Millions of adults across the UK will currently be experiencing the back to school-like feeling today, as the Christmas period is officially over to make way for the return to work and farewell to Bucks Fizz and mince pies.
Although a new year may often bring about post holiday blues, it is also a time to focus and set targets for the year ahead, but insurance firm AXA has found that just 26 per cent of small British businesses will take advantage to set resolutions at work.
Darrell Sansom, managing director at AXA Business Insurance, said: “A new year brings the opportunity to refocus on our goals, to think specifically about the things we’d like to achieve, and to consider whether we are best placed to reach our potential. Our customers often tell us that as a small business owner, it’s easy to get pulled into day to day tasks – but it’s important not to lose sight of what you first set out to do and how you can take things to the next level.
“Now is a great time to review your business plan, reflect on what you’re doing well, where you could improve and what you need to do next. Little resolutions can offer big rewards, so committing to the things that will progress and protect your business will ensure you’re set to thrive in 2015.”
Despite the lack of formal resolutions, the goals are clear for many – 34 per cent plan to build or upgrade their websites this year, and 23 per cent plan to grow their social media presence, which demonstrates how clear digital will be in 2015 for the UK SME.
Additionally, 28 per cent of companies plan to invest in new tools and equipment, 16 per cent are planning to recruit, while nine per cent are planning to expand overseas. The government will also have a role to play as 14 per cent of business owners will apply for funding to achieve their targets, and 36 per cent will look to the political powers to simplify raising capital.
Read more on what to expect in 2015:
- James Caan’s predictions for 2015
- Half of British businesses plan to employ more staff in 2015
- A look at Boris Johnson’s record as London mayor
AXA offered the following five resolutions for business owners to consider:
1. Don’t lose sight of your goals
It’s all too easy to get absorbed in the day to day and the here and now, but it’s worth taking time to reflect on your business strategy – what did you set out to do, how are you performing, and how can you take your business to the next level? By keeping a tight focus on your goals, you are more likely to achieve them and will ensure you’re properly resourced to take your business forward.
2. Promote your strengths
Remember what it is that makes you special, and your business unique – and keep telling people about it. Understanding and selling your strengths really makes your business stand out, particularly in competitive and crowded markets so make sure that everything you say and do, from business pitches, to your website, to your social media activity accurately reflects what you do and what you are best at.
3. Talk (and listen) more to your customers
Most small businesses aspire to delivering great customer service but how do we know we’re really achieving this? Taking time to talk and listen to your customers will give you a better understanding of their wants and needs and what they value about your business so you can make sure they keep coming back and recommend you to others.
4. Value your time
It often feels like there are not enough hours in the day, but do you know what your time is worth, and are you making the most of that? Focusing on the things that really matter will make your team more productive, grow your business – and prevent burn out.
5. Be aware of your risks
Don’t let unforeseen circumstances destroy all that you’ve built. It’s important not just to look at the opportunities, but also to review the risks to your business as it grows and adjust your business continuity plan accordingly. Are you meeting all your contractual obligations? Are you covered should the worst happen? Make sure you are doing all you should to look after your business and have the right insurance in place so you’re protected if you need it.
Image via Shutterstock.
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