At the end of each year, I like to take stock of my business and how it has performed over the last year. I find areas to celebrate and areas where I’d like to see more change in the upcoming year. Then, I set my business goals for the year.—and come up with actionable steps to meet my goals!
These are the best 10 New Year’s resolutions you need to make as a small business owner. Make them your business goals and watch your business grow.
Business Goals Are Extremely Important
The end of the year is approaching and this is the time that many people reflect, have regrets, and decide to make changes by creating New Year’s resolutions. Some people don’t believe in resolutions. Others find it to be necessary. What do you believe? Do you think that making goals and resolutions work?
I believe that you need to plan for your life and set specific goals. Otherwise, it is like driving across the country without a map. Eventually, you will get to the other coast, but you may have gotten lost along the way, took a longer route, or missed the great attractions, restaurants, and friends that you could have seen, but you didn’t because you failed to plan in advance.
If you’re unhappy with how your life has unfolded this year, then take some time to figure out why and what you need to do to change that next year. Do research to figure out what actions and how much money you will need to make these goals happen.
10 Business Goals that Make the Best New Year’s Resolutions
Put these 10 things into practice next year and watch your small business grow in astonishing ways. Plus, you’ll feel more connected to your work and in control of the direction it is going in. These are the 10 best New Year’s resolutions for small businesses.
#1 Pay off Debts
First, it’s so important to become debt-free next year.
Pay-off debts including credit card, car loan, student loans, and personal and business loans. Stress about finances can affect your ability to achieve goals in other areas of your life, including health and relationships. Talk with a finance coach (like me!) to help you prioritize and determine which loans to pay off first.
It’s easier to gain momentum if you take the debt snowball approach, and put all extra money to pay off the loan with the smallest balance first. Here’s a list of steps on the best way to get out of debt.
#2 Outsource Tasks
If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, you’re likely ready to outsource some tasks. With today’s gig economy, it’s never been easier to bring on a contractor or virtual assistant to take over some work in your business.
If you are unsure where to start outsourcing, start here: what do you dislike doing? Also, even if you like it, what are you not good at doing, or which items take you a disproportionate amount of time? Finally, what items are you spending time on, that instead, you could make more money if you handed that task off and concentrated on other parts of your business, such as client acquisition?
Need more ideas of items to outsource? Here’s a list I put together of six different categories of tasks you can easily outsource this year.
#3 Learn From People
Another smart small business goal is to learn from other people who have achieved success in an area you aspire to.
Here’s how to do that.
Make a list of 3 – 5 colleagues and influencers who you want to make sure you spend time with and learn from next year. Determine how much money you need to attend business conferences that they are attending or organizing or courses that they are offering. Then soak up as much info as you can from them.
#4 Read New Books
If you won’t get a good ROI on a conference trip, don’t worry. You can get a lot of great info from books.
Read business books and personal finance books with content that will complement your business and personal growth. Don’t focus on gaining more knowledge in areas that you are already an expert in. Take this chance to learn something completely new.
If you don’t have time to read, maybe listen to audiobooks during your commute or while you are doing mundane tasks.
No matter how you do it, soak up new knowledge that you can use to help your business grow.
#5 Create a Business Plan
If you’re feeling disorganized in your business and not sure why it’s not as profitable as it should be, sit down and create a basic business plan. A basic business plan will establish your goals and the areas that you need to work on.
#6 Meet with an Accountability Partner
The next small business New Year’s resolution is one that will help you achieve the other ones on the list.
Find an accountability partner and meet 1 – 2 times a month on your business goals. Or join a mastermind group to surround yourself with other like-minded colleagues.
#7 Get Ahead of Your Bills
Additionally, discover more of your own money that you can then reinvest in your small business.
Plan for your expenses and get ahead of your bills. You can do all of this by establishing and following a budget. It’s easier than you might think.
#8 Fix What’s Broken
The next resolution will help you use your time more wisely. Focus on what distracts you and fix what’s broken. Don’t spend your time trying to fix things that are already running smoothly and don’t ignore things that are costing you time and money.
#9 Learn a New Skill
Decide what new skill you’d like to obtain over the next year. Research how you can learn or get a certified, and save the money into an “Education Fund” to make it happen.
Pick a skill that will help your business grow in new ways. Do you want to learn how to engage on social media? What about budgeting or networking? Invest in your business with some skills that bring in new customers and sales.
#10 Establish Your Brand
Finally, spend time defining your brand. This last thing is one of the most important action steps you can take for your small business.
Decide what your brand is (which affects the target audience you attract) and what three things you have to do over the next year to support that. Or brainstorm three things that you should not do to support that image.
How To Grow Through These Business Goals
Now that you know what your small business goals are, how are you going to achieve them?
If you’ve had a hard time in the past sticking to new goals, especially when things get messy or difficult, consider if you need outside accountability to help achieve your goals. I’ve learned that my personality type as an Obliger requires outside accountability for personal goals.
To make next year better, take the time now to think about goals that you didn’t meet this year, and figure out why you didn’t accomplish them. Then, put into action or set up triggers to do something different to set yourself up to change and have a better next year.