1st 20 New Year’s Resolutions for Business
fm Fulfill Rite Blog 12-20 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
The New Year is right around the corner, and for many motivated people, that means it’s time to make some New Year’s Resolutions. After a tough year like 2020, many Startup & Small Business owners have gone back to the drawing board, re-imagining what it means to run a business in the first place. With the growth of eCommerce, the continued rise of helpful Software, & new Social Media features, there is no shortage of ways to improve. That’s why we’re sharing our 21 favorite New Year’s Resolutions for 2021. Check them out and pick a few goals to pursue over the next year!
1. Start a new Small Business.
According to the Small Business Startup Sentiment Index, more people than ever before intend to start a new business in the next 4-6 months. That’s a remarkable indicator of confidence – after the brutal economic downturn of 2021. Perhaps you consider yourself among the people wishing to start a business, but haven’t quite taken the plunge yet. Why not commit to starting a new business, however large or small, in the year 2021? Even if you don’t get it right, taking the all-important first step can have a (+) impact in ways that will only be clear many years down the road.
2. Get started in eCommerce.
We saw an unprecedented spike in eCommerce sales, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with multiple Vaccines being distributed and Social Distancing measures hopefully soon becoming passe, eCommerce is likely here to stay for along time, because it offers more choices. Why not commit to trying your hand at eCommerce for the first time?
3. Set up a Shopify store.
One of the easiest ways to start a good-looking, clean, effective store is with Shopify. If you plan on creating or updating an Online store, this is a great software to – at least consider. In fact, we wrote a whole guide on how you can get started with Shopify the first time.
4. Set up an Amazon Seller account.
Love it or hate it, Amazon is Grand Central Station for eCommerce right now. Many people make a good living selling items, be it their own or others’, on Amazon. If you want to take advantage of the vast marketplace that Amazon has to offer, consider setting up an account.
5. Set up Facebook & Instagram Shops
Just this year, Facebook & Instagram both rolled out new features which allow users to checkout without ever leaving their Social Media network. This is especially interesting because people now have the ability to tag their products in photos too. Best of all, both Facebook & Instagram Shops can sync with other stores, such as those hosted by Shopify, so that orders are prepped to send the same way.
6. Improve your Website’s Conversion rate.
Getting people to find your Website online is hard work, & expensive. That’s why it’s really important to make sure that your Website is “optimized” to convert as many people as possible into buyers. If you want to learn some practical advice on how to do that, check out this guide.
7. Improve your Website’s Load Time.
Every additional second it takes for your pages to load can cause a 7% reduction in conversions. If you want to make the most of your Website, it needs to be very fast. Consider using tools like Pingdom to help you figure out why your Website is loading slowly and how you can fix it.
8. Improve your Website’s User experience.
User experience is a hot field, and for good reasons. It’s all about how people feel & act when using a product, system, or service. This is so important that Google is expected to account for user experience when calculating Google Rankings in 2021. If you want to learn more about how to improve your website’s user experience, check out this guide.
9. Start Content Marketing.
“Content” is a broad & general term that can be applied to a lot of different types of media. Blog posts like this one are content, as are Emails, Podcasts, every YouTube video you’ve ever watched, & more. Content marketing is one of the most reliable ways to generate leads for your business, even if it might not initially seem like it. By creating something that your customers find informative or entertaining, you dramatically increase the odds that people will find your brand.
10. Start Social Media Marketing (SMM)
We’ve touched on the concept of SSM before here, but it bears repeating. SSM is a form of Content marketing that inherently puts you in touch directly with a lot of new people. For certain types of businesses, this can be an absolute goldmine.
11. Set up a Calendly account to book appointments.
If you run a business where you end up taking a lot of calls or meetings, consider setting up a Calendly account. It can sync to your calendar, giving people options for available meeting times. That way, people can book meetings with you – all on their own without exchanging emails back & forth. And the best part? It’s free!
12. Use & learn Accounting software.
One of the least fun parts of running a business, at least for me, is Accounting. Some small businesses keep track of transactions by Spreadsheet or by hand. That’s doable for a while, but it gets old quickly and it doesn’t scale well. Consider looking into software like Xero or QuickBooks if you haven’t already started with Accounting software.
13. Set up a Small Business Retirement account.
Less than half of small businesses offer a retirement plan. You can change that, though, and it’s not even as hard as you think. Even the lofty 401(k) plan is available to the smallest of Small Businesses. You might even get tax breaks for starting one up, too.
