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Start the New Year Off Right – Small Business Tips

Many people start thinking about what to do in the New Year on December 26th. Between ads for exercise equipment and healthier eating, many people start their new year’s resolutions in time for January 1. Unfortunately, most people break those New Year’s resolutions within the first 30 to 60 days.

But “New Year, new me,” doesn’t just apply to individuals. The concept can also apply to your small business. Whether you’re a sole practitioner or have employees, the first of the year is the ideal time to examine the previous year and what you can do for a better year in 2022.

Get back in touch with people you’ve talked to previously but lost touch with. If you were considering a project or a collaboration with someone, but it just didn’t happen, reconnect with them and see if it may be more feasible in the coming year.

Spring cleaning

Even if it isn’t spring yet, it’s still a good time to start some early “spring cleaning” for your business. The first step is to clean up your desk and encourage employees to clean theirs. Go through old files, shred what you don’t need, and put away or digitize any files you need but don’t have room to store.

Don’t forget your digital files. Files can clutter up hard and shared drives, cloud storage like Dropbox and Google Drive, SharePoint sites, and other digital storage spots. Review all the places you store data and delete what you no longer need.

Email inboxes are another hot spot for out-of-date information. Delete unneeded emails from inboxes, obsolete folders, and emails with attachments. Nobody needs a lunch invitation from three years ago.

If you’re considering updating your office space, now is a good time to start planning and doing. Whether you’re replacing old office furniture, upgrading systems, or even giving the office space a coat of paint, start looking for ideas. You may not need to renovate the office, just a good sprucing up to improve your aesthetics. Employees and customers alike will appreciate the refreshed look.

Understand your business’ worth

If you don’t know the answer, the first of the year is a great time to consider a business valuation for your company. A business valuation can help you understand what the company is worth and what you need to do to keep or grow your business.

Since tax season is coming, it’s also time to get everything together so that you can meet with your tax accountant. The first of the year also brings new tax changes. The earlier you get started, the better. Get your tax documents in order, then make an appointment with your accountant.

Update your brand for the new year

Building a brand takes considerable effort. Without the occasional refresh, it may become stale. Simple updates to refresh your branding can keep it current.

The idea is to do something new or different, but make sure it’s aligned with your business’s growth strategy. If you don’t promote your brand on social media, start there. Does your company have a blog or has one that hasn’t been updated recently? Think about what your customers would like to read about and start writing.

Podcasting may also be a great way to promote your brand. Could your brand benefit from email marketing or even video? Consider what new ideas you could utilize to promote your company’s brand and create a fresh look for prospects and customers.

Gearing up for the new year

Now that everyone is back to working a regular schedule, start reconnecting with prospects, clients, and colleagues.

Give a little thought to last year. Review what worked and what didn’t. Think about what you could have done differently and what you can do to improve upon this year. Assess your business plan and update it as needed. Re-examine what you planned versus where you ended up, so you’ll understand where you should be heading. Focus on the future and consider the wider economic conditions and how they could impact your business and your market.

Remember that projections are only educated guesses. Understanding the latest economic news and business trends will help you handle the environment and fluctuations. Consider seeking advice from one or more mentors to help grow your business.

Update your calendar

Before you set any appointments, think about your current calendar system. Is it a paper calendar, or does everybody use their phones? January is ideal for reviewing whether what you’re using for appointments works for your company. The many calendar programs now available can be overwhelming. But if your current calendar system isn’t working for you, it’s time to find a better solution.

Don’t go overboard

Many people set a list of goals for the year but don’t make it past the first few weeks. Many people create a list of big goals and resolutions that are unrealistic, then feel disappointed when nothing happens.

Did you set goals for your business last year? How did your business do? Did you and your employees achieve your goals, or did you fall short? What do you need to excel with this year? Assess last year’s goals and discover what went wrong or see what’s achievable in 2022.

A better option is to decide upon one or two more reasonable and achievable goals for yourself, as well as the business. Include your employees in setting goals for the year. January is the ideal time to discuss their work plans and set measurable goals for each person. Attach their achievement to a bonus plan or other employee rewards. These goals can keep employees motivated.

Another great goal is employee health and wellness, which benefits you and your employees. Consider how your company can support employees in becoming more physically fit and reducing their stress.

Aim for a positive work-life environment for yourself and your employees.

Consider upgrading your phone system for the new year

VoIP phone service offers small businesses more flexibility and features than traditional hard-wired PBX phone service. And switching to VoIP can save your business 40-60% on your monthly phone bill.

Small businesses can have more secure calls, higher quality telecom, and a lower cost for their monthly phone bill. VoIP systems cost less than a traditional phone service and save your small business money every month on communications costs.

Contact Press8 Telecom today to discuss upgrading your small business phone system to a new, flexible VoIP system for less money than a traditional hosted PBX system. Talk to us, and we’ll give you a free quote on the system that works for your company.

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