'Tis the season when people are making personal resolutions. If you're a solopreneur or microbusiness owner, consider making some professional resolutions, too.
Science says New Year's resolutions are more likely to suceed when you set specific goals, track progress, celebrate milestones, and choose goals that are fun and motivating to you. If you've ever studied strategic planning or organizational success, some of this may sound familiar.
With this research-backed advice in mind, here are three categories of resolutions with more specific goals to make your business more resilient and efficient in 2023:
1. Schedule breaks.
In order for your business to be sustainable, you need to take care of and develop your number one resource: yourself. At Tao Websites and Graphic Design, we schedule yearly business retreats to build our skills and plan. Here are some more specific resolutions you can make:
Don't answer emails on your day off.
Stop working by 6 pm each day.
Set reminders three times a day to stretch/take a mini-exercise break.
Sign up for an online class and give yourself time off other tasks to learn effectively.
Schedule a retreat and set up reminders to plan it on your calendar.
If none of these are a good fit for you, how can you commit to rest, reflection, and restoration in your professional life?
2. Make your business more efficient.
I see my routines and processes as fluid works-in-progress. Something can always be improved. What aspects of your business are frustrating or slowing you down? Maybe something you hate doing can be streamlined or automated. In the past, I hated tracking my hours. Now I use Clockify. It's easy track my time and see how much I've worked. I don't hate it anymore! Here are some specific resolutions to free yourself and free your time:
Do an audit of software/computer applications you pay for and stop paying for ones you don't use.
Set up an easy and secure way to remember your logins and passwords.
Review the Small Business Association checklists to prepare your business for natural disasters that are likely in your region.
Seek out a consultant or collaborator with expertise in the area you feel most stuck.
Explore more features and shortcuts within a platform you already pay for (for example, many Wix plans include email automation and invoicing).
Remember to schedule times to do these tasks on your calendar! If you can, break them down into even smaller steps, like "create a list of software subscriptions I pay for." What's a problem that's pestering your work life? Using digital tools wisely will save you time and give you mental freedom!
3. Try one new marketing strategy.
Remember, you don't have to do everything at once! Website analytics, market research, and customer feedback can help you identify small, targeted actions that can have big returns. Here are some specific marketing suggestions from our archive:
Launch a new package deal or product that you've identified a gap for. Promote it on social media and with a special landing page on your website.
Give something of value away for free to get the attention of a larger audience. For example, start a blog or YouTube series showcasing your expertise. Create an infographic or ebook that users can download for free when they subscribe to your updates. Customize these ideas for yourself: What unique persectives and skills do you bring to your industry? Where are your clients most likely to see your content?
My advice is to pick just a couple small, specific goals so you won't get overwhelmed by follow through. You'll be surprised at what a difference gradual, sustainable changes can make over time!