Compared to the merriment of the festive season, January can seem a little dull. As is so often the case in business though, it’s in these rather unexciting moments that the greatest progress can be done. Resolutions aren’t just things you make about yourself after a solid fortnight of mince pies, they’re also a brilliant way to set out your objectives for the business year.
As with any good resolutions, the key is to keep things achievable. You’re probably not going to be cracking into the FTSE 100 in the coming year, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be an important one for your business. That’s why we’ve come up with 5 realistic - but ambitious! - business new year resolutions for you to chase in 2019 . . .
1. Seek improvement
We’re going to start with one of the most simple but effective things you can do: set a goal. Remaining static in the world of business is usually deadly, but the demands of day-to-day working can often see great ideas pushed to the side for a “better time” that never materialises. So start the new year off by being proactive. Pick a positive, progressive step that your business can take and make it.
2. Make a tough decision
Likewise, almost every business has some aspect of itself that just isn’t quite working out. With other pressures looming, these little issues are often allowed to pass by without too much concern but in time they can develop into larger issues. As the old idiom goes, “the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Making tough choices like these in January will let you reap the benefits throughout the year.
3. Ensure you have a complete digital package
The importance of having a strong digital presence is hard to overstate. Many small businesses are almost there, but have some aspect that’s fallen by the wayside. Is your website up to date? Do you have all your correct information listed on Google Business? Are you relatively active on Social Media? Is your website optimised for mobile use, one of Google’s chief concerns in ranking sites as they move forward? If the answer to any of these is any less than a strong yes, then now is the time to be proactive and make sure that everything is up to scratch.
4. Start using data
Data is a powerful thing in marketing, and the prevalence of digital devices in our lives has only increased its power. You can buy datasets about your customers to build remarkably accurate purchasing models, look at broader sets to predict upcoming trends and start targeting your online ads towards those most likely to appreciate them. The possibilities are endless, so much so that many small and medium businesses don’t know where to get started.
Before you start looking for external data, are you capturing your own? Simply keeping records of when stock or services sell, who buys them and for what price can be surprisingly powerful. It can help you to stop underlying trends in consumer decisions, and manage your stock, cash flow and other resources to more efficiently meet your needs.
5. Enjoy some time off
All work and no play will make anyone a dull boy! Keeping your nose to the grindstone is an admirable trait and one that is essential to success in business, but it’s not the be all and end all. At some point, you’re going to have to pat yourself on the back and acknowledge the fact that you need time to switch off, recuperate, and relax. It can as small a gesture as simply closing for an afternoon or going on a staff outing but whatever else you do this year, make sure there’s some time left for fun.