Every business (big or small) should reevaluate their business at the start of the New Year. Just as people think about their resolutions, businesses should consider some as well. Since we work primarily with small business, we thought we would put together a list of five resolutions that you should keep in mind as your business starts 2018.
#1. Reflect on Mistakes
Before you can move forward with making any changes to your business or business goals, it’s best if you reflect on the mistakes that were made by your business. Whether these mistakes were made by you, employees, or other staff, you really should spend time thinking about what happened and what your role was. This is the difference between a weak and a strong business. A weak business will fail if the employers never think about how they can avoid the mistakes that were previously made. Of course those who don’t take this step are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Having made a lot of repeated mistakes ourselves, we know that this first resolution can be difficult but ultimately it is a necessary resolution to begin a better year.
#2. Upgrade your Technology
This can be costly for a small business, however if you can afford it, it can help attract more business. For restaurants, this could mean joining the number of online (or app based) delivery services to stay relevant and to also be found for those customers who are users of Eat24, Uber Eats, GrubHub, Postmates, etc! If you’re a small business that is using computers and software, you should consider getting newer versions, particularly if your employees are complaining about the speed of their programs or if their computers are constantly crashing. You really need to take a good look of the technology in your business (like POS systems) and consider an upgrade where possible.
#3. Learn Something New
Although we advise that you learn from your mistakes, that’s not necessarily learning something new. Often times business owners get stuck on one path of conducting their business. As a business owner you can learn something new about your industry and see if it’s applicable to your business goals. Maybe there are new ways to do the same thing you’ve been doing for 30 years. Maybe valued employees will have a fresh perspective on the path that your business takes. Listening to trusted employees can teach you a few new tricks. Learning something new can move your business forward.
#4. Use Social Media
There are plenty of social media platforms out there, between Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, even Yelp which is not considered traditional social media but is extremely social. You have to consider what industry your business is, the branding and voice you want to use while posting, and whether or not posting is useful for you. We don’t advise on posting for every platform, as each platform is different and one may not make sense for your business. For example, Instagram is wildly helpful for the food and beverage industry. Whereas Twitter may not be that useful for your small business since that is considered a platform that is used more for informational purposes. Meanwhile Instagram is great for the food and beverage industry because it is visual. People love seeing great images of food and drinks. Instagram users also love tagging the establishment they are in. Being tagged in someone’s photos is a great way to show even more pictures of your space or your products, from the perspective of a consumer.
Facebook is useful because many use this platform to check in and to post reviews, which adds visibility to your business. For Yelp, it’s one of the most popular platforms consumers use to review establishments. Remember that with Yelp you want to make sure to regularly check and respond to reviews. Negative reviews can really impact a business, responding to them can help show that, one you care about their concerns or complaints and that you also want to help. When Yelp users scroll through the reviews and see that you attempted to offer a solution, it gives you more credibility. Keep in mind that sometimes users will also remove their negative review if you do attempt to make the situation better.
Now that you’ve thought about your mistakes, you’re doing a possible upgrade to your technology, you’re learning something, and you’re using social media to your advantage, your last step is to come up with a strategy for the year that can help achieve your business goals. Whether you’re looking to attract a certain amount of new customers or you’re looking to generate more leads per quarter, you have to sit down with where you currently are and where you want to be. This New Year’s resolution can help your business thrive throughout 2018 and beyond!