Who in their right mind would plant seeds in the dead of winter? Smart small business owners, that’s who!
The biggest hope for a new year is growth. That’s what most New Year’s Resolutions are about, people want to grow. Grow their business, grow their income, personal growth. Growth doesn’t happen by accident though, you need to plant seeds. For an entrepreneur, the seeds of growth are plans for the future, and January is the perfect time to make them.
Seed #1: Make a New Year Business Plan
Do you have a business plan, written down and in your desk drawer? If not, you should. This particular business plan doesn’t need to be a formal document, it can be a very personal one. It should lay out all of your plans and dreams for the future, in your own words.
In your business plan, you want to summarize exactly what your business is, determine your ideal clients, figure out your marketing strategy, and work out the financial details of the year. If you already have one written up, just update it. If you don’t, then maybe you would like to download this free business plan template to see what it’s all about.
A more formal business plan can also be an excellent idea, but a much more informal personally written plan will help give you a direction to start towards in the new year. It will also give you a chance to reflect back on the business lessons you’ve learned over the past year.
Seed #2: Revamp Your Online Presence
Chances are that the best place you can put your marketing dollars in the new year is online. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to take the initiative and make your online presence just as engaging as your presence in real life.
Revamping your web presence can include completely rebuilding your website from scratch with all-new SEO optimized copy and professional designed graphics. Your website is your digital storefront, so you want it to be as engaging and inviting as possible.
You also may want to revamp your social media game. By expanding your Twitter followers and Facebook contacts, you will better be able to connect with both old and new customers. Social media will also give you a great outlet for posting valuable content for your clients, like blogs and infographics.
Seed #3: Vacation
And no, the holiday “vacation” you just had probably doesn’t count!
Everyone needs a break at one point or another to operate at their best, even driven entrepreneurs and small business owners. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a real vacation, it might be an excellent idea to open Google Calendar and put down a tentative date for a real vacation from work in your upcoming year. If you are worried about leaving your small business in the lurch, just hire a Virtual Assistant to take care of things while you’re gone. You will return to work from your vacation rested and ready to give your business everything you got!
Seed #4: Put Yourself First
While a vacation is important, it is equally important that you take care of yourself year-round. If you are working non stop, neglecting exercise, diet, and your social relationships, that’s a surefire path to work burnout.
Consider events like your weekly workout to be business-related and put it in your official work schedule. Once you’ve solidified in your brain as an event you do every Tuesday, it will be more difficult for you to blow it off.
If your diet is suffering from fast food during quick lunches, it might be time to revitalize your diet. Instead of trying to squeeze food prep into the night before work (or the morning of), prep all of your meals the same day every week (Sunday maybe?). Having ready-to-eat lunches will save you time during your lunch break while also improving your diet.
Your social relationships are incredibly important, and can actually be an essential part of your small business’ success. Reinvesting in your friendships in the new year might be one of the best things you can do to decrease your overall stress level and improve your general mood.
A business is like a garden. You have to care about it, take care of it all year, and make sure that you’ve prepared it for renewal come springtime. It’s time to make those plans for your business! If you’d like a hand coming up with ideas to grow your business, please feel free to contact me. Together, we can plant the seeds that will make your business bloom this year!