Now’s the Time to Set New Business Goals

December 29, 2017

What better time of year to jot down some goals for your business than these few days between Christmas and the New Year?

Now, I’m not talking about the resolutions we all make, like eat more kale, run a marathon, stop binge-watching Netflix. Let’s face it, those resolutions barely make it past January.

I’m talking about goals that connect where you are today with where you want to be this time next year. I’m talking about the goals that fill some gap between what you’re doing today and what you know you ought to do.

Below are some common things small business owners put off until tomorrow. These articles will arm you with the resources you need to make sure 2018 is the year you get through them.

1. If You’re Still Using Word & Excel for Billing

Make 2018 the year you upgrade to a better way of billing. The advantages are easy to grasp:

Not convinced? Read: Still Invoicing and Accounting with Word and Excel? 5 Reasons to Stop

2. If You’re Always Wondering Where the Time Goes

First, know you’re not alone. I hardly know where 2017 went. But when I look back I did accomplish a lot. My advice? Figure our your “latte factor” when it comes to time management; those pesky little tasks that eat up small, cumulative chunks of time.

Intrigued? Read: What’s Your “Latte Factor” When It Comes to Time Management?

3. If You Need to Get a Grip on Your Costs

Is every invoice payment accounted for before it even hits your bank account? My friend, you’ve got a cashflow problem. Don’t worry: A little time, some nifty tracking tools and you’ll get those expenses in check and (dare to dream) become profitable.

Committed to get control of costs? Read: Mind Your Expenses: The Overlooked Costs of Running a Business

4. If You Wish You Were Better at Marketing Your Business

I get it: Marketing gives you the heebies… it’s a bit too much like “selling yourself” and you’re not that kind of person.

So flip that thinking on its head: Don’t think of marketing as selling something that isn’t real, but as communicating the actual value you provide. See? Not so terrible, right?

Want to learn more? Read: The Hero’s Journey: Telling Your Small Business Story Online

5. If You Need a Better Website

Speaking of marketing… you know your website can be your #1 salesperson, right? Well not if it’s got outdated information, isn’t optimized for search and is generally clunky to use.

Make sure your website showcases all the great things prospective customers should know about you and the services you provide!

Want to revamp your website? Read: How Effective is Your Small Business Website? and also SEO 101.

6. If This Is the Year You’ll Grow Your Team

You’ve been a one-person operation for a while now, but you’re finally there: You need to expand and start to hire people to support your business as it grows. It’s such an exciting leap for any small business owner to make.

But hiring and leading also create their own challenges. So take a deep breath and make sure you add the right person to the mix.

Need help with hiring? Read Beware of Clones and Unicorns: How to Build a Winning Team

7. If You Want Better Relationships with Your Clients!

Look back on your year. How much time did you spend venting about that scope-creeping client? Or wishing you had said “no” to a particular project?

Here’s the thing: You’re master and commander of your own ship… so take control of those client relationships and make 2018 a year when you do work you love for clients who inspire and challenge you!

Wondering how to find better clients? Read: Stop Clients from Expecting Free Work — Without Burning Bridges and 3 Ways to Find and Land ‘Anchor’ Clients.

Conclusion

Let’s face it, we all have some pesky to-do that we put on the long finger. And most of us make a bigger thing of these things than they are in reality.

So let 2018 be the year you rip that bandaid off. Take a moment to get crisp on your goals. And then go accomplish them!

Let us know in the comments below what you’re hoping to achieve in 2018.

about the author

Content Director, FreshBooks Jane Flanagan is the Content Director at FreshBooks. Follow her on Twitter @seenandsaid.

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