With the end of 2018 upon us, we all find ourselves thinking about New Year resolutions, New Year plans and New Year goals. Lose weight, eat healthier, spend wiser, we all have our list (last year my resolution was to be a better listener). We all look at these things from a personal aspect, but we often overlook them in our professional/business lives.  Our businesses need refreshing just like we do.  Here are 10 tips to help your business as you start a new year:

1. Update your Business Plan

Maybe it has been pushed to the side, maybe you haven’t assessed it in a while… whatever the case may be, it’s time to pull out that business plan and consider updating it. Have your goals changed? Has your target market changed? Change it to meet these changes, this is a living breathing document that needs to be looked over throughout the year.

2. Create your New Year business resolutions

It’s a new year and you have the perfect opportunity to set some new goals. Get specific, create an action plan to gauge your progress. Set milestones throughout the year to measure your results and come December 31st you can see what you’ve accomplished.

3. Evaluate your marketing 

Marketing is a catalyst in new businesses. Overlooking your marketing could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in your business success. Take time to analyze what marketing tactics you’re taking, decide if they’re giving you any return on investment (ROI) and change them to adapt to the new technologies. Create a new marketing plan if you need to or find a consultant, those steps are worth the money!

4. Review your online branding

Have you ever googled yourself? Google your business! Find out what is on the web about your business and work on refreshing those old “About Us” pages. Create an online marketing strategy that fits the needs of your company. 

5. Invest in new technology

Money is always tight for any new or small business, but have you updated your computers lately? Purchased the most recent program software? It’s time to stop dragging your feet and go ahead with it. Updated technology will help your efficiency, your productivity and your patience!

6. Network

Have you been to any networking events lately? The Chamber of Commerce will be holding networking event opportunities. Go to an event, show some face time with local business owners and market your business. Person-to-Person marketing is almost always the most effective means of marketing. Go to a conference, learn from experts and spread the word about your business. Who knows you could even meet potential clients. Networking is one of the most vital parts of business marketing. 

7. Get organized

They say that the smartest people have messy desks. Even if this is true, organizing your work space will make you feel rejuvenated. There’s nothing like coming back from the New Year holiday to a clean and tidy desk. Another organization option is getting your calendar in order for the new year. Sit down and take time to write out (or type out) upcoming events, holidays and vacations! Write down the month your goals should be completed. Organize your days and your year will already feel productive! 

8. Assess your hiring needs

Are you just too busy? Take time to consider your needs and think about hiring a helping hand. Creating a new job adds to the economic development of the area – as well as giving you a little room to breathe. Tight budget? Think about hiring a free-lancer, volunteers or interns. There are many options for people who have tight budgets, but don’t let this year create stress in your life because you’re understaffed. 

9. Explore trainings

There are tons of webinars, and free training classes offered by local community colleges and online companies. Explore the idea of fine tuning your training on programs, and skills that you don’t feel confident on. Consultants are always available to train you on a business avenue that you aren’t 100% on. With a new year, learn a new skill and start training yourself and your employees to be better!

10. Become a role model

Have you ever had an amazing mentor? Have you ever BEEN an amazing mentor? Be a role model. Your team and your community are watching you, what behaviors do you want them to see? Are you being someone that you would want to meet? Make that a personal goal this year to be a person (business or not) that you would want to know. Attitude reflects leadership.

We’re excited to see what 2019 has in store for the Chamber and our community. We are here to help our businesses succeed! Thank you for your continuous support this past year. We truly couldn’t do what we do without you. I wish you each a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!!