Now is the time to start setting your goals and resolutions for next year. I don’t know about you, but I usually fall flat on my resolutions by about March. However, when my resolutions are connected to goals I usually do much better at them. Here are a few you may wish to incorporate into your own resolutions:

  1. We will blog weekly

The word ‘weekly’ is key. Or replace with any term indicating a consistent behaviour. Weekly is a good bar to hit, but if you know you don’t have the resources to commit you can do bi-weekly. This habit of creating content on a regular basis might initially take time, but before long you’ll get the hang of coming up with ideas, crafting blog titles, etc. Blogs are a proven method of generating traffic to your website and a great way to cultivate a following. And what business doesn’t need a following??

  1. We will do some marketing that scares us

Many small businesses have a good idea of what their ‘dream’ idea is for their company. Maybe they went to an event, attended a webinar or read an article and they thought – yeah, I’d love for us to do this. Well, build it into your plans for 2017!  And if you don’t know how to do it, then hire someone who can help make it happen. Doing big things can push our businesses to new heights!

  1. We will pay attention to our target audience

I can’t count the number of times that small businesses refused to focus their marketing efforts on their target audience because they were afraid of losing out! A target audience is just that – your target! They are the audience that are most likely to resonate with your service/product so by focusing on that audience you are focusing your effort (and budget) and those most likely to buy what you’re selling. Invest in doing the research to support the marketing too – don’t assume you know who your targets are and don’t blindly believe your sales department. Personal opinion will always colour judgement and you need raw data to work with. Research is an absolute necessity.

  1. We will lean into growth

It’s a precarious balancing act to keep your small business alive some times. But leaning into growth means to plan for it! Allow for growth in staff and client work. Take on more work and test out a new contractor. Move into a bigger space and aim to fill it. Remember that you are leaning – not leaping! This means that you should be able to do this financially without putting your company at risk.

  1. We will invest in strategic marketing

It’s often the first thing that gets cut when business slows down and it shouldn’t be. Set yourself a good budget and some strategic goals and invest in some solid marketing to get there. The key is to set a budget and actually stick to it! Don’t wane on what you can afford or what you’re willing to invest. I’ve had several clients tell me that they didn’t really have a budget. Not only is that a mistake but it’s a lie. You know what you’re willing to part with. Be honest about it and be clear on your (realistic) expected returns.

The above resolutions will help any business strengthen their foundation going forward in to 2017. Each one should be slightly changed to reflect your own business’ unique position but these are universally flattering resolutions for any business. Happy New Year!