With the arrival of the New Year, fresh resolutions and an increased drive to achieve abound.

For business owners, that well-earned downtime over the holidays provides the opportunity to step back and look at your enterprise afresh.

If better business is on your agenda for 2019, here are seven resolutions that should be at the top of you to-do list…

I will set goals

Goals change throughout the life of a business and what may have been the primary issue on your agenda in 2018 could be ticked off, resolved or no longer relevant. This means assessing what you hope to achieve in the next 12 months and noting it down, with reference to the lifestyle you hope to have, and the financial situation you wish to be in.

Business goals are interrelated with personal goals, but to achieve them you have to set them first.

I will reassess my SWOT

A lot changes over the course of a year or even six months, making now an ideal time to reassess your business’ strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats.

It’s the chance to look at where your business could be improved, any new products or services that may offer benefits. It’s also the opportunity to investigate whether there is more competition than a year ago, or whether there are other threats that may impact your business.

By reassessing your SWOT, you arm your business with the knowledge required to proactively embrace the future.

I will revisit my plan

Remember that big, beautiful business plan gathering dust on your shelf? Pull it out. It’s time for an update to incorporate last year’s achievements, add any staff roles, note down any new products and factor in changes.

Your business plan should be revisited at least once a year, allowing this living document to guide you through the next 12 months and to provide clarity about the path ahead.

I will get my numbers together

Bookkeeping is the bugbear of many a business owner, but having your figures readily available allows mobility when opportunity arises. It also enables you to see where any improvements need to be made, ascertain sectors you can capitalise on or places to implement greater efficiencies.

If your figures are muddled, behind or in no useful format at all, now is a great time to get them up to date before the end of the financial year.

I will market my business

Just as goals change over 12 months, so too will the strategies available to reach your potential customer. The New Year is a timely opportunity to take a closer look at who that customer really is, revise your qualifying statement to have them reveal themselves, and then target them through more effective channels.

With the first few weeks of the year usually quiet in the business realm, it’s also a good chance to cast a critical eye over your branding, website and business image to make sure it remains current and is utilised to its best potential.

I will look at staffing

Your staff members are critical to your business endeavours over the next year which begs the question: how well are you communicating with them, leading them or rewarding them for their efforts? Seize the New Year energy to look at who’s responsible for what, whether you can delegate more and to review their previous performance.

It’s also imperative you communicate with staff where your business is going and how they fit within that big picture, so sit down with them and outline the goals for the year while revisiting your systems and procedures.

I will look at technology

Technology and automation offer the opportunity to streamline or simplify your operation. They also have the potential to improve the customer experience. The New Year is a great opportunity to consider whether new technology has a place in your business, and whether this is the right time to invest.

The final word

There’s no time like the present to take a critical view of your business and look at the ingredients it required for further success. By using the New Year to draw a line in the sand, analyse the old and implement the new, you bring fresh energy and insight to your business.

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