It’s the new year. It is 2019. This marks the time of the year where people all around the world are optimistically setting themselves a list of New Year Resolutions – whether it be adapting better eating habits, signing up for a gym membership, traveling the world, quitting smoking or buying a bigger piggy bank to save more money. However, New Year Resolutions aren’t just limited to personal goals. As business owners, we should also consider new year resolutions for our business too!
To help you get thinking, here’s a list of 7 resolutions you need to help you achieve optimal performance for your business in 2019.
1.Set Financial Goals and Stay Committed
It is important to set financial goals that motivate you and are related to the high priorities in your business. This would give you purpose and value in achieving them.
Consider what outcomes and objectives you want to achieve and set SMART guidelines: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
Specific – your financial goals must be clear and defined because vague ones are unhelpful and you may lose yourself along the way. For example: Become a well known small business in Sydney that earns $500,000 a year.
Measurable – Being able to measure your business goals will allow you to measure your success. If your goal is unmeasurable, how will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? For example, I’ll become successful if I am asked to speak publicly at least once a fortnight, write a blog article once a week, and interact on Facebook and Linkedin every day with your audience.
Attainable – Are your goals realistic? Are they truly achievable? Make sure your financial goals are possible in attaining otherwise it may demoralise you and erode your confidence. On the other hand, avoid setting goals that are too easy. Accomplishing these goals won’t establish a sense of achievement because you didn’t work hard to achieve it. By setting realistic yet challenging goals, not only will you have the confidence but also gain a strong sense of achievement. For example: Accomplish this goal by acquiring the services of a PR firm and hiring a content marketer.
Relevant – By relevant goals, I mean goals that are aligned to your current business. This will help you stay focused on what needs to be achieved. For example: Establishing my legal expertise of 20 years will allow me to reach more small business owners who need legal advice.
Time-bound – Yes. You need a deadline. Putting a time frame on your goals will urge you to complete them, so you can achieve them quicker, meaning you’ll be able to celebrate earlier. For example: Become a well known legal consultant in 2 years.
One of the biggest issues with new year resolutions is that they are normally forgotten because no one sticks to them. A strong commitment is demanding especially if you want to become successful in your business. And especially if these new year resolutions require big changes, it may feel like too big of an effort with little or no build up. To stay committed to a big resolution, it is advised to tackle this small steps at a time. And once you get the hang of it, increase in difficulty as you become more accustomed to the change. This will make your goal realistic, challenging and absolutely attainable.
2. Review Your Current Situation
Performing an audit on your business’ current strategic position will help you understand what stage your business is at. That way you can set goals and strategies in alignment with the resources and capabilities of your business.
For an internal analysis, consider your business’ current strengths and weaknesses. For example, My legal firm has a good relationship with its local customers, however, there are cash flow problems due to slow growth.
For an external analysis, consider your business’ opportunities and threats in its current external environment. For example, there are similar products and services in the market that are not as reliable and more costly than mine. However, there is an accelerating change in the digital environment that’s been caused by digital disruption.
From making both internal and external assessments, you’ll be able to address the weaknesses and threats first, set goals and focus your efforts to achieve them successfully.
3. Outline the Actions Required to Achieve These Goals
This step is exceptionally important yet many skip this step in the goal-setting process. Now that you’ve planned your business goals and have assessed your business’ current situation, you must not forget to plan the steps required to tick off your resolutions. By writing out individual steps for each goal and crossing each one off as you complete them, you’ll see the gradual progress towards your ultimate goal. This will benefit you even for long-term goals.
For example: To achieve the goal, do you need space, cash, people, equipment, materials, expertise or systems?
4. Don’t be Afraid to Find the Right Advice
Following an intuition in operating your business with no applied strategy can be dangerous. By getting the right advice and right education from a specialised expert, you will be able to save time and money. For example, a digital marketing expert will be able to formulate a digital strategy in alignment with your business objectives, goals, and organisational structure.
Here at Netstripes, we find many clients “knowing bits and pieces” however they do not know how to apply them. By getting the right guidance, you’ll be able to understand your customers’ journeys, the touch points and how to optimise user experience by easing customer convenience, and the analytical tools to measure performance.
5. Jump Onto the Content Marketing Bandwagon.
If you haven’t yet had the chance to create some juicy content for your digital audience, then you should quickly jump onto that bandwagon. In the essence of inbound and outbound marketing, content marketing is the new digital trend. It requires creating and distributing relevant, entertaining and valuable content to retain, attract and drive a defined audience straight to your website. Like the sea, the online landscape is limitless. So how long are you going to fish for? With content marketing, the fishes will swim right towards you.
For 2019, think about creating content via email newsletters, blog articles, social media posts, youtube videos etc. This will honestly help drive all the traffic to your website. But remember, consistency is key! It won’t be effective if you only do it once a year.
6. Get Social on Social Media
Everyone needs a strong digital presence. It’s important to proactively engage on social media with the purpose of maintaining our long-term relationships with our customers. If your social media engagement has been inconsistent lately and has possibly fallen off the radar, here’s your chance to refresh your social media outlook for 2019.
Our tip! If you’re not the “pro” in social media, then look like one. Make sure your images are taken in high resolution, utilise engaging footage like videos and gifs, incorporate hashtags and shortened links, create a conversation.
And of course, understanding your audience is absolutely imperative! Ask yourself which social media platform your target audience interacts the most on (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, Whatsapp etc.) and use that platform to engage in discussion with them. Create a group or community, help them with their problems and needs and become their supportive and reliable source of advice. Social media is a great tool to help nurture your relationships with your customers, benefiting your business for the long term.
7. Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Technological and Innovative Updates
The digital environment is constantly evolving. With more and more people coming online every day, keeping ahead of technology is a necessity if you want your business to anticipate long-term growth and not fall behind, lose opportunities and become irrelevant. Keep educating yourself about your surroundings and how you can take advantage of today’s digital resources.