6 New Year’s Resolutions Business Owners Are MakingEntrepreneurs reveal the ways they plan to make next year their best yet.
New year’s resolutions are most commonly associated with personal goals, like quitting smoking or losing weight. But they can actually help you advance your business goals, too. After all, what company doesn’t have a little room for improvement?
The key is to choose one area to focus on, and make a conscientious effort to chip away at that goal every day. Need a little inspiration? Here are some new year’s resolutions business owners are making for 2019.
Focus on profit
With all the day-to-day tasks that come with running a business, entrepreneurs can sometimes lose sight of one of the most important things: Maximizing profit. Consider making a new year’s resolution to pay more attention to the bottom line.
“Our focus for 2019 is one word: Profit. We have seen great growth in revenue over the last three years, but that doesn’t always translate into bottom-line profit,” said Ruben Ugarte, founder of Practico Analytics, an analytics advisory firm.
Strategies for maximizing profit vary widely. Perhaps you make efforts to minimize waste, improve your inventory practices or refine your marketing strategy.
“In our case, more profit means becoming better at managing expenses and pricing our services,” said Ugarte.
Take a look at your staff. Do most of your employees seem to come from the same ethnic or socio-economic background? If so, you might want to make an effort to increase diversity in 2019, said Robert Morlot, managing partner of Clearwater Business Advisers.
“In 2019, I plan to recruit several senior female executives to our company. Aside from several of our larger corporate clients wanting us to provide senior level coaching and mentoring to females by females, we believe having women on board will give us additional perspective and diversity of thought as a firm,” he said.
A more diverse team can also help you come up with more creative solutions to business challenges and maximize your productivity.
Running a small business often involves putting out small fires in whatever way makes the most sense when they occur. But without a formal approach to common problems, you run the risk of slip-ups and inefficiencies. Make 2019 the year you create some standard operating procedures.
“As a small business, we haven’t had to have systems or procedures in place to do things consistently. But going into 2019, having standard operating procedures for all of the important areas of our business is going to be important so we can grow, expand and hire,” said Dustyn Ferguson, founder of Dime Will Tell.
Standard operating procedures can be used to address minor, everyday situations (such as washing and storing knives in a restaurant kitchen) to creating a plan of action for a big problem (like a social media crisis). The goal is to create processes that keep your business running safely and efficiently — no matter what the universe throws its way.
Put more trust in staff
When you’re so used to running everything on your own, it can be a struggle to delegate tasks without micromanaging. However, making a resolution to put more trust in your staff’s abilities and autonomies can free you up to focus on big-picture goals, said Nate Masterson, chief executive officer of Maple Holistics.
“It’s a fundamental rule of management that can be so hard to follow, but you need to trust your employees,” he said. “If you operate on trust, there may be mistakes here and there, but you’ll find that they’re a lot easier to fix than you might have thought. It also allows your employees to find their own groove in their work, which will give you both more room to be productive.”
Boost employee retention
Your business is only as strong as the team that’s running it. So once you’ve found talented workers you can trust, it’s critical to find ways to keep them around for the long term. Think about how you can boost employee retentionin 2019, said Sean Pour, web designer and online marketing manager at SellMax.
“My goal in 2019 is to lead with more empathy,” he said. “I’m not doing my job well if my employees are too scared to ask for a promotion. Since some people are naturally shy, I will now implement a yearly review into each of my employees’ contracts to discuss their future with the company.”
Schedule ‘me’ time
Starting a company can feel like kissing goodbye to time off. But taking some time to recharge every week is critical to gaining the headspace you need to make savvy business decisions. That’s why many business owners are promising to book some quality time for themselves over the next 12 months.
“There are never enough hours in the day to fit everything in, so when something has to give, it’s usually time I have allocated for myself to exercise or just relax,” said Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder and chief executive officer of Mavens & Moguls. “But I now realize that ‘me’ time is not a luxury, it’s maintenance.”
Allocate time for yourself on your calendar as you would a networking event or meeting, and avoid letting something else take priority over it. Your “me time” might be spent playing with your pet in a park, cozying up with a novel, hitting the gym or anything else that makes you feel good — and takes you away from the bustle of your business.