As 2015 draws to a close, now is the perfect time to make a list of New Year’s resolutions personally, but more importantly, professionally as a small business owner. Small business owners should take the time to reflect on what they did well in 2015 and what they can work on in 2016.
Hiscox, a global specialist insurer, has provided five resolutions that small business owners should make as they enter 2016:
1. Attract new clients and retain current clients: According to Hiscox’s DNA of an Entrepreneur study, 24% of small business owners are most fearful that they will not be able to attract new clients in the year ahead. Eliminate this fear by networking and marketing your product. Make customer service a priority and show your appreciation for your current clients. Happy customers will spread the word and direct referrals your way.
2. Utilize social media and maximize mobile: Make sure that your website is user-friendly for those on smart phones or tablets, and start, or strengthen, your presence on social media. Now more than ever, people are always on the go. Don’t assume they’ll be on a computer when browsing the Internet. If your business is already on social media, try a new platform or use it in a new way. Consider ways to recruit, market and provide customer service via social media, and make sure your website is always up-to-date.
3. Recharge and relax: Just because you’re in charge of the business doesn’t mean you can’t have a work/life balance, too. Hiscox found that 20% of U.S. small business owners currently take zero vacation days. Take time away from the office to relieve stress so that you can be an even better boss and work smarter, not harder, when you return.
4. Check your safety net: Ensure that you are completely insured against any possible threats. Twenty-two percent of small business owners cited hacking and cyber-crime as a major risk to their business, yet only 7% have e-risks insurance.
5. Stay in the know: Commit to quarterly training sessions, workshops and conferences related to your business, and hold yourself accountable for your professional growth. Most large companies offer professional development opportunities for their employees, but as a small business owner, you’re in charge of your own learning and growth. When it comes to training in the year ahead, 43% of small business owners believe subsidized training courses and professional development would play an important role in encouraging small business growth.
Most importantly, make sure your resolutions are challenging, yet attainable. Keep your employees updated on your company’s goals so that they can help you achieve them and create their own.