Have you made your 2018 business resolutions?

When we think about new year’s resolutions we tend to think of “exercising more” or “travelling more”. But what about making resolutions for your business? Now is the perfect time to reflect and plan where you want your business to be this time next year. The most important question is, how will you get there?

The beginning of a new year poses challenges for business owners – do you try new things or do you stick to what you know? Trying new things is exciting, and it’s a huge opportunity for your business to flourish, but there’s also the possibility it could dilute what’s already working. As with anything, how will you know unless you try?

Your resolutions or goals don’t need to be large scale. In fact, it’s often the most simple ones that see the most success. If you’re struggling for inspiration, here are 4 ideas that could set your business on track for a successful 2018.

Improve your digital presence

In the hustle and bustle of running a business, it’s easy for things to get left behind. When was the last time you updated your website, changed your logo or re-vamped your Facebook page? It’s easy to dismiss investing time into the “minor” details, especially if they seem to be working just fine. But do you really want to go into the new year with your digital existence being “just fine”? What you may consider to be a small detail may actually be the trigger to attract better converting customers. Now is the time to push boundaries and give your business a real makeover. Perhaps it’s time for a totally new marketing strategy. Why not test a new social platform or add an entirely new audience into your email mailing list? In today’s world, a strong digital presence is critical for any business. Gone are the days when traditional advertising, such as newspaper ads, sufficed on their own as a means of getting your business recognised. If you want your business name to spread like wildfire, you need to take the digital sphere seriously.

Learn a new skill

Running a business is tiring, so it’s important to give yourself some breakaway space to focus on other things. Learning a new skill, regardless of whether it’s work related or not, is a great way to achieve just that. It could be something to support the workings of your business, for example attending a weekly workshop to learn about a new marketing tool. Skills such as these can encourage you to develop a different perspective and create a new line of focus in your business. Depending on the activity, it could also push you outside of your comfort zone and give you the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals.

Alternatively, you could dive into something completely unrelated to work. Is there something you’ve always been passionate about but never had the time do? How about learning a new musical instrument or taking a dance class? It’s easy to feel engulfed by the working world, but it’s never too late to change that. Making time for yourself, outside of your business hours, is important for your mental well-being. Learning a new skill can boost confidence and self-esteem, which could make you more productive at work.

Let go of what’s not working

It’s time to stop investing energy and resource into making the unworkable, workable. Legacy issues are a common cause for concern, but no one wants to instigate change because “that’s the way it’s always been”. Perhaps it’s a problem with one of your partnerships or simply an old product that just won’t sell any more. The new year is a time to look forward and stop focusing on fixing the past. Let go of what’s not working and push your energy into finding a better alternative.

Update your technology

Out with the old and in with the new! We all like to feel comfortable, so if something is working, why would we change it? It’s important to remember that the most successful businesses didn’t get to where they are today without challenging traditional ideas and ways of working. Perhaps you have used the same data software since you opened your business, and changing that seems more of a hassle than it’s worth. Updating your processes and internal systems could be the trigger to skyrocket the efficiency of your business. If you aren’t ready to rewire the internal workings of your business, the small steps are just as important. Maybe it’s just time to treat yourself and your employees to new computers? If you want to drive your business forward this year, you need to look the part.

It’s easy to find the notion of new year’s resolutions overwhelming. As we all know too well, resolutions are easily broken. So this year, why not re-frame how you think about them? Perhaps 2018 could be the year to create a “business bucket list”? A much more positive and rewarding way to plan your year.