5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business

By Jessi Pierce

01/04/16

Once again it’s the beginning of a new year and a fresh opportunity to do things better and smarter. Most of the time folks think about personal resolutions—losing weight, exercising more, and sticking to a budget. But do you know it’s also wise to set down some New Year’s resolutions for your business? Here are five that can bring about some solid changes and good energy for the year ahead:

  1. Be picky—Every business has clients and customers that carry over from one year to the next. Most of the time that’s a really good thing—but sometimes it’s not. If you find yourself with high-maintenance clients that take up loads of your time, yet pay slowly (or not at all) and fail to grow their business with you, it might be time to part ways. You deserve to work with customers that appreciate what you have to offer and properly value your time and service. If they don’t, use this year to make room for those clients who do.
  2. Reduce paper—Piles of folders, papers, and business cards take up valuable space and make your office look cluttered and unorganized. Consider digitizing contracts, invoices, and everything else that doesn’t need to be in paper form. There are tons of software programs that allow you to do this, and the time you save from not having to search through mountains of paper clutter is better spent on your customers anyway.
  3. Focus on taxes all year—One of the best ways to avoid panic at tax time is to arrange regular meetings with your accountant throughout the year. Use these get-togethers to update him or her on changes in your business, investments in equipment and inventory, and any other issues that might impact what you owe. The more information your accountant has throughout the year, the fewer surprises you’ll have at tax time.
  4. Keep connected with employees—When all goes well with your employees it’s tempting to set things on autopilot. Don’t. Taking the pulse of your staff through regular get-togethers and conversations allows you to get ahead of any problems that might be brewing. Don’t wait until they bring issues to you, or worse, your clients. By keeping the communication flowing with workers, you stay on top of little things before they become big things, and it shows them that you care about their well-being. 
  5. Make time for you—There’s a reason why flight attendants instruct you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs. If you’re not alert and aware, you’re going to be of little use to anyone else. The same goes for your business. If you’re sleep-deprived, stressed to the breaking point, and never exercise, you’re not going to be much use to your employees or customers—no matter how devoted you are to your business. Schedule exercise the way you do meetings. Make an appointment with a nutritionist if you need a better eating plan. And get some sleep. Most experts recommend at least seven hours. Taking care of you isn’t selfish or self-centered. It’s the best investment you can make in your business for 2016.