If you run a small business, why not start a clean slate and make 2014 the year you take things to the next level? Here are five business resolutions that are actually worth sticking to.
- Re-assess your set-up
If you really want to grow your business and income, it’s vital that you start by re-assessing your situation and deciding if it needs any adjusting. If you rent an office space and never see clients on the premises, could it be to your advantage to work from home, thereby saving on rent and receiving tax breaks? Are you receiving the maximum take-home pay through your current umbrella company? If you work as a sole trader, but would like to employ someone, might it be to your advantage to set up a limited company instead? Is it time to put your fees up or refresh your service? Do your systems need an overhaul?
- Write a growth plan
If you’re serious about growing your business, you need to have a plan. Figure out how much you want your business to grow by, then work out exactly how you are going to do that. Remember to keep your plan achievable, with realistic deadlines, action points and smaller goals along the way. The few hours (or days) it will take you to write a fantastic growth plan could make an enormous difference to your bank account at the end of the year. It’s worth the effort.
- Stay motivated
The third resolution you should make this year is the resolve to stay motivated no matter what happens. Remind yourself why you started your business in the first place. List all the reasons you want to be your own boss and all the positive expectations you had or have about your small business. Think about what your life might be like if you put all your efforts into your business ambitions. Allow yourself to dream big and use that motivation to start taking real action towards your success.
- Keep learning
Don’t allow the fact that you have to pay for your own training hold you back. Start a “training budget” and ensure you stay up-to-date with the latest developments, techniques and information related to your field. Set aside some time every week to read relevant material, watch videos, attend online seminars or real-life workshops and consume as much useful information as you can. Websites like Coursera and MIT Open Courseware offer quality correspondence education at no costs whatsoever. The only downside? You need to dedicate your time to completing their modules.
- Get Social
If your business is not yet harnessing the power of social media, now’s the time to do so. The internet provides an enormous marketing opportunity at a fraction of the cost of traditional media. Still spending a fortune on newspaper ads? Get closer to your target market by reaching them directly where they spend most of their time – online! There are several online resources to help you set up a Facebook, YouTube or Twitter account. Make sure you do thorough research before you start – speak to experts or friends and family in the know, or hire a professional to show you the ropes. It’s a business risk if you don’t do it correctly, but do it you should.
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