New Year’s Resolutions For Small Businesses

While new year’s resolutions tend toward the personal, here’s a guide to new year’s resolutions for small businesses.

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New year resolutions for small businesses

Here's what you need to know about New Year's resolutions ror small businesses:

  • Any improvement is still an improvement, no matter how small it might seem.
  • Automating menial tasks like data collection can free up your staff's time to be spent elsewhere.
  • Creating a more intentional company culture is an excellent new year's resolution for growing your business. The key to your resolution is intentionality.

Ugh. New Year’s resolutions can be so… awful, right? They don’t have to be! Especially when it comes to your business. The new year is a great time to reflect on what has and hasn’t been working well over the past year. At the same time, it’s an opportunity to create new goals and plans for 2023.

One thing businesses aren’t is static. Companies are constantly changing and growing, even in small ways. The more intentional you are about those changes and the goals they do (or don’t) serve, the more beneficial they’ll be to you and your business.

While new year’s resolutions tend toward the personal, here’s a guide to new year’s resolutions for small businesses.

Step up your marketing game

There’s been so much going on over the last couple of years that no one will blame you if your marketing efforts have fallen to the wayside. The new year is a great time to reset and refocus if they have.

What new audiences or market segments can you focus on reaching next year? If there’s a different way that your products or services can be marketed to reach new groups, why not try something new?

The more intentional you are about changes and the goals they do (or don’t) serve, the more beneficial they’ll be to you and your business.

Another marketing revamp to consider is to update or create new branding. Has your small business taken off a bit? Now you’re in the place to invest in a rebrand and step up your game. Getting the best logo you can and fonts and colors to go with it isn’t always the top priority for new businesses. But it should be a priority for growing businesses. A professional and well-thought-out brand communicates that you’re a serious business, not just a new idea.

Get hip to social media

While social media is certainly a part of marketing, it is a stand-alone effort in many ways as well. Social media is where brands and businesses connect with customers:

  • Past
  • Present
  • Future

Social media is a complex and foreign space for many small businesses. So, how does a company behave on TikTok? What about Snapchat? What’s going on with the Instagram algorithm these days, anyway? Did you know that local businesses have a serious presence on Nextdoor?

One excellent new year’s resolution is to focus more on social media. That might mean moving from simply posting photos on Instagram to doing reels and stories. Or it might mean opening accounts on new platforms. Determining how social media might serve your small business best is the right place to start.

Create a more intentional company culture

Creating a more intentional company culture is an excellent new year’s resolution for growing businesses. It’s easy for company culture to form organically when just a handful of employees work side by side. It’s much harder for culture to grow organically (in a good direction, at least) as more and more people enter the mix.

The key to this new year’s resolution is intentionality. That doesn’t mean anything specific in and of itself, and that’s the point. The goal is to get clear about what you want your company culture to be and why. From there, your goal is to actively build your company culture to match the goals you have for it.

Maybe you’d like your employees to have a healthier work-life balance. If that’s the case, consider flexible time off for flexible PTO to allow for that.

Invest in automation

There’s a finite amount of work that people can do. If you add automation technology to the mix, you can get more done with less. Believe it or not, human resources is a sector that’s ripe for automation and innovation.

Enter POPS. POPS stands for people operations or people ops for short. Unlike traditional HR, that’s focused more on compliance, POPS is focused on people. HR is also focused on people, but a key difference is the approach. People ops is all about data and automation.

The people on your HR team can only do so much with the hours they have. Automating menial tasks like data collection can free up their time to be spent elsewhere. With their time a little more freed up, they can focus on things like the resolutions on this list.

Increase your small business’s sustainability efforts

There are nothing but benefits to being more sustainable. If you haven’t considered or moved to a hybrid remote work model yet, now is the time to consider it. Not commuting keeps emissions from the air and cars from congested roads. Even offering one or two work-from-home days a week or month can make a difference.

Another way to reduce emissions is to incentivize public transportation or carpooling. Subsidize the cost of taking public transit to work. Do what you can to help with carpool coordination. This can be as simple as a signup sheet or email chain.

Another way to increase your sustainability is to buy refurbished electronic hardware whenever possible. This extends the useful life of electronics and keeps e-waste out of landfills.

Update your business plan

Yes, you have a business plan in place. Yes, it’s supposed to be set for the next three years. That doesn’t mean that you can’t revise it. You can change and pivot at any time, and you should. Take a look at the goals you met last year and how they served your business. Look at benchmarks you didn’t meet and why. Did those goals end up being unimportant? Or do you need to take another approach to them in 2023?

If you’re a super-new small business, you might not even have a concrete business plan in place. Now is the time to change that. A business plan doesn’t have to be a complex, formal document that’s prepared by a consultant with an MBA.

A business plan can be as simple as reverse engineering your goals for 2023. Break each goal into smaller, actionable, and attainable goals by the quarter, month, or even week if you want to get that granular. The key is to design milestones that make the most sense for attaining each goal.

Become a stronger, better business than you were last year.

Do more networking

Even if you have a solid network, you can always get new connections or deepen the ones you already have. Networking can be uncomfortable, and the benefits aren’t often immediate, so it can become a task that falls to the bottom of your to-do list.

But networking is essential. If you ever need to look for a new job, your network is the first place you’ll turn. Word-of-mouth recommendations are key. They’re important for finding everything from the best freelancers and marketing gurus to recommending your business to others.

Networking efforts can be as simple as being more active on LinkedIn or joining a local group. It can also be as basic as reaching out to your college or grad school pals and staying in touch. It doesn’t have to mean going to conferences or attending formal networking events.

The new year is your blank canvas; turn it into your company’s masterpiece

Do you know the best part about new year’s resolutions? The spirit of them. The point is to change and grow and become a stronger, better business than you were last year. That can come in big or small ways. Any improvement is an improvement, no matter how small it might seem.

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