Small Business Owners: What’s Your 2018 New Year’s Resolution?
January 5, 2018
Hello 2018! What new year’s resolution do you have in mind to become a better, stronger business owner this year?
When most people think of a new year’s resolution, things like exercise, eating healthy or spending more time with friends and family often come to mind. While these are all examples of great personal resolutions, what about resolutions for your business?
When you come up with a resolution, whether personal or business related, you are committing to change. Now is the perfect time to look at your business and identify areas that you can improve on—and make a plan to help you make improvements.
Here are six new year’s resolutions that you might want to consider implementing yourself, designed to help grow your business.
1. I Will Take My Professional Networking to the Next Level
Setting aside time to devote to networking is something that every business owner should do, but time constraints and work-loads can make this difficult. It takes an effort to find local meet-up events and industry conferences that provide excellent networking opportunities.
“My primary new year’s resolution for 2018 is taking my professional network to the next level. 2017 has been tremendous in terms of new business connections. We’ve enjoyed quite a lot of attention at FinTech, Insurance, Internet-of-Things and Healthcare trade shows and events this year. 2018 is going to be the year of converting these connections into successful IT projects,” says Yuri Yushkov, CEO of .
Personally, I am committed to networking on a weekly basis in 2018, focusing on my local area. If you are a tech-focused entrepreneur in the Miami area, specifically Brickell, then . That’s where I will be announcing events and even plan to broadcast some live via the Stories feature.
2. I Will Take Advantage of the Strengths of All My Team Members
You are only as good as the team around you. This applies to every organization, from professional sports teams to businesses of all sizes. A team that isn’t all operating on the same page can spell disaster for your business. When you do assemble the dream team, it’s important to use each team member to his or her full potential.
“We want to utilize the strengths of each team member to their full potential. Over the past five years, we grew from my partner and me to a team of 24, located all over the world. We anticipate even more growth in the coming year.
Teams only work when you trust every member to make the correct decisions. We have processes in place to guide them, which helps tremendously. Additionally, we want to make sure we use their skills and abilities correctly — this comes from experience and testing what works best,” advises Ivan Vislavkiy, CEO of .
If your team is all located on-site, you might also consider holding weekly team-building events to keep the bond strong. If you run a remote organization, weekly video conference calls are a great way to keep the team unity thriving.
3. I Will Use Software, Tools and Apps to Make My Business More Efficient
The technology available to entrepreneurs and small business owners today allow you to
completely streamline processes that used to require full-time employees and countless hours.
Now, there are apps and software to make life much easier through automation and
Take FreshBooks for example, and its multiple features, integrations and addons—invoicing,
payment processing, expense tracking, time tracking, financial reporting, etc. These are all
designed to make your business more efficient, allowing you and your team to spend the
majority of your time on things that result in business growth.
I have found networking to be the best source of new app and software discovers. When you
are networking with other business owners in the same industry as you, initiate conversations
about productivity and efficiency, and see what others are using. You will often go home with a
few new apps to download and software to try out.
4. I Will Charge What I’m Worth
This is my main business-related resolution for the new year. When a founded my marketing agency, we were a service provider. Over the years we cut back on our offerings and focused on larger brands. Now, my agency is strictly a consulting agency, working with the in-house marketing teams at large brands.
I have the knowledge and hands-on experience requires to help large brands succeed in the digital world, which has caused a high-demand for my service. My consulting retainers are far from the most affordable option. However, I know my worth and my monthly retainer fee is now priced accordingly.
“If you feel that your service or product is undervalued you should consider raising your prices to match the value they provide. Many business owners are afraid that increasing prices will make them unaffordable for some. But you must understand that you can’t be a fit for everyone. It’s better to be the right fit to those who understand the value of your product or service and are willing to pay you for it,” says Michael Washburn, President of
5. I Will Learn a New Skill
As an entrepreneur and business owner, you can never absorb enough new knowledge and information. It’s important to always be seeking out new information and self-education, in order to grow as a person and leader. It can also have a positive impact on your life outside of work.
“Choose something new to learn in 2018, whether it’s directly related to your business or completely unrelated, will help you tremendously. Learning a new skill adds a dimension of interest to your life that helps to maintain the desired work-life balance. It also helps you to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Something as simple as taking a marketing class or learning a new language are prime examples,” says Susan Johnson, CEO of .
I’m launching a daily vlog in the coming year, so I will be teaching myself how to edit video and also how to properly film. It’s a complete do-it-myself project, and I am looking forward to learning along the way, in hopes of improving the quality of my daily vlog episodes over time.
6. I Will Consistently Promote My Business
There are several marketing strategies available that work to constantly promote your business — search engine optimization, social media, pay-per-click, content and email are just a few examples. You also have the opportunity to introduce your business to people you encounter on a daily basis.
“You have to run campaigns across the standard marketing channels, but you shouldn’t forget to always have promoting your business on your mind to those that you encounter each and every day. Every person you come in with is either a potential customer or a potential referral partner. Take the time to introduce your business to those you have casual conversations with daily. It’s a simple, yet effective strategy,” suggests Peter Lipscomb, CEO of .
Specific networking events are great, but we come in with new people every day. A quick conversation can quickly open up the door to introduce your business to a potential customer.
7. I Will Expand My Scope of Practice to Cater to a Social Cause
“Our top resolution is to expand our scope of practice within the impact sector. The impact sector is essentially a group of industries that have a deep and profound impact on the world around us. It’s typically composed of businesses who operate in and around health care, education, food and agriculture, environmentalism and safety.
They ultimately provide services or products that enhance the ‘human experience,’ benefiting the world and those who live in it. We pride ourselves in working with an organization who shares our interest and devotion to improving the world,” explains Dan Sandler, Director of Client Partnership at .
A lot of small businesses can greatly benefit from becoming more involved with large-scale social causes, as well as local community involvement. Making a difference not only gives you a degree of satisfaction while impacting lives in a positive manner, but it can also attract new business. Consumers love to support businesses that stand for a good cause.
Let’s Make 2018 the Best Year Yet!
Every new year is an opportunity for improvement—both personal and business-related. Consider implementing some of the resolutions above yourself. And make 2018 the most successful year to date for your business.
about the author
Jonathan Long is the founder of , an e-commerce brand-development agency.