New Year’s Resolutions can be tough. By the time February rolls around, most New Year’s Resolutions have been forgotten or abandoned. The problem is that many people set goals for themselves without also laying out a solid plan of objectives or steps to take in order to reach those goals. Often times it is difficult knowing what goals to set and why. In order to help better both you and your business, we have put together a concise list of ten attainable and measurable goals that will help your business grow in 2019. Below you will find these goals laid out and explained so that they can easily be applied to your business and the aspirations which you have for it.
10. Reduce Expenses
An easy way to grow and ensure the continued health of your business is by reducing expenses. Unnecessary expenses can leech off of a healthy business and turn it into a sick one. If your business’ finances aren’t well understood, there may be problems as you attempt to expand or grow your business in 2019. However, there are many ways to successfully reduce business expenses and increase room in the budget.
An easy way to reduce costs around the office is by increasing technology use and going paperless. While the money saved on paper and ink may feel like a nickel and dime solution at first, the money saved by not having to print, circulate, and store paper documents adds up quickly. Technology plays a hand in this because many services and methods of communique that are expensive on paper can be done much faster and in a much more cost-effective manner via the internet and different software options. This year, take the time to analyze your budget and to search for ways to save. Even if it’s just a few dollars a day, the money saved can channel directly into the growth of your business.
9. Increase Productivity
Another simple manner of increasing your business’ profits and growth is by managing and increasing productivity. Whether you run a company by yourself or if you have a dozen employees, there are always means with which to stimulate productivity without stepping on anyone’s toes or harming employee morale.
For instance, de-cluttering your workspace plays a major role in the efficiency with which you are able to handle the day to day tasks of your business. This applies to both physical workspaces and your virtual workspace. If your desk or desktop computer is unorganized, you are wasting precious time in navigating through the mess. If it takes several minutes to locate a particular file or document, you are setting yourself minutes back each time you need to allocate a new file. Consequently, if employees are forced to navigate through a crowded workspace or a convoluted software system, then their time and energy is being wasted. Don’t encourage dissatisfaction by cluttering your employee’s tasks, but increase productivity by streamlining and simplifying the systems already in place.
8. Initiate X New Client/Customer Relationships Each Week
Anyone can write “Grow the Business” down as a goal, but how is that really achieved? The fact of the matter is that goals mean absolutely nothing without some initiative behind them. Goals written on paper do not work themselves into existence, effort has to be made to bring them to fruition. So, if “Grow the Business” is a goal for your business in 2019, start by taking simple steps towards that growth.
For example, how are you expanding your client or customer base? If you don’t readily have an answer, that may be the reason why your business is stagnant. A simple objective for this goal is to initiate contact with a set number of potential clients and customers each week. This set number can be set per employee or per the company but needs to be realistic to what you can manage as a company. After this number is set, then make sure your business is being put in front of that number of people per week. Utilize the tools at your disposal such as the internet, phone calls, or even traditional advertising if applicable. The bottom line is that you must take a conscious step with measurable objectives in mind.
7. Hire Your First Employee
It can often be difficult to determine whether or not a small business is ready to take on a new employee. This is especially difficult when hiring your first employee. How do you know when the business is financially stable enough to take on and support someone else? Often times it can be difficult to determine when a business has enough profit and growth to take on an employee. However, it can be helpful to set a growth goal for your business that is measured by the ability to take on another employee.
The ability to take on a new employee is not only a positive sign of your business’ growth so far, but it is also a great way to aid continued growth in the future. An extra set of hands and an extra mind may be all you need to take your business to the next professional level.
6. Increase Web Traffic
An important aspect of managing any modern business is maintaining a website. Websites are not only a great way to advertise and attract new clients, but to assist and relate to existing clients. Whether your website is designed with the direct sale of goods and services in mind, or if it is designed to lead clients to you, it is important that your site maintains a consistent stream of web traffic.
A measurable goal to set for your business in 2019 is to increase web traffic to your business’ website. This can be done many ways, but the most important way is by regularly performing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your website. SEO not only holds your content to higher quality standards, but it increases the visual appeal and performance of your website for search engines and website visitors. A weekly, or even monthly, evaluation of your website’s SEO may be all you need to increase web traffic and to skyrocket your business growth.
