It’s that time of year again; a time to look forward to the New Year and reflect on the changes we want or need to make in order for our business to grow. With that said, try to remember to strike that delicate balance between work and life. For many small business owners, the two are so deeply intertwined that it’s hard to separate.
1. Plan your day. Every morning make a “To Do List” and keep it in front of you. Make sure it is reasonable and achievable. Many people are their most productive in the morning so add your toughest item(s) and the ones that you dread most to the top of your list. After you get these items completed your day will seem easier and you just might find yourself whipping through the rest of your tasks.
2. Put time for you on the calendar. While you are planning your day be sure to schedule some “You Time”. It is so important to take the time to recharge and refresh yourself; a healthy work-life balance demands time out. Get used to scheduling time regularly to “meet with yourself” and stick to that commitment. If you don’t invest in yourself, who will?
3. Make customer service a priority. It’s a fact that customer service can make or break your relationship with current and future customers. Looking ahead to 2017, customer service should be a priority for every small business. A key resolution would be to look at ways that you can get closer, strengthen your relationship, and stay on your customer’s minds. Remember that keeping a customer takes less of our time than finding a new one.
4. Promote your business regularly and consistently. Too often the task of promoting our small business slips to the bottom of our “To Do List”. If you want to attract new customers, you have to make promotion a priority. Make a New Year’s resolution to hire a marketing expert or take the time to create a marketing plan on your own and follow through.
5. Grow your business through partners. When you’re feeling stuck with your business and you don’t know which way to turn, look to partners. With each year, I believe more and more that partner relationships are a huge key in running a successful business. No matter how small in scale the partnership is, it can reap huge benefits for your (and their) business. I find that meeting with my partners is enjoyable, helps clear my head, and can easily be part of my “You Time”.
6. Join a new business organization or networking group. There’s nothing like talking to other business people for sparking new ideas and making contacts. Whether it’s a group specifically designed for networking or an industry organization dedicated to a particular type of business, making the effort to be a part of a group will revitalize you and your business. Give yourself a break and take some time “out of the office” to meet with like-minded individuals to network.
7. Learn how to delegate and get more help. Your business may not be growing sufficiently because you are trying to do too much yourself. Examine your operation for routine tasks that take too much of your time or for the ones that you dread. Decide to let someone else handle these tasks. Delegation is key to a healthy work-life balance.
8. Give something back to your community. Make a New Year’s Resolution to find a cause that matters to you and give what you can; money, time, or both. Not only does it feel good on a personal level, but doing good is just a smart business practice. Those that give get.
Building and maintaining a successful business can be time consuming and difficult. Use these resolutions to help your small business grow and just as important remember to make time for yourself, family, and friends.
Happy New Year and may Your Business Prosper in 2017!
About the Author: Sheri Miller is the Owner of Another You, LLC, a Virtual/Personal Assistant service in the Dayton, Ohio area. Sheri helps small business owners save time and money by taking care of their day-to-day administrative tasks. Think of her as your right hand while your left hand is growing your business.