It’s that time again, the close of one calendar year and the beginning of another. While assessing year-end sales and balancing your business demands after holiday family time, you’ll do yourself a favor if you also take a bit of time to generate some goals for 2015. Here are five small business resolutions you can use to start the new year off the right way.
- Energize your fan base – The 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge the power of a truly viral phenomenon to raise awareness and funds. You’re not likely to replicate that campaign’s success, but there are a few ingredients that can guide marketing for your small business in the new year. Next year, try a new creative campaign to reengage your fan base. Go for an idea that creates engagement and activity and is open to the widest range of participants to generate the most activity.
- Live your brand – Taking a page out of CVS’s decision to stop selling cigarettes, sometimes removing conflicting products can increase your value. Try looking at your business from an outsider’s perspective. Do all of the goods and services you provide further your small business brand proposition and the value you offer? It can be hard to shut down products that are generating revenue, but everything needs to support your overall brand message.
- Introduce something new – Adding products or services in areas where your business excels can help diversify your revenue base and make your company more resilient. Are there any new areas where your company can meet specific demands in the marketplace? Of course, make sure that these products align with your brand (see resolution #2). Sixty-six percent of small business owners in Hiscox’s 2014 DNA of an Entrepreneur study plan to launch a new product or service in the year ahead.
- Amp up your cyber security – If there is one thing 2014 taught us, it’s that even the biggest conglomerates are susceptible to a security breach. Despite this glaring vulnerability to cyber attacks, only 15 percent of small business polled in this year’s DNA of an Entrepreneur study reported having data risk insurance. Small businesses don’t have the staff or systems to guard against attacks that larger organizations do, making them even more vulnerable to hackers. Making sure your company is protected will increase stability and hopefully save you some restless nights.
- Indulge in R&R – Just because your small business has a smaller staff doesn't mean you can’t steal away and use those vacation days. Taking time away from work can help relieve stress and revitalize you and even gain some outside perspective on how your business is running. The time you take away from the business will pay dividends when you return with more energy and new ideas.
Hunter Hoffmann is Head of US Communications at Hiscox Small Business Insurance and is responsible for media relations, social media, internal communications and executive messaging. Hunter lives in New York City with his wife and two sons – Walker and Otis. In his spare time, he moonlights as Chief Marketing Officer and deliveryman for Junior’s Fresh, a fresh baby and toddler food delivery service and pre-school meal provider in New York City founded by his wife, Michelle.