Whether you are a sole trader working in construction or running a successful office-based business, any business owner has to wear a plethora of hats. This ranges from becoming a marketing genius to an accounts whiz or sales hotshot. All of these important side tasks end up taking time away from doing what you are best at; running your business. This is why we've compiled this short guide to some useful New Year's resolutions for every small business owner. Try this to get some much-needed time back and help your business grow.
1) Invest In Your Customer Service
Improving customer service in your small business does not have to come with a huge cost - in fact, none at all. Little things, like reading online reviews of your small businesses and replying to all of them, listening to your staff - both how they are talking to customers and what they are telling you about customer feedback - and proactively asking for their feedback, can make a considerable difference.
You could also consider setting up alerts on Google and social media so you get notified any time someone mentions you or your business online.
2) Improve Your Website Experience
Did you know Google updated its algorithm in 2021 to better reward websites that offer the best user experience? This is not simply the loading time of your website but takes into account several different metrics. To improve your business operations, you can take advantage of Google’s free tools to see how your website performs. Familiarizing yourself with Google Analytics can help you understand customer behavior, for example why people are leaving your website.
If you are considering getting a new website for your own business, it is advisable to consult a developer and set clear KPIs (include customer experience!).
3) Overhaul Your Social Media
Whether you enjoy it or not, social media management has become a crucial aspect of managing a successful business - and it is not going away! So, why not use it to your advantage?
There is a large number of free resources to improve your social media marketing efforts, ranging from guides on how to improve the performance of your social to tips on when to best publish content, available for free. You could also consider investing in a social media management tool to help you schedule posts, analyze performance, or provide resources on social media management.
It can be useful to undertake comparative research and review what your competitors use their social media platforms for. Or, if you want feedback and ideas more specific to your company and business structure - ask your team and clients for input.
4) Listen to your staff
No one knows your business better than those who work for it. Whether it is feedback on your new business plan, new products, or marketing - staff input is invaluable to any business leadership. Whether you employ one part-timer or have a team, if you have got people working with you, listen to them.
Staff are also free advertising for your business - if they support your product and like working for the company, they are likely to provide the best word-of-mouth marketing you could ask for. However, if they are not the biggest fans of your company, this might damage your reputation.
Staff should also be rewarded for outstanding performance. Of course, this depends on your business, but ensure sure your staff is rewarded if they bring extra business in. Making your team feel valued is one of the most important aspects of small business ownership and leadership.
5) Excel In Your Skill Set and Delegate the Rest
Using skill effectively is a cornerstone of a successful business. If you are a good web designer, it is best to focus on that aspect of the business and delegate e.g., bookkeeping and sales to your team.
If you do not want to hire staff or a third party, check what automation software is out there to make your life easier. No one needs to be spending hours with their head in an Excel sheet just to balance their books these days - there is a range of software out there to help you automate and take some work off your hands.
A key consideration should be cost versus time - if you are spending hours doing a job that is not your main business, would it be more cost-effective to outsource it?
Of course, particularly in the early days of your business, you could ask friends and family to lend their skills. Need imagery for your website? Maybe someone you know is a keen photographer and would love to help you out.
Business Resolutions FAQs?
- How can I grow my business with no money?
Research is key - look into what you can get for free. There is a range of software options for small businesses that come with no or very little cost. Of course, particularly in the early days of your business, you could ask friends and family to lend their skills.
- What are the best accounting automation tools for my business?
There are several automation tools for accounting, including Xero, Soho Books, and FreshBooks. Google holds a lot of information on each of the tools and their pros and cons.
- How can I improve my website for free?
There are several ways to improve your website performance for free, including SEO keywords, linking it in your social media posts, posting and linking in forums, and taking advantage of email marketing.