Five New Year's Commitments to Rev Up Your Small Business

Almost everyone makes resolutions at the start of each new year. But only eight percent of people actually achieve them. In the business world, resolutions are called commitments or objectives. And following are five of them that you can use to dramatically improve your productivity and increase and bottom line.

Get Better Organized

Write all your expenditures down for the year, including projects, new product or service ideas, new ventures, policy changes, business expenses, including small business insurance, and financial goals. Break your goals into specific tasks and assign deadlines for meeting them. Make sure your goals are specific and reasonable so you can attain them. Moreover, delegate assignments to subordinates or contractors instead of trying to do everything yourself. Describe the tasks you want to be completed by your workers and give them enough authority and resources to complete the tasks.

Set a Realistic Budget

You need to constantly invest in your business to increase profits and sales. These investments can include anything from advertising and public relations to research and development. Decide how much money to allocate for each department or function and stick to those investments levels. One way to create your budget is to start with all the projects you completed in the past year. Keep the ones you need and jettison the ones you don't need. When you complete your budget, add a 10 percent buffer to account for inflation or any ad hoc projects.

Set Your Rates According to Your Worth

The new year is a good time to determine whether you are undercharging for you work. Start by studying what competitors are charging for similar projects, especially if you offer a similar service or run a consulting firm. It's not always easy to justify raising rates so consider adding some additional services to your overall package. You might include some strategic initiatives to your final report, for example, instead of just the results of the market research you conduct.

Become a Better Communicator

The best way to accomplish all of your objectives this year is to make sure you communicate them to your team. Communication includes meetings, emails and specific instructions to your subordinates. Proper communication can eliminate wasted time and boost employee morale in the office.

Measure Your Results

There are a number of tools available for measuring results of specific initiatives. If the goal is more subjective in nature, like the effectiveness of a new training program, conduct a survey among employees to determine how much employees benefited from the training. Include a section for comments so employees can make recommendations for improving the training. As for results that are more measurable like leads or sales from ads, keep track of the sources from which they came -- either through an 800 number or code number in the ad. Once you have the results, determine which media are most effective and cut the ones that aren't.

Get your business off to a great start in 2018 by making some or all of the aforementioned commitments and following through with them. You'll be surprised at how much more you accomplish.

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