The end of the year is a good time to reflect on your business' progress over the past year and plan how you want it to develop in the year ahead. Do you want increased success in the coming year or more chances to enjoy the success you've achieved? These top New Year's resolutions are designed to help you do both. Strike a better work-life balance and increase your business success in the new year.
1. Learn to Delegate and Do More of It
There are so many things to do when you're running a small business, it's easy to delude ourselves that we need to do all of them. Then we wonder why we're so tired and frazzled and have no time to do anything else. Let someone else do some of the tasks for a change. Delegation is the key to a healthy work-life balance.
2. Promote Your Business Regularly and Consistently
Too often the task of promoting a small business slips to the bottom of the to-do list, crowded out by urgent tasks. But if you want to attract new customers, you have to make promotion a priority. One of your top New Year's resolutions should be to hire a marketing expert or take the time to create a marketing plan on your own and follow through.
3. Make Business Planning a Weekly Event
Planning is vital if you want a healthy, growing business. Business planning lets you take stock of what worked and what didn't work, and helps you set new directions or adjust old goals. So why do it just once a year or once a quarter? Set aside time each week to review, adjust, and look forward—or even better, make business planning a part of each day. Not only will this help you avoid costly mistakes and stay on track, but you'll feel more focused and relaxed.
4. Learn Something New
What you choose to learn may be directly related or completely unrelated to your business. Learning something new will add to your skills and add a new dimension of interest to your life—another important part of achieving a healthy work-life balance and increasing your business success. Business consultants, trainers, and business coaches can help set you on a path to adopting new skills. Depending on how you choose to learn, you may meet new and interesting people, who may become customers, colleagues, or friends. How will you find the time to learn something new? Delegation and planning.
5. Join a New Business Organization or Networking Group
There's nothing like talking to other business people for sparking new ideas, refining old ones, and making contacts. Whether it's a group specifically designed for networking or an organization dedicated to a particular type of business, in person or over the internet, making the effort to be a part of a group will revitalize you and your business. Approaching networking events with a strategy will make your next time out a more successful experience.
6. Give Back to Your Community
There are all kinds of worthy organizations that make a difference in your community. Those who give, get. Nothing will seed and grow goodwill for you and your business better than giving back to your community. So make one of your top New Year's resolutions to find a cause that matters to you and give what you can. Make this the year that you serve on a committee, be a mentor, volunteer, or make regular donations to the groups in your community that make the place you live better.
7. Put Time for Yourself on Your Calendar
All work and no play is a recipe for mental and physical disaster. So if you have trouble freeing up time to do the things you enjoy, write time regularly into your schedule to "meet with yourself" and stick to that commitment. If you won't invest in yourself, who will?
8. Set Realistic Goals
Goal setting is a valuable habit—if the goals lead to success rather than distress. Resolve that the goals you set will be achievable, not so far out of reach they only lead to frustration. If you have trouble setting realistic goals, there are ways to map out a formula that makes sense for you.
9. Don't Just Make Do
Is there a piece of equipment in your office that's interfering with your success or something that you lack that's making your working life harder? Whether it's an old fax machine that's a pain to use or the need for a new employee to lighten your workload, stop putting off getting what you need. The drag of making do just isn't worth it.
10. Drop What's Not Working and Move On
All products aren't going to be super sellers, all sales methods aren't going to work for everyone, and all suppliers or contractors aren't going to be ideally suited to your business. If a technique, product, or business relationship isn't working for you, stop using it. Don't invest a lot of energy into trying to make the unworkable workable. Move on. Something better will turn up.
To a Better Year
Achieving a healthy work-life balance is like maintaining a good relationship—you have to keep working on it. But if you apply these top New Year's resolutions throughout the year, you'll not only feel better, but you'll have more energy to put into your business and make it the success you've always dreamed.