Eight New Year's Resolutions for Your Business

The beginning of a new year is a time for people to set goals for Business people meetingthemselves, but it’s also an opportunity for business owners to analyze the past year’s successes and failures and look toward the future. The new year can act as a convenient milepost to take stock of where you’re at and consider what comes next. If you’re looking for ideas on goals to set for the upcoming calendar year, consider some of the following.
1. Improve the Customer’s Experience

You are likely well aware of the impact customer service has on your competitiveness as a business. Everyone should always strive to improve the customer’s experience, but there are proactive measures you can implement to incentivize your employees’ performance improvements. Consider establishing some type of carrot and stick approach for customer service results. Some options include tying bonuses to customer reviews, gamifying customer feedback results or crowdsourcing a customer service improvement roadmap to get your staff invested in the outcome.

2. Revamp Your Marketing

Are you getting the most out of your advertising dollars? Chances are good there is room for improvement. Consumers are doing the majority of their research digitally and making a significant percent of their purchases online. If your business doesn’t have a robust and effective online presence chances are you are losing customers and revenue to competitors who do.

Although digital marketing is often best left to the professionals, there is a lot you can do yourself as a business owner to improve your reach. Consider committing to writing a blog post for your website every month or updating your social media accounts every week to improve your business’s visibility.

A new year is a great time to reevaluate your current ad spends. If you’re putting a lot of money into traditional marketing, like newspaper ads or radio spots, and you’re not able to track your ROI (Return on Investment) or they simply aren’t bringing in much revenue, consider shifting some of your budget to Google or Facebook ads.

3. Calibrate Your Growth Plan

ManWithGraphsYour growth plan should serve as a map to increased revenue, better retention and sustainable growth. Knowing you want to grow your business isn’t an accomplishment, but creating a plan, implementing it and succeeding certainly is. Simply doing your job better than everyone else is great, but it’s not a roadmap. Set growth goals, write out a strategy and give your business a target with milestones you can reach in the new year.

4. Debrief Your Staff

There’s a reason you’re the boss, but that doesn’t mean your employees don’t have good ideas too. As the people on the front line of your business, they likely have a different perspective than you do and may have valuable input regarding efficiencies, industry trends or processes that could positively impact your revenue growth and bottom line. Consider incorporating a debrief into your employee’s year-end reviews to mine that resource. You may even discover diamonds in the rough in terms of ideas and potential leaders.

5. Get in the Habit of Reviewing and Adjusting Goals

There is no shortage of quotes about “failure being the best teacher.” Although the sentiment is undeniably a cliché at this point, it’s still a valuable philosophy for businesses. Not meeting a goal isn’t the end of the world, or even necessarily a bad thing, as long as you learn from it and adjust your approach and expectations. Frequently reviewing and adjusting your goals is good for several reasons.

  1. You keep your long-term goals and strategies top of mind so they don’t disappear on a to-do list you never get to

  2. It gives you an opportunity to analyze your misses and figure out why what you thought would work didn’t pan out

  3. Instead of outright abandoning a project and losing out on any progress you made, you can instead use what you’ve learned and still get value from your efforts.
6. Establish or Revamp Your Five-Year Strategic Business Plan

Does your business have a five-year plan? If not, the beginning of the year is a great time to write one out. Five-year plans are essential for businesses, especially if you’re looking for investors or applying for any commercial loans in the near future. Some lenders and investors may want to see some type of five-year or long-term strategic plan before they commit capital to your businesses. Conducting a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis can give you a good starting point for creating or updating your plan. Keep in mind what’s realistic but don’t shy away from ambitious goals either.

7. Improve Company Culture

Culture is a hot buzzword these days. Everyone seems to want to work for a company with BigIdeasgood culture. Good doesn’t have to necessarily be overbearing and flamboyant. Consider who your employees are and the image you want to project to your consumers and the world. A workplace should be comfortable, enjoyable and nonthreatening. Not everyone is going to like work every day regardless of your culture, but knowing your going to a place where you feel like you belong will help improve efficiencies and customer service. If you’ve never really put much thought into your company’s culture, 2019 may be the year to start making a concerted effort to define and foster one. 

8. Grow and Expand

If expansion or growth is in your company’s future, the beginning of the new year is a great time to set those goals in stone. That growth could be opening a new location, adding new complimentary services to your existing offerings or updating your existing technology or inventory. There’s always risk in growth, but there’s also the potential for even greater reward.

How can we help?

Of course, it takes resources to grow, and you may not have the liquid cash on hand to buy new equipment or expand out of pocket. Bank of the Pacific is proud to partner with hundreds of local businesses in Washington and Oregon to help them thrive and grow.

We offer a comprehensive array of SMB banking services, with everything from business checking and savings accounts to commercial inventory, equipment and real estate loans tailored to meet the needs of local businesses.

We even offer treasury management services to streamline all your banking needs, whether that’s direct deposit for your payroll, federal and state tax payments or vendor payments. Our commercial banking specialists understand the needs of the local businesses we serve, and we customize our services to allow you to concentrate your time and efforts on what matters most – managing and growing your business.

You can learn more by calling us at 888.855.8267 or by visiting one of our branch locations in western Washington or northern Oregon.