New Year’s is a time of reflection. What went well? What didn’t? So New Year’s resolutions aren’t only for individuals, they are a great idea for small businesses too.
For individuals, a typical resolution would be to lose weight, eat healthier, save more money, spend more time with people you care about.
For a small business, your New Year’s resolutions could look something like the ones below:
Better Customer Service: Get your customer impressed with your product or service by going over the top with your delivery. Maybe this includes guarantees, some extra services, loyalty program, or better employee training.
Higher Employee Retention: Employee turnover can sap a business’ time and money, especially for a small business. With less to offer in terms of large pension plans and benefits, a small business often has to fight harder to keep its best employees. A retention plan, performance incentives, employee events, collecting employee feedback, and staying in touch with everyone are some basic ways to get started.
More Customers: Marketing awareness, sales and referrals will be the key to getting more customers in the door. If this is your plan, make sure you have a solid way to deliver consistent service to these incremental numbers.
More Customer Retention: Keeping 100% of your customers is almost impossible, as even the best financial planners lose 10% of their clients each year and have to plan for this with incremental sales. However, to focus on retention you need a solid communication plan with your existing customers, you need to get feedback to improve things to what they are looking for, and you need to never rest on your laurels.
More Margin: Focus on the customers with the highest margins today, and go after new business that is similar to these types of customers. For instance, if you find that you get the best margin business as an IT company from accountants, target more accounting firms. As a minimum, start saying ‘no’ to customers who don’t meet your margin requirements. Remember, one way to increase margin is to reduce costs, don’t overlook this option!
Do More With What We Have: Growing the business doesn’t mean that you only have to get more customers. You could just get more business from the customers that you already have. As a salon, you could be giving a customer regular haircuts, but this year you focus on getting them to use your for dyes, styling, and facials.
Work Life Balance: One of the most common reasons for a business closing its doors is that the owners have become burnt out. Make sure that you have strict guidelines to your own working hours and do things outside of work to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you.
The final thought….
…New Year’s resolutions are famous for not being followed and many people have the same resolution year over year. This is one similarity a small business doesn’t want to have!