Making it through another year in your small business is a great achievement, but your work is still ongoing! We asked small business owners what they wanted to happen in the New Year, and these classic challenges are worth taking another look at to develop on.
1) Profitability and Growth
This most basic of issues is something everyone with a small business faces. Things like: controlling costs, maintaining profit margin and incrementally improving it, and retaining clients while gaining new ones are on every business owner’s mind.
Although these are things that seem like no brainers, as a New Year resolution we recommend re-visiting and reevaluating your structure. Look for ways to create a dynamic organization that is prepared to face these every evolving challenges.
Whether it’s branching out into a new target to capture new clients, finding new distributors for supplies, or providing additional training to your employees – growth is all about keeping the business growing with the times.
While the productivity of your employees and team members is always a concern, you may consider ways to improve this area of your business in this new year. Making your employees more efficient can be as simple as utilizing a new technology, or sending them to a training course.
But often times it means management changes like focusing on giving clear guidelines so your team members know what is expected of them. Promote from within as often as you can allows your training costs to remain low.
Whenever possible, try to delegate tasks evenly, and remember – this includes you. When the owner is over-worked rash decisions are more likely, which could damage your employees work efficiency and can cause the train to jump the track. Remember you can’t do everything by yourself! Divide responsibility and work on making contingency plans if you run into any snags.
Lastly, you may plan for regular team morale boosts! Small perks like bringing in bagels, coffee or doughnuts on a random Thursday morning, or throwing a fun, activity-focused holiday party can go a long way in showing your team that you appreciate them.
Another year, and many things have changed in our industry – and they always will continue to. This year we encourage you to consider thinking about ways to improve on your strategy. Hone your target demographic by reviewing data from analytics, census reports, getting feedback from customers, and an analysis of competitors. Learn what your competition is doing and understand where your products rank. Anticipate consumer buying trends and product distribution needs, and create advertisements by getting customer input. How have these things changed within the past year, and how can the new changes be met? Consider hiring a consultant to help you create a new configuration for your marketing tactic (we might know some people).
Starting a small business can be gratifying, but as a small business owner, there are many challenges that every proprietor must face. But just like New Year Resolutions, there are tactics and tips for you to overcome the ever-evolving issues. While these are timeless topics, we hope that you can develop dynamic solutions to ring in 2015!