New Year’s business resolutions

The new year provides a natural point of reflection for everyone

New Year’s business resolutions

We look back on what we’ve achieved in the past year and how we can build on those achievements and improve as we go into the new year. People often set resolutions, with promises of more exercise, healthier eating and less screen time among the most popular. 

For small businesses, this point of reflection looks a little different but is still a valuable exercise to carry out as we begin the new year. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a number of small businesses this year and what always stands out is their determination and passion to succeed. As business owners begin a new year of trading, now is a good time to establish what resolutions could help keep their businesses thriving. Here are some suggestions to help those business owners prepare for a prosperous 2024:

Celebrate the victories

Running a business is one of the most difficult endeavours someone can pursue, particularly when building something from the ground up. There can be regular setbacks; things will often not go as anticipated, and even the best laid plans will need to be revisited to account for macroeconomic factors outside of your control, which is why it is important to celebrate the small victories. 

By rewarding yourself, and your team, as you achieve milestones – big and small – you keep morale high and recognise the hard work that goes into even the everyday accomplishments. 

Celebrating the small victories will also help your team build a sense of momentum, which can be a powerful motivator. 

Set new goals

Define where you want the business to be at the end of 2024 and work out what you need to do to reach that point. Whether it’s a new marketing strategy, developing a new product, or making new hires, the end point can feel unreachable without a breakdown of the steps needed to arrive at the final goal.

Having a strong purpose is essential for any new business. A clear mission, supported by strategic business aims and objectives, will give your business a better chance of success. Setting aims and objectives should be a priority for any business, even ones that have been trading for a few years.

While most business start-ups make it a priority when launching, it’s common for companies to let strategy, business aims and objectives drift over time; however, we always recommend reviewing them on an annual basis. In order to cultivate better collaboration, it’s important for employees to understand the company’s objectives and where I’s heading.

The key elements to focus on are aims, goals and objectives. All are slightly different but when implemented together can have immense impact on the success of a business. Think of them in these terms:

  1. Business aims – The long-term strategy for the business. It can be expressed as a mission statement, company values and the purpose of your company. Having a clear vision lets you set strategic goals and supporting objectives to achieve this aim.
  2. Business goals – These are more strategic goals, usually expressed in terms such as increasing market share, and are set over a three-to-five-year timeframe.
  3. Business objectives – Determine the actions you’ll take to achieve business goals, usually with success measures and targets.

Stay resilient

Starting a business requires a lot of resilience, particularly at the moment while businesses are grappling with cost pressures. Ensuring your finances are in order and you’re keeping on top of them is essential for success. 

Predicting your future financial performance can be daunting but is worth it in the long run. By calculating the costs your business will incur and how much income it will earn, you can make better business decisions, limit risks, and increase opportunities. Unchecked, some costs (while small) can soon add up. Reviewing expenditure and looking for cheaper alternatives can be a good idea, particularly at the start of the year. 

I hope that these three resolutions provide useful guidance for business owners who are wanting to hit the ground running this year. Whilst small, these steps can have a transformative impact on a business’ success – and on their employees engagement in their work – which, in turn, helps a business’ bottom line. 

I’m excited to see what’s in store for small businesses across the UK this coming year as interest rates potentially begin to fall and cost-of-living pressures to ease. 2023 was another challenging year for business but it’s inspiring to see how resilient business owners have been in navigating the economic climate. 

From everyone at Start Up Loans, we wish you the very best for 2024. 

Richard Bearman
Richard Bearman

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