The New Year is right around the corner! If you’re anything like our team, you’re probably ready to say good riddance to 2021 and hello to the New Year! If you haven’t already, now’s the time to set your resolutions. If you’re a small business owner, consider setting a few business-related resolutions for 2022. These small changes can have a big impact on your business.
- Create or improve your website
This year, many small businesses had to pivot from brick-and-mortar stores to eCommerce sites. Creating a stellar website is a great way to increase sales, build your brand, and reach a wider and more diverse customer base. If you haven’t created a website yet, make this the year you do. And if you already have a website, use this year to make it more user-friendly. For help creating or transforming your website, apply for our no-cost Digital Connect Program.
- Take time for yourself
Small business owners are notorious for overworking. They work long hours and never take time off. If that sounds like you, make a resolution to prioritize self-care this year. You can start small by making sure you take a lunch break every now and then, or go bigger and treat yourself to a massage, golf break, or even a nice vacation. Giving yourself time to relax and rejuvenate will allow you your best foot forward in your business.
- Get your business plan in shape
Businesses that have a fully formed business plan grow 30% faster and are 129% more likely to succeed past the initial startup phase. With stats like those, it’s shocking how many businesses have no plan. If you’re one of those businesses, don’t let 2022 pass without creating your business plan. You can work one-on-one with an SBDC consultant to help get your business plan in place.
- Go customer-centric
This year, make your customer your #1 priority. Dedicate this year to really getting to know your customers. Research what their interests are, where they spend their time, what they spend their money on, and what their values are. You can search for trends in your customer database, find insights from your employees, and interview your real-life customers. Use this data to create customer personas that can help guide your marketing efforts in the future.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate
When you’ve built your business from the ground up, it can be hard to let other people help. But as your business grows, you’ll need help to keep things running smoothly and efficiently. This year, make an effort to delegate more to your employees. Small business owners can quickly get burnt out when they try to manage every single aspect of their business. Try leaving repetitive and daily tasks to your employees. It’ll give you a chance to catch your breath and leave more time to manage the big-picture stuff.
- Expand your email strategy
Email is one of the best ways to market your small business. In 2022, focus on building up your email list and start expanding your email marketing initiatives. Email is popular for a reason, it’s effective and inexpensive. There are plenty of out-of-the-box email marketing solutions available. Platforms like Mailchimp even offer free versions for up to a certain number of contacts. Once you choose a platform, focus on creating high-quality emails that provide real value to your customers. Track how your emails perform, and make changes when you need to.
- Improve your social media
How’s your social media presence? Are you posting infrequently? Is your content relevant to your audience? 4.5 billion people are on social media, so make a resolution to start or improve your business’s social media accounts. Pick the channels that will reach your target audience and focus on posting quality content regularly, whether that’s twice a week or several times a day. Consistency is key! Learn how to kick your social media efforts into high gear at Getting Ready to Enter the World of Social Media on January 10th at 12pm.
- Network more
Networking is one of the best ways to impact your business. Some people find networking challenging but it doesn’t have to be. Meeting people in your industry and other small business owners in your community can be a great way to exchange helpful information and talk about challenges only they can understand. Networking is also a great way to meet potential partners and collaborators.
- Start a blog
Add a blog section to your website and start creating content your audience wants to read. It’s a cost-effective way to reach more customers and increase your brand authority. Write authentically and provide advice and information that will be of true value to your customers. Blogging also helps with search engine optimization, making it more likely your brand will appear in search results.
- Dedicate more time to learning
The New Year is the perfect time to learn something new. Choose a new skill and try your best to stick with it. Maybe you can learn a new language, take a knitting class, or improve your business skills this year. If the business is where your interests lie, our calendar is full of webinars on everything from creating a website to polishing a marketing plan. Learn best practices from industry experts and start to become an expert yourself.
- Support other small businesses
As a small business owner, you know how important it is to shop small and local. Help support businesses in your community the way others support you. Skip the giant coffee chain and opt for a latte from the cafe around the corner or swing by the farmers’ market to stock up on your kitchen essentials. When you support a small business, you’re helping your neighbors achieve their dreams and keeping dollars in your community.
Whatever New Year’s resolutions you decide to make, the best thing you can do is stick with it. If you don’t see results right away, keep going. Growing your small business takes time but it’s worth it! If you need help or guidance, reach out to our consultants for one-on-one consulting. The Temple SBDC hopes you have a wonderful New Year and we look forward to helping you achieve your business goals!