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It’s time to welcome in the new year, 2021 has been tough for many small business owners to say the least. The start of a year presents a unique opportunity for reflection and celebration. It is also a good time to review the more challenging aspects and areas of growth for your business.

Keeping an open mind as you set your small business New Year’s resolutions can increase your chances of success in 2022. How do you want to plan your year ahead?

We have compiled a list of our top 5 small business New Year’s resolutions that you might not have considered yet. We focused on some of the areas that can be neglected during the planning phase.

Let’s help you achieve a better balance in 2022 with these top small business New Year’s resolution tips. 

1. Clear goal setting 

The start of the year is a very important time for small businesses to set New Year’s resolutions and goals. The goals you set should lead you to success. Make sure to build in the flexibility to adjust in order to prevent any distress. The goals that you set should be achievable so map out the different steps in the goal-setting process. A great process that is well respected was developed by Professors Gary Latham and Edwin Locke, who published, ‘A theory of goal setting and task performance’. In this research, they identified 5 key principles of setting effective goals. And having a much higher chance of sticking to them.

These 5 principles are:

  1. Clarity: Make sure your goal is very well defined. There is no room for vague or unclear goals if you want to be successful. 
  2. Challenge: The goal needs to be challenging enough so that when you achieve it you feel you have accomplished something. 
  3. Commitment: You need to make sure that you are wholeheartedly committed to your goal. You will have a higher chance of success if you care deeply about your goal. 
  4. Feedback: Obtain feedback along the way to be sure you are on the right track to fulfilling your goals. 
  5. Task complexity: Break down your tasks of your goal into smaller more manageable ones. 

2. Continuous business plan

Planning is essential for a healthy, growing business. It gives a business breathing room to look at what worked and what didn’t. What most business owners do is create one, inflexible business plan for the year. This can be helpful, however, it can sometimes be limiting. 

Why plan just once a year during your small business New Year’s resolution planning session? Instead build into your weekly tasks a continuous plan checking session. This gives you a chance to set new directions, review and adjust old goals, and keep your team on track. Making it a continuous business plan will help you and your team become more agile and flexible when issues arise. This approach will help avoid expensive mistakes, and it will also keep your small business focused and on track to achieve your New Year’s resolutions. 

3. Market research

When was the last time you did any market research into the products and services that you offer, your key competitors or the current needs of your target audience? A market and competitor analysis can really help identify any risks and opportunities. It also helps you to stay ahead of the competition and on top of any industry trends to ensure your products and services are consistently exceeding customer expectations. 

By conducting the analysis you can define your business’s unique value proposition and what makes your business different from everyone else. You can identify any competitor concerns, such as where they may be outperforming your business. It can also tell you where your competitors are falling short, which could present a market gap. 

Asking your customers for reviews of your business or to complete a survey will also help you understand what might be lacking and where your areas of growth are. The voice of the customer is an often overlooked benchmark on which you can measure your business success. 

4. Regular promotion of your business

Running a business is hard and getting all the day-to-day tasks done can be a challenge. However, too often promotions and marketing for a small business fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Pushed further and further down as marketing can be a branding exercise as well as intended to drive sales. But all small business owners know that if you want to attract new customers, making marketing a priority is key. 

One of your small business New Year’s resolutions could be to hire a marketing specialist or create a solid marketing strategy. Plan out your marketing strategies for the year ahead, keeping all major dates included. A cleaning business can attract cleaners as well as customers by marketing to the major events of the year. They could run a promotional campaign around Christmas, advertising to new customers to help take the hassle out of cleaning during the festive season. 

Hiring a marketing specialist or investing in a creative marketing agency will require an upfront investment. However, it can make things a whole lot easier to have marketing experts cover the promotions of your business, so you can focus on your more important tasks. 

Nowadays, it is very easy to see the influence of marketing campaigns, so you will quickly know what is working and what isn’t. Especially when running digital campaigns on channels such as Facebook or Google. You can find some handy marketing tools provided by the government here.

5. Deep clean of current systems and equipment 

Are there perhaps old and outdated computers, pay systems or software that is making your daily life harder? Whether it is an old computer that needs replacing or an automated process that needs to be included and built, get ahead by making this a priority.

There are so many tools and nifty systems that can make a small business owner’s life so much easier, and able to stick to any New Year’s resolutions. Investing in a better and faster appointment booking system, for instance, could make it much easier for your customers to book with you. Having a series of automated emails that get generated when a customer places an order or makes a booking will mean the customer feels looked after, for example. 

Investing in a deep clean of your old and outdated systems and equipment could really help make your employees’ lives easier and your customers more willing to choose your business.

At Lumi we specialise in small business lending to enable growth. We can help your business achieve your New Year’s resolutions by providing you with the necessary funding.

We have flexible loan options available that are easy to apply for, transparent and fast. Meaning you are always in control of your finances. To find out which loan would best suit your business’s needs, you can apply here.

Post Author: Vanessa Muller

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