The Payroll Blog
News, tips, and advice for small business owners
15 New Year's Resolutions That Are Not Cliche
Setting New Year’s resolutions is common practice, but also common is that many people have a hard time sticking to them.
In fact, January 17th is named “Ditch Your Resolutions Day” as it’s considered the day most people drop their goals for the new year. The other thing with resolutions is many tend to sound the same or be a cliché. As a small business owner, it’s normal to have some goals and resolutions for the new year. Below, we’ve put together some resolutions you might want to incorporate into your business, that aren’t a cliché.
1. Find an online payroll service.
If you’re tired of payroll and tax headaches, you’re in luck because the new year is the best to start with a new payroll service or switch. When you start fresh in the new year you don’t need to enter any employee wages from the prior year. Set-up is much faster than starting a random time in the year.
2. Make a plan for tax season.
Make a plan for tax season. The most common tax filing deadline is April 15th when income taxes are due. When running a business, there may be other deadlines you need to know throughout the year. Spend some time at the beginning of the year looking over deadlines and make a plan. For example, if you know you’ll need some help from an accountant or bookkeeper, start early. If you wait too long, appointment times can book up and you won’t get the help you need.
3. Focus on employee engagement.
Employee engagement is huge and if you're not already, you should regularly be checking in with your employees. When you have high levels of employee engagement, it helps business because your staff is happy and excited about the work they are doing. When morale and engagement are low, it can really hurt your business, especially if those feelings translate to employees leaving. There are plenty of ways to boost employee engagement, you just may need to get creative depending on the type of business you have.
4. Make connections with your community.
Whether you have a brick-and-mortar business that allows you to interact face to face or you’re operating online, building relationships with your community and customers is important. Try to have conversations when possible, respond to questions and feedback in a timely manner, and just overall get involved with your community any way you can.
5. Schedule time for business planning.
When you’re running your business, it’s easy to just keep moving and forget to set time to check in with goals and make plans for new ones. Many business owners check in on their numbers and goals once a year, or once a quarter. For more success, try setting up a time each week to check in on how business is going and your plans for the year.
6. Make time for yourself.
Self-care is a term used all the time but often comes with the thought of face masks, spa days, or indulgent food. Self-care for small business owners is much more than that and setting time for yourself is necessary to avoid burnout. Try setting boundaries to keep work and your personal life separate, take frequent breaks from work during the day, and focus on breathing.
7. Improve organization systems.
Organization trends have spiked in recent years thanks to Marie Kondo and The Home Edit. While your business needs more than tossing anything that doesn’t spark joy, it’s important to have organizational systems that make sense. Keep important employee documents and confidential information in a secure location. If you have a lot of online folders and documents, spend time organizing them and having a proper file structure. Once you spend the time making your new system, make sure you tweak it throughout the year to make sure everything you need has a home and keep clutter at bay.
8. Learn something new.
Staying curious and improving your skills can lead to major business growth. Whether you’ve been trying to learn a new skill, new language, new hobby, or other personal/professional development goal, focus on new activities is great. Learning something new can inspire more creativity and great business ideas. Ger comfortable being uncomfortable and get outside of your comfort zone.
9. Connect with and support other small business owners.
Networking is key to business success but can feel very awkward and hard to find the right opportunities. Spend time researching local business groups or expand to virtual networking. In addition to networking, it is great if you can support other small business owners.
10. Get a handle on cash flow.
Cash flow is one of the top worries small business owners have. Spend some time looking over your budget, understand what your must-pay expenses are in the event of an emergency, and plan to save to cover those expenses.
11. Look into employee benefits like 401(k) plans and health insurance.
Offering employees 401(k) plans and health insurance can show how much you value them, which ties into our earlier point of boosting engagement.
12. Boost your own retirement savings.
Many people aren’t hitting the retirement savings goals they should be. If you don’t already have a 401(k) plan, start by setting one up. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t make major contributions at first; anything will help you for your future. If you already have a plan, see if you can contribute a little more in the new year and increase how much you save.
13. Protect your business.
There are many factors that can hurt your small business. From natural disasters and pandemics to cyber-attacks and robberies, it’s important to keep your small business safe from all angles. If you don’t already, you’ll want to consider the various types of business insurance that exist and look into policies.
14. Set aside time for research.
In today’s tech world, things are always changing. There is always a new social media platform, a new marketing tactic to implement, and new business trends like cashless businesses and more. Set aside time to frequently stay up to date. If you don’t have time to check a million sources, there are many newsletters that can sum up the key information you need to know depending on what you want to focus on. For example, The Skimm provides summaries of top news stories every day, and The Marketing Brew shares marketing news and trends and stories from other businesses.
15. Don’t be afraid to branch out.
One of the biggest reasons businesses and teams fail is because they are afraid to try something new. How many times have you heard “this is how we’ve always done it?” While there are times it’s important to listen to that and stick with what you know, in order to grow your business, you sometimes need to try to branch out and try something new. Whether that’s hopping on the latest social media trend, expanding product offerings, or adapting to other changes, push yourself to think past what you always do.
If you want to implement any of the above or have your own list going, the most important thing to remember is to be SMART. This means following the SMART method for goals, which will ensure you’re setting a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based goal. When goals and resolutions are vague they usually don’t get reached because there is nothing in place to monitor and hold you accountable. Thinking deeply about your goal and getting as specific as possible will help you keep your resolutions going all year.
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This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. SurePayroll is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, SurePayroll. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you require legal or accounting advice or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your licensed attorney, accountant or other tax professional to discuss your particular facts, circumstances and business needs.