14. Set up a Referral program.
Word of mouth is probably the best form of marketing known to humanity. A full 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know and people are 4 times more likely to buy when “referred” by a friend. If you haven’t already, consider setting up a Referral program – so that people have an excuse to refer their friends to you as leads.
15. Set up a Loyalty program.
Customer retention will make you a 10x more money than customer acquisition. It’s said that loyal customers are worth as much as 10 times more than a new customer. Add to that fact that 83% of people say that Loyalty programs make them more likely to continue doing business with certain companies. It might be time to look into implementing one of your own!
16. Engage in Discount Marketing.
Not every business can or should compete on price. However, a time-limited Discount can be a powerful incentive for consumers to buy a product. If you have high profit margins, consider running a Discount Marketing campaign to see how it works out. You may find that you acquire customers far easier than you otherwise would.
17. Learn how to book Shipping.
Booking freight used to be one of the most complicated parts of getting items from Point A to Point B. Now, tools like Freightos make it easy to import goods from manufacturers overseas. Here’s a guide on how you can use their system.
18. Find back-up Suppliers.
When the Pandemic disrupted supply chains everywhere, people started to realize how fragile and interconnected our Supply Chain system truly is. For example, many small businesses, there were problems as early on as January when China started locking down & manufacturing there ground to a halt. If you mainly depend on a single Supplier for a critical good, consider finding back-up Suppliers. You might be glad you did.
19. Increase your Cash Flow & on hand
One of the reasons the initial Pandemic lockdown was so tough on small businesses was lack of cash-on-hand. As many as 25% businesses don’t have enough cash to get through 14 days without revenue. The average small business has only 27 Cash Buffer days. The Pandemic is probably not the last serious crisis we are going to see in our lifetimes. If you want to be able to weather the coming Storms, consider increasing your cash on hand to 45, 60, or even 90 days.
20. Outsource Fulfillment.
Once orders start rolling in, it’s a real pain to fulfill them yourself. Most stores that handle more than 75-100 orders per month can benefit, and even save money by out-sourcing fulfillment to a third-party. If you’d like to learn more about how to do that, request a quote here and we’ll help you get started!
Taking some time at the end of the year to have new Goals – you care about pursuing – is a great way to narrow your focus. If you like this guide, use some of the resolutions and let us know how it goes in the comments. Until then, have a Happy & Prosperous New Year !!!
15 more New Year’s Resolutions for Startup & Small Business
fm El Camino Financial 12-20 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
These 15 New Year’s resolutions are based on my professional experience and the knowledge I’ve acquired throughout my business career. By no means is this a mandatory list. I just want to challenge you so that you and your business grow next year. Pick & choose whatever New Year’s resolutions inspire you -for your business
1. Get to know the real Situation of your Strategy.
It is essential that you have a good strategy in action. Any business must know where it is going, how to get there, in what time-frame, & with what resources. But you need to have them in writing. Start with the Goals you come up with, then meet with you Team to confirm and get new Goals to guide your Strategic Decisions (check out the book, “Think Smart – Act Smart”)
2. Find your “Competitive Advantage“
What do I mean by “Competitive Advantage“? It is the characteristic that differentiates your company and allows you to obtain a better performance than your competitors. Here are three ways:
- Cost Leadership Strategy: basically, sell cheaper than your competition (keep in mind that you will need a substantial volume & acceptable quality.)
- Differentiation Strategy: when your product or service has a unique quality, customers will be willing to pay a little more. You need to know the market because – what is valued today may change tomorrow.
- Focus Strategy: this is when you focus on a particular sector of the market and adapt to it.
Also keep in mind: “Better, Faster, Cheaper”
3. Design Products or Provide Services with your Customer in mind
Your product or service must provide real “value” to your customer. You need to reach a deep understanding with your clients so that your product or service adapts like a glove to the “value” they expect you to bring. Then you won’t need to work hard to sell it, because Customers will want to buy it !!!
4. Continually “analyze” your Financial Status
Pay particular attention to your Cash Flow. You must use the tools and advice that’ll allow you to anticipate when you are going to have cash problems. The state of your finances will also determine, for example, the additional investments you make in your business. I strongly recommend the use of financial management tools and the support of a professional to have a bright business future.
5. Rethink the Value of your Team
It is not easy to choose expert advisors for your Team. What value does this candidate bring to your Teams & business? If you do not have a clear answer, perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions needs to be to learn how current member contribute and why you need to add more advisors to your Team.
