Small Business Reflections for the New Year

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Keeping a New Year resolution is hard. As a matter of fact, it’s downright impossible. According to a US News article, some 80% of people fail to follow through with their resolutions. That’s a high number, but, in fairness, resolutions can also be a tall order. We’re hyper-focused on big results and fast changes and feel a huge sense of disappointment when we can’t follow through. This rings true both for individuals or business owners looking to capitalize on the new year.

So instead of putting an undue burden on setting impossible goals, why not shift the focus more on reflection on what could better serve us in the new year?

So with that said, here are some questions to ask yourself as you get settled into the 2019 groove:

 

Are we as quick and efficient as we should be?

Depending on the size of your company, there could be edges to sharpen and proverbial weight to cut. We’re not talking about downsizing, we’re talking about efficiency. With efficiency comes productivity, so the more work you’re able to do in less time, the better it is for business and easier it will hopefully be on your employees. Make your focus on systems and practices that are best serving your company moving into the new year.

Are we doing enough online?

It’s hard to think of any company not having an online presence these days, but you’d be surprised. Some come in the form of a long dormant Twitter account or Facebook updates that are from 2016. This is the year to increase your activity online. Start pushing out regular content, start using social media scheduling apps to streamline your messaging. Heck, maybe even get in the Meme game.

Are our customers happy?

It’s time to evaluate your feedback. What are your customer service reps hearing from customers? Are you corresponding with people through Facebook? Taking a hard look at how your clients feel about your service or product is integral to growth. If they’re happy, great! Keep innovating and pushing forward. If there are patterns of issues or complaints, make sure to evaluate fully and correct any mistakes or shortcomings.

Do we offer enough professional development?

When business is in full swing and everyone is grinding away, it’s easy to overlook your employees. That said, it’s best to take a step back and see how they’re supported professionally. Are there opportunities for an employee’s personal growth, whether it be business related or not? Are employees given any time or resources to work on themselves?

Do we communicate well?

One thing companies can struggle with is streamlined internal communication. When everything is busy, it’s easy for emails to get lost or messages to be misconstrued. That’s why it’s so important to take a hard, honest look at how employees, managers, supervisors, and more are communicating. If the cons outweigh the pros, it’s time to do some heavy lifting and make big changes.

Are our employees happy?

This is the age-old struggle. It’s next to impossible to make every single person happy (unless it’s a company of, you know, two people…), so instead of stressing out that you’re not catering to everybody’s individual needs, it’s best to get a good overall sense of how employees are feeling. Do you hear anything through the grapevine? Have you had any turnover as of late? Is there a windfall of applications of people eager to join the team?

Here’s to a prosperous 2019!