Tracking small business New Year Resolutions is the first step to keeping them. Even if you’ve already started to forget the goals you set last month, it’s not too late to get back on track.
How to Track the Top 5 Small Business New Year Resolutions – Infographic
80% of people’s New Year’s Resolutions fail by February, sometimes for the simple reason that there was no tracking mechanism in place. Tracking progress is a key component of keeping any type of goal, including New Year Resolutions. Want to lose weight? You must begin tracking your weight with a weigh-in on a weekly, monthly, or some other basis.
Small business New Year Resolutions are no different. Check out these top five small business New Year Resolutions and how to keep them.
Boosting business is the most common small business New Year Resolution, and understandably so. 66% of small business owners state that finding new customers is their top concern.
Take a look back at your company’s sales from the beginning of last year to the end of last year. Now calculate at what percent you want to increase for this year. Are you on track? How are you filtering qualified leads?
If you feel like you’re receiving weak leads, or you’re not attracting the type of buyers you need to grow, take some time to refine your approach. Detail what you do as a business, the type of clients you currently work with, and the clients who represent your “ideal buyer types” and put the data into an easy to navigate lead tracking sheet. Compare the quality of leads you’re generating, and new customers you’re landing, against your current base and your ideal types.
Don’t wait until the end of the quarter or mid-year to check-in on sales, either. Compare each month year over year (or each week year over year) to see how you’re doing compared to last year and against the rate of sales increases you need to grow. The benefit of continually checking your sales as they compare to previous periods and will give you early warning of the need to modify your marketing approach.
Knowing your competition is crucial. It’s the best way to inform customers why they should choose you over other options. If you set this as one of your resolutions, it’s time to see how you’ve been doing.
Have you been shopping your competition, not just online, but in person? Take a day to “secret shop” your biggest competition and get the answers to specific questions; such as:
- Can you tell me about product X?
- What’s the benefit of product X over product Y?
- What type of customers are buying one product over another?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you understand how their business works and help you identify ways to set your company apart. Product and competitor knowledge can also help you overcome objections. If one of your customers says they need to go shop around, you can come back with “what questions do you have?” Knowing the answer to their questions with confidence can convert that maybe to a yes.
Automate to Save Time
As more employees work remotely it’s important to keep the communication strong. Instead of phone meetings, consider using a web conference where you can share documents and see your meeting members. This can boost productivity and participation, and help remote teammates feel more connected to the organization.
If using your time wisely is one of your biggest priorities this year, automating processes can help you get hours back in your day. Adding email to your phone is a great way to multi-task. Imagine this: you’re in a cab on your way to meet a client and you get an email stating that your automated signature is requested on a form, and your employee needs it ASAP. You’ve already allocated that time to transportation, and now you’re completing another task on top of it. Encourage your employees to do the same so your entire team can get time back in their day to complete other tasks.
Take Time Off to Travel
This may be one of the hardest things to think about as a small business owner. While your mind is constantly thinking about how to improve your business; taking time off to travel can be an integral part of your business’ success, because it has been shown to improve productivity by 31%, sales by 37%, and creativity and revenues can triple.
Have you thought about where you want to travel this year? Have you blocked time in your calendar to make sure your trip happens? Working every single day with no chance to recharge is a disservice for your business. Not only should you be thinking about your traveling plans this year, but encourage your team to do the same.
Talking about travel and experiences is also a way to connect with your team. Make a calendar so your team members don’t schedule the same week off, and appoint a contact for that person. Once you have a vacation schedule in place, you’ll see that vacation truly recharges your team and will boost overall productivity for your business.
Be Good at Social Media
Social media marketing is becoming more and more important to small businesses. More than 1 in 3 internet users say they check social media when researching a business. Have you taken time to strategize your social media marketing? Create a calendar that lays out what posts to upload every day and compile a working list of different blog ideas to post on your website.
If you haven’t started conquering social media, it’s not too late as the importance of social media is growing every day. Carve out time to learn the ins and outs of social media marketing so you can get ahead of your competition. The power of sharing off of social media will bring your business awareness and leads that could convert into customers. Having a Facebook and LinkedIn page is not enough, you must understand how to maximize your social media value.
You might also like: 4 Small Business New Year’s Resolutions
Making small business New Year Resolutions is a common thing for an owner to do. But constantly following up on those resolutions is often a missed area. Increasing sales, competitor analysis, automation, travel, and social media are integral parts of your business. Gauging your progress every day/month/quarter will help your business succeed year over year.