6 New Years Resolutions You Can Actually Keep in 2015
A new year means people everywhere are resolving to make changes they think will bring better results. Whether thats losing weight, quitting smoking, achieving a better work/life balance or traveling more, it seems like everyone has something theyd like to improve about themselves. And its no different for small business owners 40 percent of whom do set New Year's Resolutions, according to a January 2015 Staples Business Hub poll.
We recently asked small business owners on Facebook about their New Years Resolutions for this year. Here are the predominant goals and some advice for keeping them.
Small Business New Years Resolution #1: Start My Own Business
So youve decided this is the year youre going to start your own business. Good for you! Owning a small business is full of meaningful rewards, but its not without challenges. So, whether your venture is centered on pets or eldercare, business services, tech development or something else, make sure you have a plan in place for getting the necessary funding and finding new customers. Speak with a bank or another financial institution, for starters, before tapping into friends and family, and dont overlook crowdfunding you may be surprised by how many people you dont know are looking to support a business like yours.
Small Business New Years Resolution #2: Grow or Expand My Business
More than 30 percent of respondents to a recent Staples Business Hub poll said growing their business was something they looked forward to doing in 2015. Hopefully many of these entrepreneurs have already started by networking with business owners in their local area and industry, and making sure their Web sites are optimized for search engines. If youre thinking about expanding your business, whether its a restaurant or an accounting firm, make sure you think about the consequences beyond needing extra space. Molly Ziske, owner of the college care package business Love Delivered from Home, suggests finding a mentor. If you can, find someone whos done what youre planning to do, whos been through it. Youll probably learn things that you hadnt even thought of, she says.
Small Business New Years Resolution #3: Continue My Education
No matter how long youve been in the business world, continuing your education is essential for growing your company and yourself. There are many online and offline options that dont involve re-enrolling at your local college, and can be taken on your own schedule. But even if you dont take an actual class, always be learning, whether its from your peers and customers on social media or the things in your daily life that dont go as planned.
Small Business New Years Resolution #4: Achieving a Better Work/Life Balance
Making time for yourself can be a challenge for entrepreneurs. If youre striving for a better balance between your office and home lives this year, a good first step is prioritizing and delegating where you can. Of course, if you work in a home office, separating the two has its own issues, including who gets to use your technology and when. Every member of your family needs to know that work takes precedence over play where the computer is concerned, and that they should have separate accounts to ensure no one accidentally crosses a line, like posting personal pictures on your business pages.
Small Business New Years Resolution #5: Eat Better/Exercise More/Lose Weight
Eating better, exercising more and losing weight are three of the most common resolutions every year. You can help yourself and your employees by ensuring that your office breakroom is stocked with healthy snacks or a vending machine with healthy options. During the day, going for a walk (while monitoring your steps) or doing some other simple exercising can go a long way toward keeping you fit and healthy. And if you want to go the extra mile (pun intended), think about investing in a treadmill desk, so you can exercise your muscles while you exercise your mind.
Small Business New Years Resolution #6: Prepare Dont Just React
Being prepared for anything is one of the secrets to success for small businesses, whether its an handling an emergency situation or doing your taxes. In life, you cant control all things, but you can control how you run your business and what you learn for the next time, explains Alfonso Santaniello, owner of the Creative Strategy Agency in Springfield, MA, which was able to stay afloat after a break-in thanks to some smart planning. Being proactive instead of reactive helped this small business owner keep his cool at a tough time. Maintaining a more orderly small business will help you stay ahead of the game, so when you do need to put out fires (real or figurative), youre ready.
No matter what your resolution is, we wish you a very Happy New Year!