14 New Year’s Resolutions to Make as a Small Business Owner in 2021
Set your business up for success by thoughtfully setting your goals and intentions for the New Year.
The New Year is a great time to set intentions and goals in life and also in your business. With these 14 resolutions, you can up your game as a small business owner, which will help make 2021 your most successful and fulfilling year yet!
“I will be on top of data tracking.”
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The better you track data, the better business decisions you can make. No matter what field you are in, be aware of your key performance indicators (KPIs) that will show you how well things are going.
Specifically, look at data related to customers, potential customers, and employees. There are many tools that can help you know which business factors are going up or down and why. Using Liquid can help you keep closer tabs on your vendor / independent contractor spend.
“I will remember to have fun with my business.”
Of course, your business is your passion, but don’t let it bog you down. The paperwork, taxes, meetings, and administration can make you forget why you love your business so much. Take at least one moment each day to appreciate the work you are doing and to consciously think about the reasons behind your work — what makes it worthwhile, what makes it fun!
This can be done in just five minutes: list five things (in your head or written down) that make you happy or you are grateful for in your business.
“I will be open to feedback and criticism.”
Asking for feedback can be scary, but it is a surefire way to learn how to grow and see your business through new eyes. Just know that whatever criticism people have is not a reflection of you personally, but rather a reflection of their experience. Use feedback from employees, vendors, and clients to guide what course you choose to take.
You can start direct conversations with your employees and customers, or you can send out online surveys for free using Google Forms or Survey Monkey asking for feedback. Consider making your surveys anonymous – this can facilitate more honesty and frankness in the responses.
“I will schedule meetings with myself.”
You meet with everyone – clients, vendors, employees, investors, accountants…but do you take the time to meet with yourself? You are the executive of your company, and you need to start actually scheduling short meetings with yourself to check-in and ask how things are going, what progress has been made, and how you can improve things.
Try scheduling a half-hour meeting with yourself every Friday, at the end of each workweek.
“I will leave 20% of my day open.”
One of the huge appeals of owning your own business is that you get to set your own hours. But we all know that sometimes it can be hard to respect the hours we set — sometimes new projects can have us working late into the night.
This new year, make sure to commit to keeping around one-fifth of your day open. Yes, that’s right, you should see at least 20% white space on your calendar each day. This way, you can say yes to family nights, exercise, dinner dates, and all the activities that will keep you sane.
“I will market my company more creatively.”
Take a look at your business model and figure out what sort of marketing works best for you. If you are largely an online business, consider online content marketing, PPC ads in Google, Facebook ads, etc. Maybe you want more in-person interaction to show your lively branding; in that case, perhaps rent a booth at a festival. If you are appealing to an older clientele, newspaper ads may be the way to go.
If times are tough and you don’t have the budget for paid ads, get creative, and go a non-traditional route. Use free services such as Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, Reddit threads, etc., to interact with real people online and spread the word about your business from the ground up.
“I will delegate more.”
You may be the boss, but you have to trust the people you work with. Remember that you do not automatically know better than the rest — you chose your team for a reason, so act like it. Be open to support when you need it, and make sure to give your team actionable tasks with clear intent. You don’t have to spell out all the steps of getting something done, but you should be very clear about expectations.
“I will avoid distractions.”
You probably have three different screens around you while you work at all times, but you can’t let yourself get too distracted. This means a few things: 1) commit to limiting multitasking, 2) commit to scheduling occasional short breaks to keep yourself productive, and 3) commit to your business (trying to manage multiple startups or help with other businesses at the same time will lead to one of your projects being less than stellar).
“I will not be intimidated by larger, more established businesses.”
Sometimes it can be intimidating to feel that there are older and bigger companies competing with yours. However, you cannot let this scare you away from your niche. You are bringing something new and different to the market from those companies – you don’t have to spread yourself too thin by diversifying into other markets. Stay right where you are and remember that you are providing something important, plus you are much more personable and flexible than those other companies.
You aren’t stagnant like more traditional and established businesses. You have the ability to move to online business and ecommerce at your own will. You do not have to wait for an overhaul like them – take the advancement of tech into your own hands for your business.
“I will grow my support network.”
Being a solo business owner can feel isolating sometimes, so make sure to stay in touch with a larger business network. This can mean being active in Facebook, LinkedIn, or Reddit groups, being a part of Twitter tribes, or finding the right blog or forum just for you. Maintaining your support network can also be achieved by joining a coworking space or maybe throwing a (socially distanced or outdoors) dinner party where your colleagues all bring a plus one for network expansion.
“I will update my payment methods.”
With updated and streamlined payment methods, you will save yourself a lot of time in the new year. Using Liquid’s software to manage your payments, onboarding, and hiring all from one place will give you the security and flexibility you need to manage your business. And there are even more benefits to updating your payment methods. Try Liquid today!
“I will make adjustments based on the COVID-19 economy and mindset.”
COVID-19 has changed the way we live our daily lives and go about our business. It’s undeniable that COVID made 2020 very tough on businesses, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make adjustments. Make sure to properly follow scientific safety guidelines and the specific legal requirements in your area. You can create special online deals, virtual events, curbside pick up, or even sell masks or hand sanitizer with your own branding on them. Do your part in this pandemic while also doing right by your business.
“I will read more from different genres with great intent and purpose.”
These days it’s easy to consume lots of news and social media posts mindlessly. There is so much content out there that it can be hard to discern whether or not it’s a good use of your time. You have to remember that you are an expert in your field and the most knowledgeable person on your product/service. You can afford to take the time to read outside of your area of expertise and apply what you learn there to your business.
Use 2021 as a moment to redefine the content you read. Find quality articles that speak to you and dive into books (both fiction and non-fiction). While doing so, remember that lessons learned from others’ experiences and philosophies in fields unrelated to your own can actually impact the way you go about your own business. Goodreads is a great place to find your next book (and you can choose by category: business, environment, history, etc.).
“I will find ways to give back.”
People always talk about networking in the business and opportunity sense, but we have to remember other kinds of networks too. You want your business to be grounded in a community and to reflect your values. In 2021, consider mentoring someone else, volunteering your time for other organizations, or starting initiatives to improve your local community. Giving back can be an extremely fulfilling way to show your support and connect your business to real people who need your help.
Make 2021 the best year possible for your business!
It can be hard to stick to your resolutions, but with these actionable and measurable goals, it’s really not so bad! Whether you choose to try out three of these resolutions or all fourteen, you will be fostering the attention and care that both you and your business deserve. Follow our lead, and Liquid will help you make 2021 good till the last drop!
Ready to pay your freelancers, vendors, and suppliers? Try Liquid today.
Updated: January 4, 2021