2016 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business

As 2015 comes to an end, many of us have begun reflecting on what we have achieved this year, and what still needs work in the New Year. There is no doubt that 2015 has been a successful year for small business. In times of economic instability, small business boosted the Canadian economy. We also saw a new government take office, with plans to improve Canada’s small business landscape.

There’s opportunity to make 2016 an even better year and you can start by making a New Year’s Resolutions list. While New Year’s resolutions often focus on self-improvement, why not set one for your small business this year? It can be inspirational, financial, environmental, or personal. Anything you wish for your business in 2016.

Here’s a list of 7 ideas to get you thinking:

  1. Create a healthy work-life balance — When you run your own business it can be difficult to separate yourself from it, but it’s important to set aside time for your family and friends. One way you can do this is by setting work hours for yourself. This doesn’t necessarily mean 9–5, but something that works for you so you have time for other things. You should also aim to make some time for yourself, to either re-discover an old hobby, read, exercise or anything else that makes you happy.
  2. Stay on top of social media –2016 will bring new social media trends that are worth looking into. If you have yet to adopt social media as part of your business strategy, make 2016 the year you do! In terms of social media content, quality reigns over quantity, and content is king; however, the frequency of your posts is still important. Set a manageable goal that works for your team and stick to it.
  3. Bond with your employees — Since you operate in your local community, consider getting involved with your team. You could all volunteer at a local charity, which not only brings you closer together but also strengthens your surrounding community. Alternatively, you could make a team resolution, whether it relates to the business or not, and work toward that goal together.
  4. Try a new marketing technique — Entrepreneur outlines 4 ways you can market your business for free in 2016. If you haven’t already, list your business on a local listing site like 411.ca at no cost.
  5. Learn a new language — Since we are a bilingual nation, consider learning French if you don’t already speak it. Learning a new language is never easy, especially as an adult, but online tools like Duolingo make it easier. Research shows 34 hours spent on Duolingo is equivalent to a semester of language education at the university level. Although it will take time, learning French will be helpful if you’re planning to expand your business Canada wide in the future. Plus, you have all of 2016 to master the language!
  6. Aim to be more environmentally friendly — The David Suzuki Foundation outlines 5 ways to be green at work: commute smarter, save energy, live healthier, waste less, and conserve water. You could choose any of these as your New Year’s resolution and the benefits will reach far beyond 2016.
  7. Become a mentor — Since you have experience in the small business world, consider mentoring an aspiring entrepreneur. Being a mentor allows you to share your valuable and neutral opinion, while also sharing your mistakes for your mentee to learn from. Alternatively, if you’re new to small business, find yourself a mentor.

This list is just a start, so feel free to get creative! Our advice is to choose one resolution so you can stay fully committed to it throughout theyear. Make sure it’s something realistic — you don’t want to set your self up for failure. Once you’ve chosen your resolution, be sure to write it down. Then, put it somewhere visible so you are reminded of your goal and hold yourself accountable.

Originally published at 411.ca.

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