We’re now entering month two of the New Year, and we have to ask: how are those resolutions coming along?
Be honest, are you finding yourself already skipping the gym some mornings? Are you making exceptions for fast food dinners because they’re quicker, easier, cheaper?
Most of us will hit a wall, or three, when it comes to keeping our resolutions. So rather than focusing on huge hurdles like losing 50 pounds or completely cutting sweets out of your diet, you should instead make more small, attainable goals. That way you can actually check things off that New Year’s list of yours!
Here are four little resolutions that can go a long way for your business:
Talking with our own customers through social media outlets more often was one of our small business resolutions, and one we’ve been trying to stick to. A lot of business owners tend to forget that most companies look remarkably similar online. To customers, Facebook business pages just look like a bunch of logos and names trying to sell them a service.
You can combat this by taking just a few minutes and directly talking with your customers. Thank the person who tweeted about how nice your office was. Do a quick search and see if you can inject your own voice into any conversations related to your field. Open your Facebook wall, allow people to post about their experience and respond.
Simple things like talking with your customers when they reach out can leave a lasting impression, and the public nature of social media also helps generate good PR and attract new customers.
Small business owners have a habit of cloistering themselves away in their office, focusing on growing their business and forgetting that networking is just as vital to that growth as marketing and financial security are. Even if you don’t have a local storefront or you do most of your sales online, you still need to get out there!
Most cities put on events specifically for business owners to mingle with the community they work in, so check with your local chamber of commerce and see what they have in store for 2017. You should also be aware of nearby conventions and conferences that people within your field will be attending. Networking isn’t just about exposure, it’s also about honing your own business skills and coming into contact with new ideas.
The paperwork that goes into legally forming a business is one of the least glamorous aspects of being an entrepreneur. People have a terrible habit of putting things off that are otherwise really, really important if they’re boring. Incorporating is one of the best ways to protect your personal assets; it helps to legally separate your business from your personal assets, so if something goes wrong down the road, you don’t lose everything you’ve spent your life building right along with your business.
If you can help it, don’t keep putting off filing for an LLC or Corporation. Even if you decide to do everything yourself instead of choosing a service to help you out, filing is a comparatively small job when put up against what it protects. So put aside a bit of time, do some research, and protect yourself in 2017.
Of all the bite-size resolutions, this may be the hardest one to swallow. We live in a hyper-connected world; iPhones buzz at every email, personal phones ring off the hook the minute we step out of the office, and the internet is just seconds away, ready to deliver an avalanche of messages that all somehow require our immediate attention.
No one knows how to separate their business and personal lives anymore. And when you’re running a small business, things get even harder. Most business owners have stories about sleeping for an hour or two on their office couch as they tried to work through the night and solve whatever life altering problem they were faced with at the time.
While occasionally necessary, you don’t want your business to become your entire life. You somehow have to separate business you from personal you. There is no reason for you to be PR firm, secretary, salesperson, janitor and IT department all rolled into one! Don’t be a superhero, learn how to delegate tasks and focus on what your strengths are – growing your business.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.