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8 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Owners

01/19/2022 Zak Carter

Have you compiled a list of New Year’s resolutions for your small business in 2022? Resolutions don’t have to be limited to your personal life. Consider how you can improve in the coming year in your role as a small business owner.

Of course, everyone’s list will be different. But here are eight common aspirations that make good business sense.

1. Learn Something New

Your skills and talents helped you get to where you are today. What new skills could you acquire that will get you even further in the years to come? It could be improved sales or management skills or further technical training in your industry. Or maybe you might benefit from an accounting or tax seminar put on by your company’s CPA firm.

This also sends a strong signal to your employees that you’re not above self-improvement. Lead by example. Plus, while taking outside classes, you may make contacts — such as a lender, an investment advisor or a prospective new employee — that could benefit your business down the road.

2. Delegate

Are you the kind of leader who likes to do it all yourself? Wearing too many hats for too long can lead to financial and emotional distress. Instead, delegate tasks to qualified staff members. Here are several helpful hints:

• Provide clear instructions. They can’t read your mind.
• Assign jobs to the right people. Don’t set anyone up for failure.
• Be clear about your expectations.
• Show some trust. Let employees know you have their backs.
• Keep the lines of communication open.
• Allow some leeway. Leave room for differences in style, as long as the outcomes are met.

Employees are often motivated by increased responsibility. Delegating work to them can be a win-win situation.

3. Promote Your Business All Year Long

Did you finish out 2021 on a high note? Whether you’ve sustained an existing operation last year or pivoted to a new undertaking, keep promoting your business.

Focus on activities that improve your bottom line both now and in the future. Some small businesses don’t have a dedicated marketing department. If that’s the case, consider hiring an outside marketing expert. Then coordinate your in-house and external resources.

4. Review Your Business Plan Regularly

You’ve probably spent a lot of time working on your business plan for 2022. Don’t let your hard work languish in a desk drawer or hard drive until next year-end. Review it regularly to determine whether you’re accomplishing your objectives.

Consider implementing a “rolling” approach. This allows for adjustments based on what’s happening in your business and marketplace — and it makes the process more adaptable, accurate and timely. Companies with rolling budgets typically prepare their budgets four quarters ahead. Then, at the end of each quarter, they update the numbers for the next three quarters and add a new fourth quarter.

With a rolling budget, you’ve always got a real-time plan for the next 12 months. So, this approach encourages management to be more forward-looking and responsive.

5. Join a Targeted Networking Group

Networking is an ongoing process — especially if your business relies heavily on referrals to generate revenue. Consider taking a more formal approach in 2022 by joining a specific networking group for this purpose.

Networking groups are usually targeted to your geographic area or members of a certain industry or profession. The contacts you make within the group can pay off with future referrals or related business activity. What’s more, participating in the group may trigger ideas for new product lines, best practices, recruitment efforts or marketing campaigns.

6. Set Good Goals

Good goals are achievable with difficulty. Bad goals are either too easy (achievable without difficulty) which leads to going through the motions or too difficult (not achievable) which leads to burn out.

Instead, set good goals that require hard work, but are still within your company’s reach.

7. Give Back to the Community

Not all goals are financially driven. Sometimes business owners strive to make a difference in their local communities or focus on a specific issue that’s near and dear to the owner’s heart.

Your business can play a prominent role in charitable endeavors. Start by finding a nonprofit organization that aligns with your goals. Then join in its efforts — and encourage your employees to follow suit. If you don’t have time to volunteer, make a donation that counts.

Being charitable also has a side benefit: You’ll be sowing seeds of goodwill with the public (including potential customers). Boost the value-added potentials by sharing your charitable endeavors on social media and your company’s website.

8. Set Aside Time for Yourself

Business owners who are all work and no play risk more than just being dull. You may wake up mid-year feeling burned out and overextended. Give yourself a break.

For instance, you may schedule specific time each week to spend with your family. Likewise, engage in extracurricular activities — like joining a tennis club, taking a photography class or reading a book — that give you pleasure. If you’re overly consumed by your business, you won’t be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Make this year about both your company and you.

For More Ideas

This is a daunting list. Too many things to tackle all at once. But how much can you accomplish by picking one and taking action? Happy New Year!

If you have any questions or need advice, please contact Zak Carter at zcarter@vlcpa.com or call him at 513.587.1812.

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