As 2016 winds down, entrepreneurs everywhere are reflecting back on the year in business. In between crossing off last-minute items from end-of-year checklists (like reviewing profit and loss statements and filing an annual report), they’re also making resolutions for 2017. While it’s easy to be motivated by the new beginnings each year holds, it’s a lot tougher to stick to resolutions than it looks. If you need a place to start, check out our list of ten simple resolutions. Not only can entrepreneurs make and keep all ten of these, but they also leave behind a lasting impact on your business that goes well beyond 365 days.
1. Take a can-do attitude to work with you.
One of the simplest resolutions you can make is to go to work with a can-do attitude. Try not to let current events or personal affairs put a damper on your behavior or work ethic. Be positive, committed, and treat others with kindness and respect. Ultimately, your attitude reflects on you and your personality, your team, and the company you work for, so make it optimistic and encouraging. Enjoy the work you do—your business is built on your passion, after all!
2. Keep documents organized.
No more excuses! Starting January 1st, make it a point to keep all documents, records, and receipts organized and stored in a safe, accessible place, like a cloud storage system.
3. Say ‘thank you’ daily.
These two words leave a big impact on customers, team members, partners, and affiliates. They inspire everyone to go the extra mile for both you and your business, and they make everyone feel good. You can never say thank you enough, so do it as much as possible as often as possible.
4. Do your research.
A new year brings new opportunities to stand out and be innovative with your business. Put in some time doing research on the latest trends and ways you can improve upon existing products or services. Want to try something new? Follow my mantra: develop, test, learn, launch!
5. Get some sleep.
For all the time put in with your small business, don’t neglect getting some much-needed shuteye! In addition to catching some z’s, put aside a pocket of time to unplug and recharge each week.
6. Steadily pay all business debt off.
‘Steadily’ is the operative word here. Once you understand the financial standing of your business, you can create a strategic plan of action for paying off debt that works for your budget throughout the year.
7. Incorporate or form an LLC for your business.
Legitimizing your business is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Not only does this provide your personal assets with liability protection, but it also reduces the risk of an audit and establishes credibility with consumers.
8. Meet with your business mentor.
Mentors matter, but it’s easy to push off meeting up with them in favor of new clients. Reach out and reconnect with your mentor and take them out to coffee to catch up with them.
9. Stop comparing yourself to others.
All throughout the year, you will see many other entrepreneurs experiencing success with their startups. Actually, you won’t just see this during the year… You’ll see it your entire life. But that’s okay! Don’t let posts on Instagram or Facebook make you feel sidelined with your small business. You are running your own race just as much as they are and every race has obstacles along the way with lots of rewards. Work hard, be curious and willing to learn, and make time to celebrate your accomplishments.
10. Always put the customer first.
This may be the last resolution on the list, but it’s the most important. No matter what you resolve to do in the coming year, make sure that customers, and outstanding customer service, are your top priority.