A long list of goals and tasks to complete at the start of a new year can quickly become overwhelming if you try to tackle too much at once. I have always approached resolutions by establishing year-round short- and long-term objectives. After all, we have a year to achieve our objectives, which is why they are not called January Resolutions.
It’s important for business owners to reflect and plan for the coming year now, but it’s easier than ever to get caught up in worrying about the problems the economy will face.
I would advise all owners of small businesses to approach 2023 with empathy and realism. Be aware of the economic challenges we face, but don’t let them dominate your thoughts. Don’t bury your head in the sand. Instead, give your time and effort to the problems and activities that are actually under your control.
As you put your plans into action throughout the year, keep an eye on and take advantage of the following four trends that are transforming the landscape of small businesses:
The larger context:
Despite concerns about a recession, business owners are prioritizing hiring and marketing. At the end of last year, we conducted a national survey of business owners, and the results showed that 78% anticipate that a recession will have an effect on their business initiatives. Despite this, business owners are actively investing in their companies, placing a priority on marketing and promotion, hiring, raising wages, and purchasing new technologies and equipment.
A proactive offense is the best way to stop customers from cutting back on their spending. Consider these best practices if your marketing efforts could use a facelift:
Simpler is better:
You can stay on the path to success by employing a streamlined strategy that builds up to your overall business objectives.
Determine who you want to reach: Always start with the end in mind. Who are you corresponding with, and what are you attempting to convey to them?
Select the appropriate platform: You can select your preferred marketing channel once you know where to find your audience. At least initially, I would suggest concentrating more on a few specific marketing channels when starting out.
How successful are you? Marketing is no longer a one-way street in this day and age of social media. Nowadays, a successful marketing campaign is a multi-platform, multi-interactional approach to customer engagement. To determine whether your message is resonating with your target audience, establish your goals and KPIs early on and frequently examine and reevaluate them.
Keep up with the most recent business technology.
Over the past few years, many small businesses have adopted new technology to simplify their operations and the lives of their customers. Including the most recent technology is no longer a nice-to-have; rather, it is essential to your company’s future. 68% of business owners plan to upgrade or incorporate new technology this year, despite the possibility of a recession.
For many of us, putting new technology and services into use can be confusing, if not downright frightening. If you’re looking to incorporate new technology but aren’t sure where to begin, consider prioritizing the following this year:
putting money into an automated payroll or people management (HR) platform to streamline operations and cut costs.
at your company’s point of sale, allowing new cashless or peer-to-peer (P2P) payment methods like Zelle.
Enhancing the omnichannel capabilities of your customer relationship management (CRM) system so that it can communicate with your customers on any platform they may be using.
To guard against hackers and the most recent cyber threats, enhance your cybersecurity measures. Unfortunately, scammers and hackers are increasingly targeting small businesses.
Related: Three Considerations to Make Before Purchasing New Technology for Your Small Business It’s never too late to learn, and business owners are taking advantage of free educational resources. Over the past few years, the number and quality of free educational resources available to business owners have significantly improved, and many entrepreneurs at various stages of their business journey are looking for them. Last year, we learned that 75% of women business owners, as well as the majority of business owners, wished they were more knowledgeable about business finances. If you’re looking for advice, the following resources might be helpful:
Many frequently asked questions can be answered by using educational resources like SCORE and Bank of America’s Small Business Resources website.
Organizations like LinkedIn and the Small Business Administration (SBA) offer online learning platforms if you’re interested in pursuing higher education.
Additionally, a Cornell-accredited free online program for women is offered by Bank of America to earn a certificate in business.
Your neighborhood small business banker can also help you succeed and simplify your life greatly.
Starting the new year with the responsibility of running your business on your shoulders can be beyond stressful. Business ownership can be lonely. I hope this is the one piece of advice from this article that sticks with you: Find a person who has been there before and talk to them.
Look into groups like Luminary, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Business Networking International, and your local Small Business Chamber of Commerce. With the return of in-person networking events, you can now meet other local business owners and work with mentors who can help you succeed as an independent business owner. Networking in informal settings like LinkedIn groups or over coffee or drinks with people who share your interests can also be beneficial.
For many years to come, you will benefit from prioritizing the development of relationships with communities and individuals you trust.
It can be difficult to set goals for the entire year, but by incorporating the aforementioned suggestions into your strategy, you are actively preparing your business for continued success in 2023 and beyond.