Seven Small Business New Year’s Resolutions

Congratulations!  You survived 2016, and now it’s time to start with a clean slate for 2017!

With many small businesses closing out their books for their year and starting to prepare for the tax season, many of us are thinking about ways to improve our business.

Whether it’s finding better ways to manage your finances, improving your sales and marketing, or addressing your brand, we have seven great new years resolutions that many small businesses can leverage in 2017.

1. Overhaul your website

When is the last time your website has had a facelift?  Is the content stale?  Do you even have a website?  Is it mobile friendly?

This is a great time to start thinking about your website and your brand for 2017.  If you’re a business that does seasonal sales, particularly in the last quarter of the year, then this is the ideal time to start thinking about your website for 2017 sales.

2. Improve your marketing

Ah, the realm of marketing–inbound, outbound, PPC, SEO, newsletters, performance metrics, analytics, data… math… numbers…  Where do you start?

Many of us are reviewing our numbers from 2016, and thinking about all the money we left on the table by not spending more on marketing and sales.

What is your current strategy with finding new leads?  Are you doing any search engine optimization?  What about pay-per-click advertising?  Social media marketing?

And what about existing clients?  Are you doing anything to nurture them?  Do you reach out to them regularly, either with newsletters or social media?

3. Build that application you’ve always wanted

It’s inevitable.  Once you get your feet planted, and your business cranking, you immediately start thinking of all the cool apps that your clients could use.  Maybe it’s as simple as a better shipping alert system, or maybe it’s an application that facilitates your core product.

Now is the time to start developing a plan and a roadmap for your application.  Many development firms (us included) start planning out 2017 as far as resources and revenue projections.  It’s much better to get started on your fresh new idea at the beginning of the year, both from a planning perspective, and a tax perspective

(Remember, developers are a business expense to your business, so why not maximize how much you can write off this year by starting now?)

4. Automate your back office workflows

We can’t help but picture this scene in Office Space where an external company comes in to audit the workflows and inefficiencies of Initech.  However, we all know how inefficient office workflows can be.

If you (or someone else) in your business seems to always be repeating the same mundane task, maybe it’s time to look at ways to automate this process so you spend more of your time working on your business, not in your business.

5. Fix your dreadful accounting system

We’ve all been there.  Maybe you’re using that outdated copy of Quicken 2006 that only runs on XP to maintain your books, or you’re still stuck in the realm of spreadsheets.  And that bookkeeper you’ve been meaning to hire still hasn’t come to fruition.

Either way, this is a great time to fix your accounting.  Besides getting to start off the new year with a new accounting system, you’ll get to enjoy a glimmer of hope as you prepare this year’s taxes using your old system.

6. Get your legal contracts and agreements in order

Whether you’re a service-based company or a product-based company, you probably have (or need) some level of legal contracts in place for the work you do.  Whether it’s contracts with your employees, customers, or both, it’s time to re-evaluate your existing contracts and see if things still make sense.

In particular, think about the ever evolving realm online, as laws regarding digital signatures and electronic agreements, as well as security issues, come into play.  As the laws evolve, so must your contracts.

7. Improve your internal systems with SOPs

S-O-what?  Standard Operating Procedures.  These are the standard procedures your employees must follow when they do certain things.

Maybe it’s the process for requesting paid time off, or perhaps its the new hire procedures for creating a new employee’s account and access levels.

Either way, the new year is a great time to start thinking about your procedures, and either standardizing procedures that aren’t already standardized, or improving those that are.

What are your Business New Year’s Resolutions?  Feel free to share with us in the comments.

If you need help with your business resolutions, we’d love to help!  In particular, we can help with your website needs, application needs, marketing needs, and automation needs. Contact us today!