Each year, small business owners reflect on their successes, opportunities for improvement, and how far they’ve come compared to where they were this time last year. Often, though, they don’t use that insight to make effective resolutions for the coming year. Forget about exercising more, eating healthier, and all those other typical resolutions that usually get abandoned by mid-January.
Eventually, we all give up on those generic goals because they don’t really mean anything to us. They don’t inspire passion. But improving your business? That’s something to be passionate about. Here are some resolutions that you can really make (and stick to) so that you can make the most of the new year.
Being a small business owner brings with it a lot of responsibility. The best thing that you can do for yourself (and your business) is to set some real boundaries. Choose working hours and stick to them. Have an emergency phone if you need it, but don’t take all the calls that come in while you’re trying to enjoy family time. Yes, you need to commit to your business, but not so much that it interferes with the rest of your life.
How can you promote that work-life balance to your employees if you aren’t leading by example? Even if it’s just a matter of learning to say “no” to certain things in your business, that’s a goal worth having. And, once you learn to master this in your professional life, you may find that it’s easier for you to set boundaries in your personal life, too.
It’s easy to think that we can handle things, even when we know we really can’t. Asking for help is difficult (and often expensive!). However, there are so many different resources out there today that small business owners need to take advantage of what they can. This year, resolve to find as many ways as possible to ask for help so that you can work smarter, not harder.
Thanks to the Internet and digital technology, there are a lot of ways that you can get assistance for your small business. For example, consider adding an answering service so that there’s someone answering the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it doesn’t have to be you. Once you start looking around, you’ll likely find that you can get a lot more for your money with outsourcing than you anticipated.
Those who succeed in business, and in life, are those who are committed to learning for the rest of their lives. They have a growth mindset—they believe that anything is possible if they are willing to learn and embrace failures as opportunities. You should resolve to embrace this mentality yourself if you haven’t already.
Find new ways to learn and engage yourself in every opportunity that you have to gain knowledge. Get involved with your industry, your customers, and anyone else who can teach you something about succeeding in business. A willingness and eagerness to learn will go far in helping you become successful—the most successful are those who are always learning and willing to accept that they don’t (and can’t) know everything.
People want intentional interactions. They want someone to pay attention to them, listen to their needs, and provide a quality of service that is unmatched. The increasingly competitive landscape and global economy are exacerbating these issues, creating a need for all small businesses to embrace their engagement with others and find the best ways to put their time to use.
Let’s use the example above of hiring an answering service—while someone else is answering the phones, you can better invest your time in checking reports and checking in on your new trainees, or even on taking care of emails, calls, and other communications that you know require your specific attention. The more intentional you become with your time, the less time you’ll waste and the more efficient your business will become.
It’s tempting to embrace marketing tools to market as much as we possibly can, but that’s not really effective. Now and in the coming year, people are going to be much more focused on getting quality service and building meaningful relationships with the small businesses they work with.
People enjoy small businesses, but they also expect you to be able to deliver all the solutions that they need. This can be a bit tricky at first, but it’s a balancing act that you can master if you invest the time. Once you’ve established meaningful connections, you’ll be able to get all kinds of insights that can help you improve your organization.
And perhaps most valuably, when you are known for delivering this level of connection with your customers and others, it will bolster your reputation in ways nothing else can.
Smith.ai makes asking for help easy with our 24/7 answering service. Plus, we’ll help free up your time so that you can focus on things that need your attention while we handle the leads, questions, and other incoming calls, chats, and more. Our dedicated virtual receptionists can help you create a custom solution for communications and admin tasks that includes everything from having live people answer the phones around the clock to helping with outreach campaigns and outbound sales.
Ask about our solutions for appointment scheduling, lead intake, live website chat, and even payment collection. Plus, it all comes with a custom strategy to ensure that we never miss a beat. While you’re busy bettering your business, you can count on us to ensure that your communications are on track. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to us at email@example.com.