5. Expand Your Professional Network
Often times the key to increasing growth for your small business is by expanding your own professional network. This expansion can be done personally or as a business, meaning that you can expand your network as John Smith or you can expand your network as John Smith LLC. The key is to make sure that professional relationships are being established, especially if the people you network with can benefit or be benefited by your business.
Most cities have a plethora of networking events and/or small business meet ups on a regular bases. These events and gatherings are a great place to get your name and face out there while also displaying some of the products and services you have to offer. This can lead to many partnership and sales opportunities down the road.
To expand your professional network in 2019, make an objective to attend one networking event every quarter, or even every month. The connections you make may just be what takes your business to the next level.
4. Better Understand Your Business’ Strengths
A great way to expand and grow your business is by making sure you understand the areas in which your business excels and where its strengths are compared to other businesses. By understanding what your business brings to the table, you are able to better market it and to sell it better when discussing it with others. A proper analysis of your business’ strengths may also indicate areas in which your business is not capitalizing on its own potential.
When you can isolate the areas in which you outperform the competition and areas in which you are not capitalizing on that performance, you can retool your business to better fit the needs and desires of potential customers. All of this information can be attained by regularly performing a SWOT analysis on various aspects of your business. Once strengths are ascertained, you can then apply what you’ve learned directly towards business growth.
3. Better Understand Your Business’ Weaknesses
In addition to ascertaining the ways in your business outperforms the competition, and the strengths that your company has, it is also important to understand your business’ weaknesses. While weaknesses may not be as satisfying to evaluate, the understanding of them is crucial to the continued performance of any business. If weaknesses go unchecked, they may cause more harm to your business down the road. Remember that a weakness in a specific product or service that your business offers means a strength in your competition’s competing products and services.
Weaknesses can also be ascertained through a SWOT analysis or through regular discussion between your business partners and/or employees. Provide a space and time where everyone can critically and comfortably analyze ways in which they think the business could be improved. Once these weaknesses are identified, work together to create a plan which compensates for or improves those weaknesses and watch your business’ growth soar.
2. Improve Financial Stability for Your Business
Are you anxious about keeping your business afloat from invoice to invoice? Then setting a goal of financial stability is priority goal for you. The best place to start when analyzing the financial stability of your business is by establishing a bottom line income target. What does it take to make your business profitable either month to month, quarter to quarter, or throughout the fiscal year? Second, make sure to analyze your income and expenses for the set time period. It is possible that your income has reached your dollar goal, but that expenses are dragging the net income down to a less than stable level. Third, perform a SWOT analysis of your business to determine where greater income can be earned and where expenses can be shrunk or even eliminated.
If Financial Stability is a goal for your business in 2019, then make sure that it is a priority with each business task you set yourself to. By maximizing productivity and being on top of your income and expenditures, you can create a financial stable environment for your business to grow exponentially.
1. Move Your Business in the Right Direction
Regardless of what your specific and unique goals are for your business in 2019, the most important goal to keep in mind is to move your business in the right direction. By setting the goals listed above, you can ensure that your business is growing and expanding positively. However, it is crucial to remember that merely setting these goals is not enough. You have to remember to work towards them and to make them your top priorities.
If your business is stagnant or if negative growth is occurring, then you need to evaluate how your business is doing across all areas of potential improvement. Are expenses too high, how can they be reduced? Are you making conscious steps to initiate new customer relationships? Are there ways to streamline your work environment and processes?
Remember to always question how things can be made or be done better. Even if your business achieved growth in years past, remember that old tactics may not continually yield greater results.
Focus on moving your business in the right direction by defining what that direction means for you and your company. Perhaps you want to see different aspects of your business expand, maybe there are even some that can be removed to streamline your mission and focus. The key here is to consciously choose to move your business in a guided direction. Even if your business is already growing, you need to make sure to channel that growth in the proper ways. Don’t let aspects of your business run aimlessly, increase your profitability and productivity by taking action and moving your business in the right direction starting today.