New Year resolutions for small businesses

Most of us make some personal resolutions for the New Year – whether it’s for a healthier lifestyle, a new hobby, or kicking a habit, but do you do the same for your business? If you are a small business owner, or an entrepreneur gearing up to launch your first business, there is every reason to use the ‘New Year, New Start’ mantra for your business, to help you get off to a prosperous start, and continue throughout 2015.

As well as using some of the holiday period to pick up those things you never had time for before, the New Year is also a good time to implement new ideas, processes and make changes; it’s important to start as you mean to go on! Of course, some things will take time, so planning and preparing for those changes is just as crucial; you can’t possibly implement them all in January. Set some realistic plans, goals and timelines for all your resolutions throughout the year.

Here are some top resolutions I think all entrepreneurs and small business owners should be making to help give their business the best start to 2015. 

Don’t make the same mistakes

Create a list of little niggles, issues and lessons learned throughout the last year – however big or small – and come up with a way to eliminate them going forward. New businesses will have all kinds of teething problems, of course, but it’s how you deal with these issues and overcome them that will keep your businesses moving forward.

Review your business plan 

Chances are, whether you are six months or six years into your business, you will have veered away from your original business plan. Take some time to look back at it and see if your business needs to be re-aligned, or your plan simply needs updating. Either way, it will really help focus your mind on why you set up your business in the first place and what your original ambitions were. Does your business live up to your early plans? If not, now is the time to make any changes that should be made.

Tidy up your website and all your social media channels 

It’s easy to let your website content slip – once your site is live and well-populated, and getting traffic, it can be easy to move it down the priority list. Try printing out each page, and go through it to identify any changes. Check for spelling and grammar errors; make sure prices, and contact details are accurate; and ensure your news or blog pages are up to date – the latest content should not be more than a month old. Add new customer testimonials (ask their permission first!), or media articles you have secured, and make sure there are calls-to-action, and plenty of keywords in your content. 

You may be considering a special offer for January anyway, so make the most of your webmaster’s time and send them all updates together. It’s also a good time to look at your visitor stats to see how your social media is performing. Is the traffic growing and are your conversion rates as you expected? If not, do you need to change the user experience or change the content offer?

Revamp your marketing 

With an ever-growing digital world, it’s important to keep up with your customers, and adapt your marketing and social media to ensure you have the best engagement with your customers. Keep an eye on competitors, new trends, and customer habits – they change constantly. Keep your content fresh.

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