With a fresh, new year in front of you, the time is right for some goal-setting. Many people make personal resolutions for self-improvement, but neglect to do the same for their small businesses. Goal setting or resolutions for your small business are not just about financial achievement; it should address a small business as an entire entity – much as an individual setting personal goals will likely look into physical, emotional and spiritual areas for improvement.
Here are four specific goals small business owners should strive for in the coming year:
Find yourself. Visit all of the popular search engines and do a search for your business name and any other keywords that you hope lead potential customers to you. How quickly do you find your business in each search? Aside from your official site and blog, what other online locations mention you? From this base information, develop a plan for further saturation across the web. Sign up for social media accounts that you are not currently utilizing, add a secondary blog domain and add your business to online directories that make sense for your location and industry. When potential customers search for you, they should be able to find you in more than one place.
Delegate social media tasks. While the traditional view of business-related social media has been to only allow a select group of public relations employees or company leaders to update statuses and Tweet, this dynamic is shifting. To reach the largest number of clients and consumers, hand over some of that control to other employees too. Start with a company policy regarding what is accepted and what is not allowed when it comes to company-related social media. If you plan to include employees in the initiative that may not be as familiar with social media endeavors, provide some guidance on how to use the most popular platforms and give examples of good ways to use each format.
Consider a mobile app. Development of mobile applications is no longer just for large businesses. Since January 2011, mobile apps have grown from around 100 billion to 1,000 billion worldwide. This has inspired a host of companies that specialize in small business app development at affordable prices. If you have no idea where to even begin with developing a mobile app, seek some guidance from experts. The process is actually much simpler than most small business owners believe and provides a valuable service to customers and clients.
Take breaks – all of them. The amount of hours that you work does not directly increase bottom line, especially if you work too much. Small business owners do not have mandated vacation time but that does not mean it is not needed. Taking a break from work-related tasks, even for one day, leads to higher motivation and rejuvenation. In general, Americans appear to have a fear of taking too much time off work; Expedia reports that 38 percent of U.S. residents take all of the vacation time they earn each year. Don’t fall into the 62 percent category, contact your local travel agency and plan a trip. Your employees and your body will thank you. Try to remember that work is a byproduct of the rest of your life – not the other way around.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps business owners grow their business on the web and can help locate your local Chamber of Commerce