It is the new year, what better time to review your business and set goals for 2019. You may have some personal resolutions like exercise more and lose a few pounds. But, as a business owner, making and sticking to your business new year resolutions can significantly contribute to your success. Here are a few resolutions to consider for your business in 2019.
1. Find a Business Buddy
Setting goals is great, but having a buddy hold you accountable for reaching your goals is better. A buddy will increase your chance of actually hitting your targets. Write down your goals, find an accountability partner, share your goals, and schedule regular meetings. People are 65% more likely to meet a goal after committing to another person, according to The American Society of Training and Development. That percentage increases to 95% when you and your buddy schedule ongoing accountability meetings to check in on progress. Another option is to join an industry-specific Mastermind Group. These groups give you access to an exclusive community of peers and mentors that hold you accountable to your goals. Having a support system that understands you, is something that is invaluable.
2. Improve Communication
With so many different ways to communicate with employees, clients, and prospects, it is more important than ever to focus on clarity. Review your policies and ensure they are clear, concise and up-to-date. Policies can help improve communication with your clients and systems can help your employees understand expectations. If they ever have a question or concern, you can direct them to your policies/systems. Review your communication channels, do you have too many? Is all communication well documented? Are you and staff using personal email addresses? Employees using their personal email addresses for work is a no-no! Upgrade to business email, so you have access to communication with your clients. When marketing to new prospective leads, focus on quality over quantity. Focus time on learning about the habits and interests of your target audience. Craft posts for your target audience. Keep them exciting and education to encourage your audience to engage, interact, and share your content. Respond to all comments. Leave comments and engage with potential clients. Be more personal and create posts that your audience can relate to.
3. Pay it Forward
Helping others and giving back to your community is one of the best marketing decisions you could make. Corporate Social Responsibility improves your brand. It positions your business as one that people like and trust. Volunteering at a local shelter, reach out to a new business owner that could use advise, host seminars for pet owners, or host an event to raise money for a non-profit. Giving back shows other that you care. Your generosity will not go unnoticed. Giving back will help position you as an expert in pet care and will make people want to use your services because they trust you. Get out in your community, demonstrate your values, and help people, hey you might even get some press coverage! Being nice is always the right thing to do.
4. Prioritize Balance
As pet sitters and dog walkers, you work long hours. You work on holidays, evenings and weekends. You miss out time with family and friends and may sacrifice relationships. In 2019, it is essential to find a balance to avoid burnout. You may think you need to work 18+ hours, but prioritizing time for yourself will help your business. Burnout effects you both mentally and physically and can damage your business. Schedule in time to exercise, spend time with the people you care about, get enough sleep, and take time for yourself. With a refreshed mind and energized body, you will get more done in less time!
So many business owners want to do everything themselves. Maybe you don’t trust others, or you want total control of all aspects of your business. You are not a pro at every part of your business. You may be a professional pet care provider, but you may not be an accountant, lawyer, web designer, or marketing professional. Shifting control to others can be difficult, but doing these tasks yourself and not partnering with a professional can potentially lead to disaster and large bills. Delegating tasks that overwhelm you or tasks that you dread, can open you up to focus on what you love and what you do best. Why waste hours on tasks when you can hire someone to complete the work in a few minutes? Delegating is vital to scale your business. You will be able to work on your business instead of in it!
Take your business to the next level by setting goals and finding an accountability partner. Improve your communication and pay it forward. Find work-life balance and delegate tasks to professionals. If creating and updating your website is something that overwhelms you, click here to learn how our team can become your webmaster. One less thing to worry about, leave your website to the pros! Happy New Year!
Erika Godwin is the President of Barketing Solutions and the Co-Founder and CMO of ProPet Software, an industry-leading kennel management software. Erika has over 8 years of experience with WordPress and graduated from Elmira College in 2009 with a BS, Business Administration- Marketing and Management.