsibilities and qualifications that the applicants are trying to fill in. Every job description must have a proper reporting structure. A job summary is needed when creating a job vacancy. Functions should be laid down well so that the applicants and hired personnel can understand their roles clearly.
Job Classifications Must Be Reviewed
You have to use the proper federal and state tests, such as the IRS Common Law Test or the Department of Labor Economic Realities Test. This is done to determine whether a hired worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Also, you have to review all your employees to make sure if they are either non-exempt or exempt.
Evaluate the Impact of Overtime Changes
The so-called overtime rules issued by the U.S. Department of Labor have been effective since December 1, 2016. This ruling reflects the increase of salary threshold among some exempt workers. You have to ensure that your current set of employees is classified accordingly. (Note: On November 22, 2016, a particular U.S. District Court temporarily restrained such ruling. )
An Employee Handbook Must Be Created And Updated
Creating a handbook for every employee is a must. Once you have it, updating is the next thing that you should do. Why? This is to help you communicate well the company policies that your workers must follow and abide by. Otherwise, they will be working without proper guidance.
Comply With the NLRB
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is very strict to those employers or business owners with malpractices. The rights of the workers must be upheld. That’s why in creating policies, the employees’ related rights must be considered. One of the most important rights of employees is to improve their living through proper wages and a comfortable working environment. The rights towards social media, confidentiality, and the standards of conduct should not be violated under the Section 7 of the NLRB Guidelines.
Develop and Review the Performance Plan Regularly
There must be a performance management plan to help you reach your goals next year. This can easily be done through proper communication. The top performers must be rewarded well. Thus, evaluating the achievement and performance is vital.
Apply Proper Record-Keeping Practices
As an employer, you should have records about everything of your business. This is required by labor laws. You have to follow the federal, state, as well as local laws. Always remember that there are policies and regulations that must be placed in a confidential folder. Do it as needed!
It’s important to craft well the New Year’s Resolutions that can play a significant role towards your business. Do them well and implement them strictly. Failure to implement them in the right way can cause business failure. So you have to put them into action. Get ready to embrace the challenges that are waiting for you in 2017.