New Year’s resolutions for small businesses

New Year’s resolutions aren’t only for individuals. As a small-business owner, you can set goals for your company to achieve in 2017. Doing so gives you direction and can unify your staff’s efforts. Make a list of the areas you want to focus on throughout the year, and once you have specific aspirations, decide which ones are top priority. Here are a few small-business resolution ideas to get you started:

Take a load off

Small-business owners often wear many hats. You have to be the financial expert, producer, marketer, manager and executive all at once. Taking on too much work could mean that your quality suffers and things slip through the cracks. In 2017, plan strategies for getting responsibilities off of your plate so you can focus on running your ship from a high level. 

That could mean hiring new staff, such as an technology support specialist or bookkeeper. Or, look for affordable software options that do much of the hard work for you. Digital programs can help you manage your finances, taxes, marketing strategy and more. 

While spending money on staff or software may seem like a burden, it can ultimately cut costs. For instance, improperly filing taxes will mean paying fines. Getting help in that area can prevent you from acquiring those financial penalties.

Strengthen existing business relationships

While your company grows and you expand your customer data base, it’s important not to lose touch with your early clients. Keeping up with them could help you get repeat business and show you’re devoted to the partnerships you have. During 2017, make a commitment to improve customer relationship management. There are many ways you can do this, from sending business greeting cards to having regular calls to using software designed for this very thing. Determine what route is best for your business based on budget and client needs.

Two business people shaking hands. Meeting with existing clients can help strengthen the business relationship.

Improve your income pipeline

If your goals for 2017 include hiring new staff and getting software tools, ensure you get all of the money you’re owed. Especially when first opening a business, many small companies let clients off the hook or don’t charge enough to begin with. Take a look at your product and compare its cost to the price tag on similar services in your industry. If you’re charging dramatically less than your competitors for the same or better product, you may need to increase price. What’s more, make sure to follow up on invoices and include payment deadlines in your contracts. This way, you know you’ll get your money.

Get your marketing strategy in order

Speaking of getting more money in the bank, include marketing in your resolutions. Plan a comprehensive strategy that will increase your search results presence, build a community on social media and drive new and returning visitors to your website. In addition to building an online strategy, also plan for mail marketing. You can send fliers to existing customers letting them know about new products or sales.

Make 2017 your company’s best year yet with these resolutions. Customize them to fit your business’s needs and goals.