6. Think System- matically
Your business is a small system composed of people, processes, & tools. Your success depends mostly on the proper functioning of this system. Analyze all of your processes (however simple they may seem) and strive to improve them. If you don’t come up with many ideas, call in an Expert to help you.
7. Analyze the real value of your Social Networks
What value do your professional Social Networks bring to your Customers or potential Customers? (ie, Linked IN) How are you communicating the “value” that your products or services provide? Hire experts who can help you reflect on this. That way, you will be able to make intelligent decisions about the time & resources you need to devote to your Social Platforms.
8. Challenge yourself to Improve every month
Do Kaizen – “change for the better” or “continuous improvement” that is used in the manufacturing industry. Set the challenge of improving costs, quality, & service every month. Get “feedback” from your Customer to see how you’re doing and they may also have ideas for improvement !!!
9. Do “Continuous & Collaborative” Improvement
Seek professionals that can help you improve your teamwork ability. Integrate everyone (employees, partners, suppliers, & advisors) into this new strategy. This will help you to make your company more profitable. By achieving better teamwork, you will see improvements in costs & quality.
10. Measure – so you know how you’re doing
You need to have “indicators” that give you data that can help you grow your business. If you don’t use any indicators yet, I recommend starting with these:
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) = (Marketing Budget / Number of Customers)
- Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) = (Total Revenue earned in one year, quarter, month. year/ Number of Customers)
You don’t necessarily have to know how to calculate financial indicators (you can hire a Advisor to help you), but you should know how to react to them. If don’t already, learn know how to interpret business indicators. They are tools that will help you determine your status to know what to improve.
11. Study “Lean” Management
We are lifelong learners. My recommendation is that one of your New Year’s resolutions be to dedicate time to study to get better. By this, I mean planned study, set aside time from your agenda weekly to study, train your team, plan your next steps & analyze how you’re meeting your Vision. “Lean Management” will be a massive boost to your business. You will learn how to reduce costs, eliminate waste, & improve the quality of your products & services.
12. “Eliminate Waste” in your Business
A Toyota engineer proposed the Lean Production system based on increasing the value of products with less work. Whatever doesn’t offer value to the customer is considered a waste, and you need to do everything you can to eliminate it. Make one of your New Year’s resolutions to detect waste in your business to increase the value of Products or Services for your Customer.
There are eight different types of waste in Lean Production. At least get a summary to pick which types will work best for you.
13. Go “Digital” as much as possible.
In this day & age, a business that is not online is losing a huge Market Share. If you still haven’t gone digital, this New Year might be the perfect opportunity for you. This can come in the form of: 1) opening a Social Network profile, or 2) eCommerce and even buying Online Ads for a Marketing Campaign. Using the Internet to your advantage has many ways & means – depending on your needs & budget, but most are incredibly effective when it comes to improving your revenue. So, start your “Digital” journey now and start growing your business for a successful new year.
14. “Grow” your business by making the “right” Investments
Most everyone wants to grow their business. But this resolution is about being savvy and finding which investments will grow your small business. Family & Friend, Crowd-Funding or Small Business Loans are great ways to get “Capital” to grow your business.
15. Have an Emergency Fund.
If 2020 has taught us anything, is that it’s crucial to be prepared for anything. We recommend you to create an Emergency Fund that you can use if needed. Also, create a plan so you know how to act if any kind of emergency arises. This will allow you to keep being successful, no matter what.
How to “keep” your New Year’s Resolutions
We’ve all been there: we make great New Year’s resolutions, then we don’t keep them. Here’s some guide of how to keep them.
- Write ‘m’ down. It is impossible to achieve your resolutions if they’re not written down. Try to write them somewhere where you can see them constantly. That way they’ll remind you every day.
- Track your Progress. It’s important that you know how close you are to achieving your resolutions, so track your progress so you know which ones require more work!
- Commit yourself to your Resolutions. If you don’t make a Plan to accomplish them, you won’t achieve them. Make sure you make a list of the Steps you need to complete to keep your resolution.
- Choose Carefully. Many times, we pick the wrong resolutions. What can you actually do to improve? Maybe your Resolution should be “create” a new process to achieve your Resolution
- Are they aligned to your Goals & Vision? Make sure you choose Resolutions that are aligned with your business strategy.
Persistence. What if you can’t keep one or more resolutions? Don’t beat yourself up. If you couldn’t complete a resolution, don’t worry! Make a list of what stopped you from achieving it and what you can do differently to achieve it.