It’s a new year, which means it’s time to set goals you want to accomplish with your small business. Rather than creating a list you’ll forget about by February, I’ve come up with three resolutions every small business owner should make to reap immediate results so you stay motivated all year. Write down your goals and publicly post them to help you and your team stay focused and committed to making 2015 the best year yet.
Resolution 1: Outsource the Small Stuff
To help you focus on the most important activities that will have the biggest impact on your bottom line, outsource the small tasks that take up too much time or that aren’t a particular core competency. My post last month is a great place to start identifying where you can immediately free up valuable time so you can get back to work doing what you do best. Measure the value of this resolution by tracking the improvement of the outsourced job and/or the amount of time you’ve freed up and what you’re doing with that time instead.
Resolution 2: Become a Thought Leader
It’s such a trendy term, “thought leader,” but becoming one is an efficient way to establish yourself as a subject matter expert, as well as an experienced leader in your industry. Start with a weekly blog post on your company blog about new trends affecting your industry, and include that in your next email newsletter. Do a short case study on how a client solved a particular problem with your products and/or services and cross promote it with your client to reach a larger audience. Pitch articles or blog ideas to publications that lead your industry and find those three to five key influencers to help promote your company as the go-to resource for solving your customer’s problems.
Pulling business to you like this has a lot of immediate deliverables that can feed your social media and content marketing monsters. In addition, don’t forget to measure the long-term results like the increase in leads, in qualified leads, website visitors, email newsletter subscriptions, etc. And spread the work around the office as much as possible to share the burden and reap the rewards come this time next year.
Improve Your Knowledge
With the pace of business and technology, resolve to staying on top of what’s happening in your industry, market, and in running your business so you don’t get left behind. Resources like BizLaunch host free webinars regularly, and industry and trade groups to which you already belong will also generally have free or inexpensive classes and discounts to conferences to keep you on the cutting edge and in the green. Measure this goal by the number of learning events you attend as well as the number of new contacts the inevitable networking delivers.
Running a small business is a lot of work but in order to continually improve and stay ahead, resolving to improve your efficiency, market position and knowledge will only help make this year successful.