Start 2019 Right: 7 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business
Whether your business is doing well or facing challenges this 2018, there are always opportunities for improvement. Consider the end of the year as a time to evaluate your business’ performance and plan for the next year.
Not sure on where to begin? Start the year right with these New Year resolutions for your business.
7 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business
Goal #1: Aim for better customer service
Your clients and customers keep your business going — so it’s essential to keep them satisfied with your products and services. Improve your customer service by doing the following:
Check all the feedback that you have received for this year — especially the bad ones
Have you experienced any faulty product returns? Has any of your employees mishandled a client issue? Collect all data and feedback to assess what areas of your business you need to work on. Turn your bad reviews to positive ones next year!
Aim for better client management
Were you able to follow through with your set timelines? Is the amount of client workload manageable? Evaluate your process of accepting and managing clients and prioritize quality over quantity. Be careful not to accept too much work — this will affect the focus and attention you give to each client and result in poor customer service.
Unleash the power of social media
Respond to every query and feedback of your customers in your social media platforms. Personalise your way in engaging with them so it doesn’t seem like you’re copying from a template. This is guaranteed to make them feel special — and happy customers equate to a happy business.
Goal #2: Review your business plan
Do you feel like your business hit a wall? Review your business plan and determine if it’s still in line with your business goals. Do you still want to address the same problem? Offer the same product or service? Cater to the same audience?
Go over the different parts of your business plan and see if there are any of them that you want to reconsider:
Why does your business exist?
What the top three problems you are trying to solve (for ideal customers)?
Are your ideal customers already paying to solve these problems?
What’s your product or service? How does it solve the ideal customer’s problem?
Who are your ideal customers? What are the distinct types of target customers do you have?
How old are they?
What is their purchasing power?
What are their pain points (frustrations)?
What are their aspirations and desires?
What’s different about your business, and product or service?
How will you stand out from your competitors (and get ahead of them)?
What are your business objectives? What metrics are you using to measure success?
What are some obstacles?
What resources does it take to make your product? (e.g. manufacturing, labour)
What does it take to sell your product/service? (e.g. marketing, distribution, sales processing)
How will you earn money? (e.g. pricing strategy, payment modes, subscription service)
Goal #3: Strengthen your current security protocols
In this digital age, a majority of business transactions are conducted online. That said, cybersecurity should be a high priority for your business.
Here are some ways to strengthen your security protocols:
Use security software
It goes without saying that security software is a need for businesses, primarily because you’re handling information related to your clients.
Install anti-malware software to protect your devices from viruses, worms, and other harmful programs. Get a firewall to prevent hackers from accessing your data. If you have employees that use mobile devices or take their work at home, require them to use VPN and messaging apps with encryption features.
Update your computers and devices
Regularly check for new updates for any firmware or software in your computers and other devices, and make sure to install them. Most of these updates contain improved security measures to protect you against online threats.
Secure your wifi
Securing your wifi prevents unauthorized people to access your files. Make sure your wifi network is only accessible by your employees, and find a way for them to prevent knowing what the password is. If you want to grant your customers and guests wifi access, set up a separate wifi network exclusively for them.
Backup your data
While you may exhaust all possible ways to secure your data, breaches are still possible. Make it a point to back up your data regularly, especially the ones that contain client information, financial files, HR files, and others.
Backup your data on the cloud and make sure it's encrypted to prevent unwanted access. Store also backup files in a separate location in case of floods and fire.
Train your employees
It is essential that your employees are trained on the company’s security protocols. Have them sign a cybersecurity policy containing these protocols to ensure their coordination. Make sure that the policy also contains a procedure that you need to take in case of breaches.
Goal #4: Secure business and property insurance
There are always risks involved when running a business, so it’s important that you stay insured. With the right insurance, you secure your business when unfortunate circumstances like theft or natural catastrophes occur.
Don’t know where to start? Secure the following standard insurances for businesses:
General liability insurance. Even if you’re running a home-based business, liability insurance is needed. The policy protects you, your employees, or products in the event
Business insurance. This protects your business from losses when untimely events happen through the course of your business.
Property insurance. This allows you to receive financial aid in case your business location experiences damage due to theft and natural calamities like floods, fires, etc.
Reach out to certified insurance providers so you’re guided on the insurance is right for your type of business.
Goal #5: Treat contracts seriously
Cheated out of an agreement? Don’t let that happen again. Be more cautious in negotiating with potential partners or clients by preparing (or re-assessing) contracts.
Commit oral agreements to write
It’s not enough that you simply shake on agreements with your partners. You may forget what you have agreed with in the future — or worse, could be tricked that you’ve agreed to the opposite.
With that in mind, you need to put your agreements in writing for it to be properly documented. Have representatives from both sides sign the agreement, to mark that both of you mutually understand and agree to the conditions you’ve discussed.
Invite witnesses from both sides to sign the contract, too. This ensures that other people know about what you’ve agreed with, and will safeguard you in case of a misunderstanding.
Ensure that you understand important contracts
To prevent dubious provisions in your contracts, read them thoroughly. And by thoroughly, we mean every detail. When you sign a contract, you signify that you agree to every provision stated. Be sure to read and understand everything before you give your full commitment.
If there are unclear details in the contract, do not hesitate to reach out to the opposite parties and clarify.
Improve your contracts for critical agreements
For critical agreements such as hiring suppliers, outsourcing personnel, promoting employees, or anything that involves money, don’t be afraid to assert for conditions that are suitable for your end. It’s a critical agreement, after all — you have to receive your end of the bargain.
In the end, make sure that all provisions in the contract are adequate and agreeable for both sides.
Goal #6: Manage your taxes better
Have you encountered tax issues? Address them right there a way to prevent legal problems in the future. Layout a better tax management system for the New Year. Most importantly, file and pay your taxes on time!
Consult a certified public accountant on how you can manage taxes for your business more efficiently.
Goal #7: Take advice from professionals
Do you think your business isn’t operating to its full potential? Seek the insights of experts in the field and other trusted professionals. Their third-party perspective will give you a better look at how your business is performing from the outside and will help you decide where to take it as you move forward.
Bring It On, 2019!
New Year means new opportunities for growth and improvement for everyone — and that includes your business. Give these New Year’s resolutions a run and take 2019 in its reins. Have a prosperous New Year!