If you’re used to taking some time around the holidays to make resolutions for your personal happiness in the new year, why not try doing the same for your business? There’s a lot about 2021 that is currently hard to predict, but making real, actionable goals for your business can help fight the uncertainty and introduce some stability to your year. Here are a few business resolution ideas to get you started.
1. Use the buddy system.
Accountability is the name of the game when it comes to following through on resolutions. And finding a partner or a group to share in, or just check up on, your resolutions is a great way to stay accountable.
The American Society of Training and Development found people are 65% more likely to meet a goal after committing to another person. And that lift increases to a whopping 95% when they build in ongoing meetings to check in on their progress.
Like most of these new year’s resolutions for business owners, this one doesn’t cost anything. So ask a friend, a colleague, join a professional group in your area or even an online group for people in your industry. You’ll be much more likely to meet your goals, and you might even gain some networking benefits in the process.
2. Focus on quality, not quantity.
At OutboundEngine, we spend all day thinking about how to help small businesses improve their marketing. What we’ve found is that turning on a firehose of content isn’t usually the best approach. You can blast out 10 Facebook posts every day and retweet all night long, but there are ways you can connect with your current and potential clients better by doing less. Focus on posting interesting, timely information that encourages your audience to interact with you or share your content.
Quick ways to do this:
- Respond to comments on your posts.
- Leave comments and like content on other pages.
- Include personal notes on pictures or posts that you share.
Take the time to make a few real connections every day and you’ll see your relationships strengthen.
3. Be a mentor.
Think back to when you were first starting out in your career. You were probably excited and hopeful while simultaneously feeling nervous and unsure. Did you have support, or could you have used more?
One of the best new year’s resolutions for business owners is to pay it forward. Reach out to someone in your industry just starting out and who could use mentoring or a sounding board for advice. Your generosity will not go unnoticed, and you will be seen as both an expert in your field and as a person people want to work with. It never hurts to raise your profile within your industry, especially when you’re doing a good deed.
Not sure how to find someone? LinkedIn has a great feature called Career Advice. Answer a couple quick questions and they’ll match you with someone based on your preferences.
4. Think long-term.
Some goals take more than just one calendar year. Don’t be afraid to put something huge on your resolutions list just because it will extend beyond 2021. The idea of this task can seem daunting, so start by making a list or marking up a calendar. Oftentimes, just seeing your list on paper can make it feel more manageable.
It doesn’t matter how you want to manage your list. You can use the tried and true paper and pen and use a planner. If you prefer to keep things digital, check out some of these apps to keep you organized.
Write out what you’d like to see your business become. Include goals both personal and professional you’d like to achieve. Think about what steps you can take to make those dreams a reality. Use this plan as a motivator to stay on track with goals throughout 2021.
Interested in digging into improving your project management? Check out these tips from a pro.
5. Fight burnout with balance.
The workday for a small business owner doesn’t always end at 5 pm on a Friday and start again at 9 am on Monday. For example, a real estate agent may have busier weekends and slower weekdays. A health and wellness professional may see a spike in business on holidays when other businesses quiet down. All of this burning the candle at both ends means burnout is on the rise. Burnout affects both your mental and physical health, so it’s important to make sure you take the time you need to recharge.
Here are some tangible ways to work in balance:
- Exercise as often as you can. Take a phone call while you go for a short walk.
- Spend time with people you care about. Set a monthly lunch or schedule a weekly call with someone who is important to you.
- Get some sleep at night. Staying off your phone/tablets for an hour before bed will help you sleep easier.
- Carve out time for yourself. Watch a movie, knit a scarf, do a crossword puzzle, whatever will help you relax and recharge your batteries.
- Outsource tasks you don’t have time for. For example, we can take marketing off your plate so you spend less time working.
Shifting even a small percentage of your free time to yourself will have big benefits. With your mind refreshed and your body energized, your personal success will benefit. Who knows? You may even end up inspiring people around you to do the same. The domino effect of happier and healthier people in your life will be profound.
6. Strategically delegate.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs are used to doing everything, but should they? Shifting work to someone else can be difficult, especially for those who are accustomed to wearing every hat needed to run a business. However, delegation can open you up to focusing on what you love and what you do best.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What do you dread doing?
- What overwhelms you?
- Could someone else do in minutes a task that takes me hours?
The answers to these questions may lead you to a list of tasks that you can and should delegate to someone else.
If delegating marketing is one of your new year’s resolutions for your business, let OutboundEngine’s automated marketing help. Click here to set up a live walkthrough and find out how we can help you succeed in the new year. Cheers to a successful new year!