Does the phrase “New Year, New Me” apply to your business? The start of a new year, and especially a new decade, often brings about increased change and initiative. If you find yourself outlining goals or trying to stick to new resolutions, you have already taken the first step in reshaping the way you do business. Unfortunately, however, these resolutions are often left unresolved and new goals left unachieved. Sometimes we set the bar too high or we jot down goals without ever really formulating a plan. If your business has goals set for 2020 or if you’re looking for a place to start, this article is here to help walk you through some achievable and measurable aspirations for your business this year. This list will walk you through some common, yet impactful goals that you can set and manage for your business in order to make 2020 your most successful year yet.
An easy way to grow and ensure the continued health of your business is by cutting costs or 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 this year. However, there are many ways to successfully reduce business expenses and increasing 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 add up quickly. The internet provides many services and methods of communique that are much faster, cost significantly less, and are much easier to organize and manage. 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.
De-Clutter Your Workspace
Another simple manner of increasing your business’ profits and growth is by managing and increasing productivity through organization. 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, decluttering 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 are being wasted. Don’t encourage dissatisfaction by cluttering your employee’s tasks but increase productivity by streamlining and simplifying the systems already in place.
Build More Relationships
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, an 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 to network more. This doesn’t mean that you need to be shoving your business down everyone’s throat, but that you should take the time to meet new people, whether they appear to be obvious business clients/partners or not.
Expand Your Company
It can often be difficult when 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 extra salary. 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. This doesn’t have to be an employee that works directly from your home office either. Outsourcing and offering remote hires are an excellent way to build your business without having too put any overhead at stake. Remember that achieving your 2020 goals revolves around taking measurable steps towards success, not giant leaps.
Get Ahead of Your SEO
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 2020 is to increase web traffic to your business’ website. This can be done in 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.
The SEO process has changed for 2020, as Google and other Search Engines continue to improve their algorithms. Make sure that you are prioritizing your mobile website, along with image search and voice search options. You can never be completely finished with SEO, but you can take steps in 2020 to ensure that you are always current with what’s changing in the electronic world of online business.
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 benefitted from your business.
Most cities have a plethora of networking events and/or small business meetups on a regular basis. 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 partnerships and sales opportunities down the road.
To expand your professional network in 2020, 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.
Understand Your 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.
Understand Your Weaknesses
In addition to ascertaining the ways in which 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 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 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.
Invest in New Technology
As stated above in regard to SEO, it’s important to consider the changing roles of technology in your business. Google is advancing heavily into the AI-driven fields of image search and voice search. Soon, searching for your business via images and through devices such as Google Home will be a mandated competent of website management. One of the best things you can do for your business in 2020 is to start taking what steps you can towards making your website and content relevant to these rapidly approaching technologies. This doesn’t mean that you have to become a pioneer in either technology but take the steps you can towards making your content more image and voice friendly. Invest in new images and photographs for your website. Create audio snippets and samples for your articles. Take manageable steps to make your content appeal to those changing technologies.
Set Financial Goals
Are you anxious about keeping your business afloat from invoice to invoice? Then setting a goal of financial stability is a 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 financially stable environment for your business to grow exponentially.