New Year's marks a time to reset and make resolutions that will change our lives for the better (prepare for the flood of “New Year, New Me” social media posts). 

The start of a new year, and decade, is the perfect opportunity to set goals to take your small business to the next level. 

Work towards becoming a more savvy and successful small business owner in 2020 with these seven resolutions.

1. SMART Goals

Setting achievable, measurable goals is the secret sauce when it comes to accomplishing more as an entrepreneur. 

Create S.M.A.R.T goals to turn your business aspirations into reality. Being S.M.A.R.T about setting goals is more than a vague acronym. 

S.M.A.R.T goals are clear and achievable targets. 

Let’s breakdown what it means to set and reach your S.M.A.R.T goals. Each one should be:

Specific: Make sure you’re clear about what you want to accomplish. Keep your goals simple, sensible and significant. 

Measurable: Set goals that are measurable over both the short and long term. 

Achievable: Your goals should be practical, reasonable and attainable. 

Relevant: Ensure that your resolutions directly impact your business operations and/or professional growth. Each should be realistic and results-based. 

Timely: Create a timeline for your goals to track your progress and keep yourself accountable. 

2. Revamp and Improve Your Marketing Plan

Modern marketing and its digital platforms are constantly evolving year after year. With the start of a new decade, we can expect even more advanced and innovative small businesses marketing approaches.

To keep up with the competition, it’s crucial for entrepreneurs to regularly educate themselves on the changing marketing landscape. Revise your marketing strategy to optimize for relevant trends and best practices.

Start the new year off on the right foot by revamping your marketing plan and evaluating what digital mediums and channels are best suited for your business: social media, SEO, email, inbound and/or outbound efforts.  

At the end of the day, knowing where your audience is and engaging with them online is vital to expanding your brand awareness, generating leads and boosting conversions.

3. Delegate More

Let’s be painfully honest for a second. Small business owners and entrepreneurs, just because you’re used to doing everything, doesn't mean you have to. 

You wear many hats to ensure your operations are running just the way you want. But it’s easy to burnout and trick ourselves into thinking we can do it all without any help. 

In reality, creating unnecessary stress and work for yourself is counterproductive. Overwhelming yourself to the point of burning out will only slow down your productivity and efficiency.

This year, unload some of your stress and responsibility by learning how to delegate work to others. By trusting others to take on more work, you’ll be creating a healthier work-life balance for yourself. 

Transitioning work to employees can be difficult at first, but shifting burdensome tasks to others allows you more time to prioritize the overall vision for your business. More time also means being able to focus more on what you love and your well-being. 

Start delegating tasks to others by handing off the tasks you dread, tasks others can do more quickly and tasks that simply overwhelm you as a business owner. 

If you can master task delegation in the new year, you’ll create more time to take on opportunities to help you and your business succeed.

4. Find Balance Act (and Maintain It)

Being a small business owner often results in all work and no play. Neglecting to cut out time for yourself can increase your chances of burning out, which is detrimental to both your mental and physical health.

Prioritize your well-being this year by carving out time to recharge and enjoy yourself. 

Create balance in your life by:

  • Dedicating time to your hobbies and passions
  • Exercising and eating healthy regularly  
  • Spending quality time with loved ones
  • Sleeping for six to eight hours a night
  • Creating “me” time to unwind and relax

A refreshed mind and body will leave you energized and ready to take on new opportunities and challenges to grow your business’s success. 

5. Upgrade Your Company’s Culture

Not all significant business growth can be measured through tangible means.

One of the most important hallmarks of a successful business is making sure it’s a great and healthy place to work. 

To retain top talent, it’s crucial to create an inclusive, empowering work environment. The most successful workplaces are designed around individual contributors, not just company leaders. 

Productivity and innovation naturally improve as employee satisfaction increases. When employees feel safe, respected and are allowed a sense of ownership, they are more motivated to take pride in their work and the company they work for.  

Learn about Cake’s creative approach to cultivating an innovative and rewarding culture that inspires and drives employees.

6. Expand Your Knowledge & Network

Expanding your business and industry knowledge with new skills and strategies is key when trying to grow your company.

Networking is an excellent way to become more knowledgeable about your industry, as well as a wide breadth of business topics.  

Expand your connections and audience by strategically networking. Make the most out of networking opportunities by brainstorming what you’d like to learn about and take away from the event ahead of time. 

Are you looking to make new contacts, learn about a particular topic, gain new business ideas or maybe all of the above? These are good things to decide before attending a networking event or seminar. 

Making an effort to network through industry events, online groups, or joining professional groups will help you to revitalize your business and rethink your operations and marketing strategies. 

Networking opens up a world of opportunity to not just learn, but also to meet new people. There’s no telling if those you meet at an event will become a new customer, colleague or friend. 

7. Learn to Let Go and Move On From What Isn’t Working

When it comes to growing your business and improving operations, more often than not, the best skill you can cultivate is knowing what is worth letting go.

Like most things in life, if something isn’t contributing to your success, it’s best to move on. There’s always a better alternative waiting to be tried. 

Don’t waste your energy on something that just isn’t working. The most successful business people and owners know when to call it quits and recover with grace and optimism. After all, not all business practices, products and methods you try will be successful. What’s most important is knowing how to recognize failure. Learn to let go of what isn’t serving your business and continue to bravely experiment until you find strategies and approaches that work best for your company. 

8. Prioritize Workplace & Employee Safety

Life is unpredictable and, unfortunately, full of accidents.

Ensure that your Colorado business and workers are protected no matter what happens with workers’ compensation insurance. 

Cake Insure works directly with Pinnacol Assurance to provide Colorado small businesses with quick, efficient and cost-effective workers’ compensation coverage. 

Our revolutionary application process let’s business owners get a free workers’ comp insurance quote in just 90 seconds and active coverage in five minutes or less. 

We know running a business is hard, obtaining workers’ comp coverage doesn’t have to be.

Get insured today with Cake.